Native American Cultures in South America

Native American Cultures in South America


Required Reading:

Read :Non-Western Art and South America


Besides the required readings assigned above, you might find the following external link very useful over the last three weeks of the semester:   Essential Humanities , “History of the Pre-colonial Americas”, accessed 27 May, 2013,   It will help you navigate the different sections of the Native Americans Civilizations


Required Viewing:


(See the artifact (mantle – tapestry), and read its description.)


(See the pottery image, and read its description.)


( See the Moche pottery figure, and read its description.)


(The planning of Chan Chan (capital of the Chimú culture), the largest city of pre-Hispanic America and unique testimony to the disappeared Chimu kingdom, is a masterpiece of inhabited space, and hierarchical construction which illustrates a political and social ideal that has rarely been expressed with such clarity.)


(” High in the Andes, an ancient Inca city flourished and was subsequently abandoned, lost to the outside world for centuries. Why was it built and deserted?”

Watch this short video segment )


Assignment/ Questions:

you will visit the Art Institute, either online or in person (which is much more fun). You will choose four objects, each from a different culture that we have studied this semester. (Notice that the collections website above links to different cultures on the left. You’ll go to “African,” “Asian,” and “Indian Art of the Americas.”)

For each art work, you will:

  1. Use the website or wall text to identify the work with the title and artist, the region, the time period created, and materials used.
  2. Describe the work in your own wordsand use your understanding to explain how the object represents the time and culture to which it belongs. (Do not quote or even paraphrase the Art Institute’s text here; I will deduct points. I want your words and ideas here.)
  3. Find one academic Use the City Colleges’ library databaseto search for these kind of sources. (Remember that you can select tabs like “Peer-Reviewed Journals,” which will provide only academic sources, and “Full Text Online,” which will enable you to read the article.) Give the full citation for the source you found (you can use either MLA or Chicago style). Underneath the citation explain what insight the source could give into the object. Your source probably will not be about the artwork, and, in fact, your source does not need to reference the object at all. Maybe the source is about the culture and/or time period; maybe your object is a quilt, and your source traces the history of quilts; and maybe you can argue for some other kind of connection between the source and artwork. This section depends on you to argue for the relevance of the source.

This assignment is less a paper than an annotated bibliography. You don’t really need an introduction, conclusion, or transitions between your objects. You should still strive to develop your ideas in full through college-level writing.

I have no minimum length in mind. You should follow the instructions closely and answer all of the questions. I cannot imagine that a good paper can meet all of the requirements in less than four pages (one page per work) – but I’ll leave it to you.