The Purpose of Art, Anthropologically

Over on Bahama Pundit, Larry Smith (in a comment on his latest post) raises the question of Bahamian satire.Satire, of course, as in all ex-slave societies, is a core element of our culture. That we don't seem to know this as a people raises serious questions about the role of art in the Bahamian nation-building exercise. Our lack of consciousness about our own collective expressions, and the serious lack of emphasis put on them by our society, our nation, and our governments should be a cause of concern.As humans, art is fundamental to our individual and collective beings, as this post makes clear. It's not a luxury to be shoved away or ignored.

For most of human culture ... the arts (music, dance, storytelling, imagemaking, etc) have been employed by cultures to define and sustain themselves -- usually in ritual. Art has therefore been highly conservative, in the most literal sense of the word; through most of human history, it has existed to reinforce a culture's values, religious beleifs, origin stories, and self-understanding.