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Definition of Cultural Universals - Research Paper Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Definition of Cultural Universals Cultural universals are the common features and characteristics used in the study of cultures. These characteristics help in comparison, contrasting and identifying a culture, making it unique…
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Definition of Cultural Universals

Download file to see previous pages... Historical controversies behind dance persist despite scholars and researchers efforts to heal the havoc. Dance falls in the category of artistic expression and leisure of people in a certain culture. Unique movements in different societies characterize dance, which is a leisure activity and offers the dancer good exercise. Dance as a Cultural Universal Being classified as a cultural universal, dance is therefore considered an essential part of a human’s culture. According to Kornelly, each dance movement from a society says something about that society (68). When studying dance, an anthropologist will seek to recognize the movement system that directs the structure, form, and style of how the body moves in time and space. Anthropologists of dance realize that dance presents concepts and perceptions of a certain culture. The intention of dance is to communicate a message to the viewers. In addition, it usually brings out a reflection of the values highly esteemed in a society; it may also communicate important emotional and psychological ideals. It also serves to bring out emphasis on how a society is structured and organized and portrays the social relationships in existence in a specific culture. According to Lopez, a folk dance played four major roles (455). The first role was to entertain the people. The second role was acting as a mode of transmission of community customs and ethical values to the young people. The third role was to serve as a directive to individual roles in the society. The fourth role was to give the young generation some freedom to express themselves in dance. Dances from Different Cultures and Their Symbolism Dance is a feature passed down the generations and evolves with time. Traditionally, each society had its unique dance. The Philippines had several dances including Maria Clara, tinikling, sublian, idaw, and kuratsa. These dances portrayed the Philippine culture. Dancers from this region emphasized their beliefs and economic activities. Dances in the Luzon region of the Philippines represented the hardships the community endured in tough economical conditions. The purpose and time of performing a certain dance varied with cultures. Although in most cultures dance represented the social aspects and values of the society, in the modern life, dance is mainly for entertainment and telling a story. This proves that dance is changing significantly in the modern life. According to Lopez, tinikling dancers imitated the movements of the tinikling bird (455). The bird is unable to fly but can run at great speed. These characteristics match those of the Filipino. The tinikling dance was common among the lowland Filipinos and up to date, they hold this dance with esteem. This dance was a mode of transmission of customs and ethical values. The idaw dance draws a picture of the rituals performed before the community waged war. The dance reflected the search of the idaw bird. In their beliefs, the idaw bird would bring the community victory in war. The traditional clothing reflected the hot climate in Philippine, which is an island. Another dance, the banga dance portrayed the role of women in the society. Women fetched water for their families. Some older women could carry several pots stacked on their heads. In the dance, this aspect emphasized that the woman was older and with a family, hence she needed more water. The Spaniards had their own unique ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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