Not all cultures have a separate, distinct word for “art”. What we may consider art is well woven into other aspects of a culture and not a distinct realm in and of itself.
But universally art seems to have several qualities: • it expresses emotion • it communicates information
(3) it stimulates the senses • (4) it evokes ideas • (5) it affects emotions
Universally in all areas of art some people are considered to be better as artists than others.
Body decoration and adornment is found in all cultures. But what is considered appropriate or attractive varies enormously across cultures.
Body decoration may demonstrate: • social position • gender • occupation • eroticism
Musical forms have tremendous variation from culture to culture. In general the more complex is the culture; the more complex the music.
Folklore is a broad artistic category that includes such literary forms as myths, legends, folktales, ballads, riddles and proverbs.
Some common themes in folklore, perhaps because they reflect common human fears, include: • catastrophe • slaying of monsters
incest • sibling rivalry • castration
Finally to understand human artistic expression, one must recognize that art forms are always changing in response to culture contact, influence from other cultures and evolving styles within a culture.
In the last century many artistic styles have been influenced by market variables.