The Principle of Contagion in Walbiri and Dineh Drypainting

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Art in traditional, non-industrial societies was always fundamentally associated with the sacred, meaning it participated in the realm of deity. In fact, the term “art”, as it is used today, was not a term found in most cultures of the past. The artifacts, paintings, sculpture, and other stylized material objects created by ancient cultures, which are regarded as art today, were used instead by those people for very real purposes. Before the time of ready-made …

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…to sit and do a sandpainting for even one hour, let alone nine days. Much attention to detail had been lost in art, and quite definitely, art as participation is almost dead as people tap away on their computers searching for meaning and a sense of connectedness with society. Contagion is necessary to human happiness and is a vital part of the creative process; hopefully, we may one day return to drawing in the sand.