What Is Beauty Good For?

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Indigenous cultures around the world are renowned for their beautiful artifacts and ornaments.

While both women and men in ancient cultures created functional vessels and tools, such as baskets, ropes, pots, bows and arrows, storage containers or hunting aids, it is women who created objects for beauty alone.

What is beauty good for?

You can’t eat it, you can’t use it for any serviceable purpose, it doesn’t help in achieving anything. It exists for one purpose alone: itself. And women are the ones responsible, historically, for bringing it forth.

Was it the resting times in the Moon Lodges and Red Tents that gave rise to creativity for its own sake? Was it the need to delve inward that inspired women to create beauty? Was it the birthing effect that the creation process provided? Or the soothing effect that was felt by gazing at the final product?

While resting and renewing in Menstrual Huts women accessed inner landscapes, dreamed prophecies, and delved into inner well springs. Could these times be the origins of art? Could it be that women started creating in order to give form to their inner visions? Fashioning mirror-images to the beauty revealed to them in their depth? Expressing gratitude and joy rather than creating functional objects?

Perhaps women were imitating their own birthing experience: conception, gestation, and birthing new beautiful beings that never existed before. Beauty is what a birthing Mama invariably sees when she first gazes unto her newborn baby’s face. Could art have been the natural progression for birthing women? Conceiving an idea in their mind or in their dream world, carrying it in their hearts, nurturing it with their hands, and bringing it to life with one final stroke of their fingers, covered in natural pigments?

As many things in “modern” cultures — beauty back-fired! It became a commodity in all current cultures around the industrialized, commercialized, corporate world. Beauty is used for anything but itself. It is used to sell products, to create cravings (that sell products), and ultimately to objectify women as artifacts to be consumed or used. In a world where everything has to be “good for something” beauty for its own sake is a rarity.

Lets return to ‘good for nothing’ beauty! Lets remember that as women we originated a revolution in human evolution by making art for its own sake!

Beauty and art were the domain of women who created ornaments and jewelery, or painted patterns on functional vessels to beautify them. As the keepers of dreams they knew that beauty is not moving us forward, but rather inward, and it is in moving inward that we are propelled to move forward!


© 2013 DeAnna L’am ~ All Rights Reserved

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