Figurines and the Origin of Art

  • Nancy E. Aiken
Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)


Noting that figurines are pervasive throughout time and culture, we did a cross-cultural and across time analysis of the production and uses of figurines. We began with observations made in the first half of the 20th century of their use among African societies that were still practicing their old ways. We found correlations between the figurines made by the Africans and ancient figurines made by several cultures across the world. The correlations are based primarily on use rather than artistic style. This paper proposes tentative answers to questions about why figurines were made in the distant past. The results of our study reveal how the necessity for educating our children may underlie the origin of art.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy E. Aiken
    • 1
  1. 1.Salt Lake CityUSA

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