How can a way of life influence a culture’s artistic forms?
Nomadic lifestyles call for domestic objects that are first and foremost portable and functional. Nonetheless, many nomadic and semi-nomadic people take great care in making and embellishing these items. Works created by the Turkmen of Central Asia or the Tuareg of Saharan Africa offer a less familiar perspective from which to think about the role of art in everyday life.
Questions to Consider
- How might these items reflect the demands of the environments in which they were produced and the material resources available to their makers?
- These works meet the requirements of the nomadic lifestyle in being portable and functional. But they are also beautiful. What are some of the reasons that so much attention might have been lavished on their aesthetic aspect?
- In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, many nomadic groups have become or are becoming sedentary, meaning that they have adopted lifestyles based on permanent residence. How might these circumstances impact the creation of objects like these?
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