Art of the Americas to World War I
Speakers: Dr. Jago Cooper (Curator, Head of the Americas, The British Museum) and Dr. Steven Zucker
Special thanks to Dr. Jago Cooper, Matthew Cock, Kate Jarvis and The British Museum.
Want to join the conversation?
- Dr. Zucker pointed out that the yellow of the feathers is so brilliant that it looks fake! Is it possible that decades from now this headdress will look faded and not as brilliant as it does today? Or is there something about the yellow in the feathers that will last and last over time?(5 votes)
- Well, the color is caused by pigmentation, small molecules that will only reflect one color. If left in the sun, they will fade, but if left in some temple for 1000 years, it should remain just as vibrant as when it was made.(5 votes)
- Wow to look at one of those maps, you might get the idea that the river system could play the roll of a highway system in other countries, at least from the movement of freight perspective. Can it really work like that, or only during certain seasons or something like that? Thanks! T.S.(3 votes)
- Actually, the idea of rivers serving the same role as highways has been used by many writers. Yes, over time the course of rivers changes, but over time so does the route followed by highways. Consider, for instance, that of Route 66. When first made it ran through town; later there was a loop around town called "bypass 66"; later still the bypass route became the main route and the route through town became "business 66"; and now many towns that were served by Route 66 are now near (and sometimes not very near) the interstate highways that replaced it, such as I-55 through Illinois.
Before railroads and cars (and highways), few towns were established away from a source of fresh water, often rivers, and these would have provided a route for trade. River systems have used for transport of goods and persons throughout the world for most of human existence, and many towns grew up beside rivers. Look at maps of anywhere in the world. Many, even most, large towns and cities are on or near a river. Think of Egypt, Mesopotamia, London and Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Buenos Aires. And besides modern cities, you can also look at trade networks in the Amazon basin and in Africa and Australia. Many of them followed rivers. There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking, it really can work like that.
Sometimes the rivers are only navigable part of the year, but people who relied on river for transport (or still rely, such as the barges on the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri rivers) would know the seasons when they could use the river. The same was (and is) true for those who rely on ocean transport. Some times of the year are safer than others.(4 votes)
- Why are the colors these people use so brilliant? Their use of color is just wonderful! good luck and good learning(2 votes)
- Historically some colors were very hard to make and were a symbol of wealth. In this culture to have a more vibrant color may have been a declaration of wealth.(1 vote)