Posted by James Allen on November 25, 1998 at 15:58:32:
In Reply to: Re: The Genetic Component in Weaving posted by Tom Cole on November 24, 1998 at 19:59:38:
: : : The Genetic Component in Weaving
: : : It seems ridiculous to believe that weaving could have a genetic component. But then I got to thinking about birds. Back before I studied rugs I used to go bird watching. I was also involved with a group that was reintroducing raptors to city environments. The birds were hatched and then introduced into a city environment and raised in simulated normality. These birds did not need to be taught how to build a nest. It was instinctual. It had to be because the bird was raised without others of it's kind to teach it. Then I started thinking about all the various kinds of nests that I had seen in the wild and how eagles build eagle nests and barn swallows build their own distinct nests. The birds nest as they do as a species. There are no Indian Trading posts necessary to teach eagles how to build their nests and you can not train an eagle to construct a swallow like nest. Now when you compare the complexity of some of the more exotic nests versus the relative size of their brains and compare that to humans and weaving I can not discount a genetic component in human weaving. The bird has an instinct that lets it weave a nest. We can reason and supercede our instincts but what are our instincts but a genetic coding that we do not really understand. Maybe John Howe can comment since with his dog breeding experience he may have a thought on genetics and bloodline specific instinctual behavior.
: : : I was struck by a talk of Dr. EJW Barber who showed plaid cloth woven by the ancestors of my people. It looked about the same as cloth woven by my kin in our homeland today. 5000 years and the weaving stays the same. Could it be coincidence? Sure it could, but this area needs study.
: : : It is all too easy to make light of the things that we do not understand. For a discussion to be truly meaningful we need to listen and try to understand things even when they sound implausible. I have a dear friend who at times sounds like a wild eyed lunatic in some of the things he says but when I listen and try to really understand his points he makes more sense than some college professors that I know.
: : : Best wishes,
: : : Barry
: : :
: : : Language aquisition is something we all experience but no direct causal relationship is known connecting a certain language to a certain people through genetics. What scientists like to say is that we have a tendency towards learning a language,a preconditioning towards aesthetic judgements concerning sounds and their relationships. I am claiming the same thing for weaving and its designs and their appreciation by the group sub-conscious mind. When one actually lines up a language into sound packets and higher levels of complexity the warp,weft, and pile threads of a weaving are analogous to the phoneme, syllable, and word in a sentence. There is the possibility that the neural patterns and higher centers associated with weaving ,and it because it extended mans range through specialized clothing,to be linked, actually physically connected ,in our brains. What the male dominated scientific community does not want to admit is that it was the gathering and plaiting and weaving and designing of women that led to the greatest gift of all,language itself. While men were off playing cowboys and Indians women were back at the house weaving and building a language of specific signs and significances. Language came to a fork in the road at the development of the modern phonemic system. Language was totally internal to the psyche before then and was seen as part of the natural world. The navajo's relationship to nature and the fidelity to their word and great memories are remnants of this earlier mind. Jim Allen
: Some time back on another discussion board, I had broached this subject and was met with derision and ridicule. I had mentioned the case of Mellaart and the supposed Goddess theory. Now if we are able to suspend our disbelief and consider some of what Jim and Barry have brought up, then we might wish to reconsider the spurious nature of Mellaart's transgressions and recognize the possiblity that such a continuum of design through millenia may exist.
: If one wants to experience the full force and resonance of an alien design one has to begin again the work it took to be yourself. You must learn to "be" somebody else and Vico did lay out the ground rules for the projection of ones imagination and the hard imaginal work it takes to lim an alien landscape with an aliens view. This is hard work and no amount of dissection or extrapolation can take the place of this hard work. One has to read the available first hand accounts and these are all over 100 years old now. I have noticed an almost distain for this hard work. The reason is simple ,educated people believe that merely viewing an object renders it known. This thought complex is borrowed from reading and does not actually cover the visual experience. Looking is not nearly enough. There has to be a crossing and willingness to make adjustments and admit ignorance to see something new and truly different. The logical person having unfounded faith in his vision is indeed blind to the alien and often profound juxtapositions of boundaries and meanings. There is tremendous ethnocentric bias at work here and the internal work necessary to reduce it hasn't begun. Jim Allen
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