The saying goes No man is an island. When people coexist together, they tend to copy various characters and aspects from each other. This leads to the development of a culture that is ever changing despite the diverse backgrounds of communities. When you consider North America and Meso-America, there is so much that comes up in the form of similarities that they share. These similarities may be in various fields. For example, art and design. Meso-America has copied a lot from North America in its stages of development through civilization. The interactions of these two regions is very vast and there is need to study this in details. This paper gives an analysis of the relationship between art and design in North America and Meso-America. The relationship between these two regions dates back to the olden days, even in the 16th century. All these relationships are addressed in this paper, especially those that are in relation to art and design. The paper also outlines what the two regions have copied from each other and finally gives a conclusion of the discussed issues.
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What is the relationship between native North American art and the art of Mesoamerica?
In Northern America, there are very many diverse cultures. These different cultures determine the art to be created in various regions. In northern America, the art created is from the utilization of a variety available beauties in the region. The art is based on the political and economic issues. In addition to this, art is also a factor of how designing of building and other structures is carried out. Mesoamerica has borrowed much from North America since there is no much difference when it comes to art in both regions. Major borrowings made by Mesoamerica are regarding design, plan and application of various traits of culture. Although Mesoamerica art is negligible when compared to that of Northern America in relation to farming, current business and urban culture of the area, it is vital to recognize the fact that Meso-American art is quite unique and stands out. The originality of Meso-American art and designs is a great plus for the development of Olmec. In fact, original Meso-American arts and designs are still very valuable in the current world. Evidently, in Mesoamerica, the development of art greatly relies on the nature of the art, especially where major borrowing has been done by other regions such as Northern America.
Currently, a new American perception is steadily growing as groups of individuals are coming together to fight for their interests to the consultants that are upsetting. Although North American art is more concentrated on the architectural structures, the only seen relationship between the two is in the religion and languages that have been acquired by the Mesoamericans. In North America, there were many native cultures that included groups of tribes which practised nomad kind of life. Some of these groups also practised hunting and gathering and also undertook some agriculture practices. This culture of Native America has been reduced and only the American mosaic has been left. This is due to the brutality of the white American art and that of European art, traditions and culture that has taken up the art from the Native American. Some books written by different authors have portrayed the American culture as the common denominator when comparing the complexity European aristocracy. So about art from Northern America, which is employed and visible from all part of major cities from northern America, it can be assumed that Mesoamerica art had a greater hand in development. The transfer of art work seemed to have favored the Northern American counterparts. The relationship between the textile and art has shown a great relationship between various aspects. Focusing on the Mesoamerica history of art, textile participated in the North America. The successes in achieving the textile, art, astronomy, agriculture and writing are impressive.
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Can we see an exchange of Artistic influences Between North America and Meso-America?
Indeed, it is evident that there is an exchange of artistic influences between the two regions, North America, and Meso-America. Meso-American has borrowed so much from North America about art. Some of these areas where this exchange is evident are in designs, cultural traits and plans. This led to the civilization that is evident in Meso-America today.
By virtue of Meso-America copying North America's designs and plans, civilization set in. This civilization gained a lot of positive changes regarding architecture, engineering, mathematical and calendars. All these were forms copied from North America. When civilization set in, Meso-America maize agriculture was based on sedentism. In addition to this, there was the construction of pyramids that were stepped. This was copied from North America. Civilization also brought into existence two calendars in Meso-America. These calendars were either based on the solar system or rituals in the society. The calendar based on the solar system was 365 while that based on rituals was 260 days. All these were copied from North America. Moreover, Meso-America also adopted a number system with a base of 20. The writing systems were also hieroglyphic and pictographic meaning there were logo syllables in their writing systems. There also came the use of rubber in Mesoamerican ballgames and various forms of sacrifices. The key to note in sacrifices that were adopted was human sacrifices. Civilization also brought in the development of a religious system that was based on shamanism and other natural deities. In addition to this, Mesoamerica also copied several traits of grammar from North America. This traits have spread in the Mesoamerica region and are now widely used. Bark paper was also used for writing back in the olden days in Mesoamerica.
A major exchange of artistic influences between Mesoamerica and North America is in textile. Textile usually reveals a great deal on information regarding the daily life, the past and the knowledge of a given people around the globe. In Mesoamerican art, the textile was very significant in that it helped develop the prowess in art. This is greatly borrowed. However, owing to the cultural diversity and the difference in backgrounds in Mesoamerica, the art of textile is only used as an architectural ornament. Its real value is unrealized.
Notably, Mesoamerica also copied sedentary agriculture from North America. Other elements that were predominant in Mesoamerica included a priestly temple class. Here, there was a god who was portrayed as a serpent. This was a religious myth. This brought out the issue of human sacrifice. This has brought a lot of controversies even up to today. Some people feel it's a vice while others are convinced it is right. However, it beats sense to carry out the human sacrifice in the modern world. Also, there is copying of monumental architecture in a great way from North America.
The first major civilization in Mesoamerica was in Olmec. This followed a progressive development of Soconusco. It is located in the southern lowlands of the Gulf. The area has swamps, low hills, volcanoes and numerous ridges. The fast rate of civilization in Olmec was attributed to attributed to the local ecology of the region. The alluvial soil in the region is well watered. There was also a good form of transport provided by the Coatzacoalcos river basin. The Olmec environment can be compared to areas like the Nile, Mesopotamia, and the Yellow Rivers Valleys. Its high productivity was able to sustain the high population in the area. Consequently, there came up a class of the elite in the society.
Just like the elite of North America, the elite of Olmec created a demand for the production of luxury artifacts. These artifacts were used to define the culture of Olmec. They were made from jade, magnetite, and obsidian. These materials were imported from distant countries and locations which mean that the elites of Olmec had access to a high standard of living. All these were copied from North America.
The above image shows the serpent that the Mesoamericans viewed as their god. These Mesoamericans were highly religious. They were also known for producing crafted pots for the desert people and sold them to earn income. These Mesoamericans had greatly influenced the Indians living in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. One of the cultures they instilled in them was agriculture. Although the Indians did not consider growing crops, a necessity instead opted for hunting and gathering for food.
From the above discussion, it is evident that the people of Mesoamerica have changed a lot of aspects of their lives to fit that of their fellow counterparts, North Americans. Indeed, there are a lot of things that these communities share or have in common especially when it comes to art and design. Moreover, there are also aspects that North Americans copied from Mesoamerica. However, the greater part is Mesoamerica copying North America in terms of civilization. The paper has given examples of these aspects of civilization that Mesoamerica copied from North America.