ABSTRACT

This chapter begins with the premise that a concept of beauty as a sensual response is universally held by all peoples. The key to an anthropological study of aesthetic responses lies in discovery of features engendering these responses that represent the culture’s, rather than the analyst’s, ideas about beauty. J. Coote studied the aesthetic sensibilities found in perceptions about cattle that are the central focus of some Nilotic speakers of the southern Sudan. In sum, the Hopi aesthetic is focused on the concept of living the perfect life agreed to at their Emergence into this the Fourth World— rather than simply on the visual appearance of things and practices. Specifically, this aesthetic is metaphorically manifested in the goodness and nurturing qualities of corn and rain. “The anthropology of aesthetics consists in the comparative study of valued perceptual experience in different societies”.