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Humanities - Essay Example

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This research presentation looks at the art and culture of Haiti from a humanities perspective. Haitian people are coming from a rich culture and history in Haiti, and many Haitian artists today are internationally famous, including but not limited to modern artists like Basquiat and Obin…
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Download file to see previous pages Today, Haitian culture is a mix of African and European influence. Since a culture or society can roughly be called a larger representation of the family unit as it is thought of within the society, looking at family structures and social factors in Haiti can also show one of the most important areas of influence on artistic and cultural factors. In Africa, family ties were binding and not exclusive, and the idea of the extended family was important because all of the members worked together to help each other as much as
As mentioned, art and culture in any nation can be traced back to history, but family structures and social structures are a keen part of this history. Like in Africa, in Haiti "In rural areas, the extended family has traditionally been the social unit" (Haiti, 2006). The importance of extended family is necessary to keep society together through a code of familiarity and support, and as the economy in rural Haiti is similar, this pattern has stayed the same after the Diaspora that brought Africans to Haiti. During this time, extended families stay together in close relationships of agreement, sustaining each other and the economy. There is not the spirit of one generation disagreeing with another generation with which we are familiar in the U.S., leading to art and culture that is often clashing: instead, there is cross-generational respect. In Haiti, families are built on almost unquestioning piety and are not represented by "the nuclear" but by extension. This is the extended family concept, which can also be extended into the arts of the nation.
There is a lot of art to look at in Haiti as well, and there is a thriving art scene currently that is based on Haiti's social, familial, political, and cultural histories. There are many representative styles that are both unique and derivative, from more historical styles to the abovementioned modernist abstract collages of Basquiat. The concerns of the society are shown through artists' work, and there are also cultural influences and mixes that are part of Haitian history and society which are then infused into the art produced by society. Therefore when visiting Haiti, it is also important to see the arts and crafts of the people, so that one can make the correlations between the culture itself, and the art that is produced from the true resource of a nation: its human beings. "While Haitian art may lack polish, it makes up for it with a deep and engaging representation of humanity. The Haitian artist finds holiness in the ordinary subjects of everyday life. Simple, soulful images are found in Haitian art. It is this soulfulness that attracts so many to admire and collect this remarkable art." (Flavors, 2007). The cultural and social traditions and mixes of influence can also be seen in this art, which varies according to the individual.
Since Haiti was one of the first Caribbean nations to declare independence, it has
been relatively free, in comparison to many of its neighbors, of the colonial cultural control (also known in some circles as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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