synopsis of slide lecture -
God images and archetypes

American Indian; Southwest; Navajo
This depiction of "Mother Earth - Father Sky" is symbolic of the duality of nature: the union of opposites, such as night and day or life and death.

Double faced mask, Zaire

This duality is also present in the human psyche: the conscious and the subconscious; the ego and the superego. The mask to the left represents this inherent, if unarticulated, knowledge of the tribesman.

The concept of "masking" is itself symbolic of hiding part of ones self, such as the conscience, for example. Masks are sometimes used to help inspire mayhem.

"False Face Mask"
American Indian, Onodaga, NY, 1860


Great Sphinx 242 ft. long, 65 ft. high.
c.2680 B.C.; made of limestone; Egyptian, 4th dyn.

Sphinx, relief:
Anatolian; 1050 B.C., 52 in. high

Mankind's early relationship with animals was one of a certain kinship; these figures are both man & beast, and, as Godlike figures, represent man's reverence for, and fear of, animals. Animals were dangerous, but completely necessary for survival in the earliest human eras.

Here, different ancient cultures show the merging of man & beast, a representation depicting a mystic union with nature that has prehistoric, archetypal significance.

Wall Painting from Temple of Hatshepsut; 18th Dynasty, Egyptian
Wall Painting from Temple of Hatshepsut
18th Dynasty, Egyptian
Here is another example of a godlike figure bearing attributes of both man and beast. Mythology is full of such relationships.


2001 class projects

2002 class projects