вторник, 22 марта 2022 г.

History of transport

We have already said that fine art appeared in the late period of the ancient Stone Age. People at that time painted almost the same animals. Now, in the Middle Stone Age, a new time has come. On the rocks and in the caves depict completely different scenes. These are not rows of animals or herds of bison in different poses. The main subject of the image becomes a group of people, namely a group, and not an individual. On the rock paintings of this time in Spain, India or southern Africa, you can see crowds of hunters for deer or wild bulls, groups of dancing people. 

They are depicted conditionally and do not differ from one another, they have no faces. Their movements are conveyed very vividly, and you can almost always understand the history what they are doing. Sometimes it was considered necessary to depict a magnificent headdress (probably made of feathers) or a wide skirt, as if made of palm leaves. Such attention to clothing and transport is not accidental: these are ritual costumes, and people in them do not just dance, but perform an important ceremony.

Looking at such images, people saw not only themselves, but also their dead ancestors, whose actions they tried to imitate, because they considered them exemplary. It was these ancestors who many generations ago learned to hunt and collect honey. They started the history of the family. Maybe they were not only people, but. partly by animals - this only added to their strength and power.

How did hunters, fishermen and gatherers imagine the world? What did they think about its beginning and how people appeared?

Let's start with the fact that their and our ideas about the world are very different. We know that the Earth is a ball rushing through infinite space, that it is inhabited by many people who are not like us either in appearance or in their habits. We know that we have a mind, that we are alive, and a stone or the Sun is something completely different. We can love our dog or parrot, but we understand that they are not like us, not only outwardly, they feel differently and do not know how to think. We cannot imagine that our great-great-great-grandfather was a bear or some ancient tree in the nearby forest.

The knowledge and ideas about the world of the people of that era, and even of a later time, were different than ours. The study of the legends and myths of the peoples of Australia, Africa or America, who lived in hunting communities in the recent past, helps to restore them. Their world is a territory in which they roam and which is surrounded by other territories also inhabited by people. It is useful to maintain good relations with neighbors, taking women from their community as wives, as well as exchanging valuable things or raw materials - shells, skins, good stone. But for all that, these people are strangers, they can be hostile, they can turn into predatory animals and send diseases. In general, they should be treated with caution.

Neighbors are not the only living creatures that the ancient community has to deal with. People believed that everything that surrounds us - from a stone, a rock, a lake or a grasshopper to the wind and a heavenly body - are living beings. They have a different appearance, but they behave just like people: they move, hunt, marry, quarrel and help each other. They can speak, but not everyone understands this language, but only some people - they have special dreams, they are visited by unusual visions, and they hear voices where others hear nothing but the sound of the wind or the chirping of birds.

If people considered everything around them to be alive, then they could think that they are related to a stone, a rainbow, not to mention such human-like creatures as four-legged animals. Several related communities of hunters living in the same territory had common ancestors. These communities could not live together because each of them needed a fairly large space to provide themselves with food - wild animals, fish, lizards and frogs, edible plants. But from time to time such groups gathered in one place to conduct common rites. 

So did the Australian Aborigines in the recent past. During such rituals in chants, dances and drawings on the rocks or on the ground, they reproduced the history of their common ancestors, with whom they connected the most important thing in their lives: it was the ancestors who were the inventors of tools and weapons, they were the first to settle on this land, taught people to hunt and perform rituals. All customs were built back to the times of the existence of ancestors who lived a very long time ago, no one knows when. However, these mysterious creatures, having different appearances, continued to influence the lives of their descendants, were their helpers.

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