Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Art as a Culture

 What were the cave artists trying to say?
I think that the artists were trying to show what were around them. They painted some animals because they could have a spiritual connection to them, so the animal and people and other figures were part of their religion, rite or something related to their spiritually. My other hypothesis is that the artists painted the cave for more materialistic and practical purpose. For example, they want to show what kind of animal they could hunt or how many animal they had. 

Why do you think that there were so many animals and not as many people in the paintings?

If they painting had a materialistic purpose, it could be a record about what kind of animals they had or needed, so  they had to paint more animals than people. Also, I think that in some parts of the cave the paintings are more focus to explain how animals behave, so the artists wanted to express the animal behavior.

What can the paintings tell us about other aspects of the life of cave dwellers or Paleolithic people?

The paintings show us that dwellers people were very observant and analytical because they started to observe the world around them, and they painted the animal and other figures to keep a record for future generations. Also, I would say that cave dwellers were educated people because they knew the technique to paint, and I assume that a few people knew how to do it.

What difficulties did these early humans navigate in order to paint these pictures?

 They had to overcome many difficulties to paint in the cave because they had to deal with the problem of lighting, tools and material. The cave did not get enough light from the Sun, so they had to work with their primate lamp which I think it was frustrated because they had to use many of them. They had to create their tools and materials to work, and that was not easy to do because they did not have a Wal-Mart or Office Depot on the neighbor.

Speculate as to three (3) possible functions of this art to early humans

1)      The paintings were a guide of how to hunt, so they wanted to have visual support to teach to the new generations.

2)      For spiritual purpose it could be tribute for their gods

3)      It was a way to preserve and teach their knowledge to the next generations because they did not have book or another way to do it.

Compare the possible functions of the art from the Lascaux Caves to
modern art, in all of its various forms.  What are some commonalities in function you can find in
how the art of early humans and modern humans?         

One commonality function between Lascaux Caves paintings and modern art is that both are expression of feelings.  Prehistoric and modern artists try to immortalize what matter on their hearts because artists put effort and passion on their creations. Another, function is that both are ways send a message to the public because art is a strong tool to inform

Introduce Us to Your Favorite Art: I am not really a big fan of mariachi music, but I thought it would be a good idea talk about it.

English translation

Divine women

Speaking of women and betrayals
Bottles were consumed
They asked for singing my songs
And I sing one, two against them.
As soon as a gentleman approaches
His hair has been already becoming gray
He told me “ I’m begging you fellow
Do not speak in front of me, of ladies.”
I told him that we just
Talk about the harm that they did to us.
If somebody thought different
It’s because of the fact that they weren’t betrayed.
He told me “I’m one of yours
That I’ve put up the most with the failures
And women have always left me
Crying and with my heart broken into pieces
But, I never reproach them my wounds
You have to suffer when you love.”
The most beautiful hours of my life
I’ve spent beside a lady.
We could die in the wine cellars
But we could never forget them.
Women, o women so divine
There’s not another way than adoring them

Mariachi music is just for entrainment. Mariachi musicians just perform for entertainment, and at same time they are preserving an important legacy of Mexican culture. They try to give a moment of pleasure with their music by making people feel a deep happiness, enthusiasm and sometimes melancholy

Mariachi music is one of the most popular symbols of Mexican culture, and its lyrics are only in Spanish, but probably there are some Mexican-Americans who sing in English. Mariachi musicians most of the time are from small villages and towns which have not been very affected by globalization, so they still very close their Mexican culture. Mariachi musicians enjoy interact with the nature like ride in horses and practice agriculture as a hobby. Most musicians learned how to perfume their instruments from elderly people, but in recent years many teenagers started to go to an art school. The public who listen this kind of music is from any social class because there are many Mariachi of high and low quality.

Mariachi has a positive effect to society because it a way to express feelings, emotions and ideas. There are many song witch can be dedicate to the person that we love or the one hurt our feelings. Mariachi music is very popular for  Mexican weeding, masses, birthday party, anniversaries, baptism, graduation and reunions, so one can notice that a Mexican party without mariachi it is not a really Mexican parity. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 6 Blog Post: Politics & Violence

1- The differences are that Yanomamo culture has an uncentralized political system, and more important is Yanomamo have no written language. An uncentralized political system does not have a judicial system which can determinate what is wrong and what is right. Secondly, Yanomamo have no written system, so it does not have like a constitution or Ten Commandments that can help to control the behavior of the people, so everyone has his/her own ideas about murder. Western culture has written system, and we still killing each other, but I think many people have not kill someone else because they are scare to go to jail or hell. On other hand Western cultures have centralized political system call “state”.  Every state has a constitution which determines what the consequences of killing a person are, and in a few cases it justify the murder. A judicial system takes care to determinate if a person is innocent or guilty.

2-In Yanomamo culture men become aggressive and start to fight against each other to the point of commit murder because of a woman: “: infidelity and suspicion of infidelity, attempts to seduce another man's wife, sexual jealousy, forcible appropriation of women from visiting groups, failure to give a promised girl in marriage, and (rarely) rape”. Also, other factors would be that a man is trying to avenge the death of someone related to him or in a fight against another tribe. The confrontations among men are with shouting matches, chest pounding duels, fights with axes and machetes.

3-In Yanomamo culture unokais are the ones who have killed some else, and the becoming one of them brings high social status with good benefits. Unokais are very respect and feared by other because they are willing to kill, so other people will ovoid to have problems with him and his clan. Another benefit of become a unokai is that he can get easily a mate because many woman find attractive that a man has such status, or he forcibly took a woman. On other hand, there are non-unokais who are the men who has not killed someone else. They are call cowards, but they have the advantage of lower risk of mortality, and they have few enemies.


Political structure: when a man kills someone else in a revenge killing, he will become a unokai, so will be part of a higher class, and his voice will be listen by others (he will become a kind of leader)

Social Status/Social Organization: when one become a unokai, it will bring to him a high social status and people will respect him, and he will be more attractive to woman.

Kinship: the family of the unokai will get some kind of protection because people know that the unokai is willing to kill to avenge his family. people will be scare to have comflicts to the unokai's family

Marriage & Reproduction: An unokai have access to more women because they find him or he could have forcibly taken another man's consequently he will have a higher rate of reproduction than  non-unokai.

5-Most people strongly agree that murder is a wrong action, but we need to create laws to scare the ones who are planning to take someone life. There are situations when a person is full of hate, anger and rage against another person, and he/she do not think clearly, so the person may think that killing his/her enemy will end the problem. If we have punishments for murder, less people will think in murder as a solution for problems. The Yanomamo culture murder is present when men are full of jealousy and anger, so in that moment they do not realize the value of human life and they kill

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week 5 : Family and Kinship

Guadalupe Contreras is a Mexican woman who was born in March 17, 1954 and she lives in the city of Guadalajara in Mexico. She is the second daughter of the Eleuterio and Amaila Contreras. She is a successful kindergarten teacher who has over many adversities on her life. When she was in college, she got pregnant and had to raise her child whiteout her boyfriend. A lot of people suggested her to quit from college, but with the support of her parents could have a full time job and study at same time. After some years she got married with her daughter’ father, but unfortunately, she has been taking most of the responsibilities of her household.   Guadalupe has a lot of problems and differences with her husband, but she never has thought to get divorce because she has never suffered physical abuse, and her religion (Catholicism) did not allow her to it .My aunt lives in Mexico, so we had a video call to do the interview. I tried to be very professional in the interview like a fox news reporter, but inside of me I felt discomfort for asking personal question to my aunt. I am close to her, but I never ask her something about her personal life.  I feel that the fact that she is my relative means that qualify to make an appropriate interview to her because I was scare to ask some questions, and it is obvious that I will talk good about her. If I interview someone else, I could do a more interesting interview because I would feel more confident to ask more personal, aggressive and meaning questions.

Guadalupe has a good relationship with all her siblings from her mother’s side and father’s side, but she do not spent a lot of time with them because they live in different cities and it is not easy to meet with them.  When her siblings visit her, she always tries to make feel good by take them out and make a good dinner for them. Even though Guadalupe do not spent a lot of time with her cousins, uncles and aunts, she is still very close to her brothers and sisters.  Most of her sisters and brothers live in the same area, and every Sunday most of her family go together to the church then they meet at her father house. Only a few of her nieces and nephews do not go to the mass, but they always go to the family reunion.  My grandfather is old and my grandmother died 7 years ago, so all the important decision are taking democratically, but only my aunts, uncle and father can vote. For example, when my grandfather wants to come to California for vacations, my family has a meeting to analyze the health of my grandfather and details of the flight. If one my cousin goes to the meeting, everyone will ask him/her to leave.  it is fine that my cousin do not have the right to vote in the important decision of the family because no one of them seem to be responsible and mature. There an ethnic difference in my family that sometimes creates problems and discussion in family reunions. The Guadalupe’s husband is from Mexico City and people from there have a very different point of view than people from Guadalajara city. So when my family talks about religion or politics, Guadalupe’s husband disagreed with everyone, make a drama and pretend to be a victim because nobody agrees with him.

I am very close to my relatives from my father’s side, but I only know a few people from my mother‘s side.  It is because my parents got divorce when I was 6 years old, and my mother is very undiplomatic and dramatic person. I really have a close relationship with father’s family to point that my aunts are like mothers for me and my uncle is my second father. I would say that my uncle Victor and aunts Antonia and Guadalupe are the most influential members in my family because they are responsible and the care for the wellness and union of the family. they are in charge of different aspect of the family. Antonia and Guadalupe take care of the reunions for holidays, family trips and my grandfather. On other hand, Victor supports the ideas of my aunts, and he is more focus to advice the younger generations.
In the family we try to have good relationship with everyone, so we always treat in the same way members who marry into the family, but they are not allow to vote in some decision. In conclusion, I have learned that my family has a special system to coexist and behave, and I just realize one of the main factor that I have big family is because of the power of decision of my aunts.

Question 1: With which family members did you tend to socialize with the most? Who did you spend holidays with?

Answer: with my sister Antonia and Maria

Question 2: If you needed help, place to live, money or child care, who among your family members would you feel comfortable turning to?

Answer: For a place to live and money I would ask help to my younger brother Victor. If something happened to me I would like that my niece (28 years old) take care of my daughter

Question 3: Are there family members your subject will not interact with or communicate with? Why?

Answer:  the family from my father’s and mother’s side live in another towns, so I only have contact with my brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and father.

Question 4: Are there family members your subject knows little about?
Answer: I do not see my uncles, aunts and cousin very often, but we know each other very well. When I visit them or they visit me we have a great time

Question 5: Is the subject family located in a relatively central area or are they spread out geographically? Have family members migrated during his/her lifetime to another country? What were the reasons? How did this affect the family as a whole? Or if the family has tended to stay in the same place geographically, why have they chosen to do so?

Answer:  most of my brother and sister live really close. The distance among our house is around 1 mile. I only have a sister and her family who live in California, and she migrated because her husband decided. Also, my nephew Jose lives in California for personal reasons. We decided to live in the same area because this city offers good opportunities for work and education for our children. We miss our relatives who live out of the country, but we are have that they come to visit us at least once a year.