About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Sunday, September 07, 2008

"Indian" beads and cholita skirts - Trade

The "concept" of culture is rooted in misconception. There is almost nothing authentic in the word "traditional culture". For example, the "clovis point" can be seen gradually spreading across the planet, the augured shell necklace appearing in gravesites far from the sea, the seed-beads decorating the classic American Indian decorated buckskin imported from Hungary, the Aymara cholitas wearing felt hats from Italy and skirts from Korea. The tribal Arab claiming adherence to "traditions" while firing a rifle into the air at a wedding celebration. The physical "culture" of a people is often the very first manifestation of borrowing, change, inter-action and novelty.

Any claim for "tradition" should be measured solidly against the evidence left for us by our ancestors. The Caves -- Chauvet and Lescaux, etc. -- the kitchen middens, the hearthlands and burial sites. 15,000 to 30,000 years ago we suffered no kings or priests, although our hunting skills and pictorial arts were as well-developed as they are today. We find no evidence that our communities had Kingship or God. Thus, any "tradition" claimed for royalty or religion should be suspect.