From Myth to Creation

Dorothea S. Whitten, Author, Norman E. Whitten, Jr., Author University of Illinois Press $19.95 (72p) ISBN 978-0-252-06020-5
The Whittens' catalogue to their traveling exhibition of ceramics of the Canelos Quichua, an indigenous people of Ecuador, is as much a scholarly study of a primitive society as it is an accompaniment to the art. The Whittens in fact aim to explain the Canelos Quichua culture through their craft and, in a larger context, to comment on primitive art's role in the international marketplace. The discussions of the Canelos Quichua religion, customs and society enhance the meaning of the fanciful worksceramic monkey people, crab, fish and other animal figures, and bowls with human facesbut the text waxes vague, as if lost between the primitive's world and ours. That most of the pictures here are black and white underscores the scholarly intent of the Whittens' words. Students of primitive cultures will value the Whittens' original investigation into the Canelos Quichua people, but to lay readers, the appeal of this art will likely remain its novelty and mysteriousness. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 80 pages - 978-0-252-08193-4
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