Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 June 2019



(p.16) Chapter Three Watauinaiwa
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the connections between primitive rock art and the spiritual world. It asks: When, where, and how did this investing of the physical world with a spiritual dimension first begin? Might it have some connection with the peculiar and distinctive development of human curiosity that ultimately gives rise to science? It describes the association of ‘vision quests’ with North American rock art and of ‘trance dances’ with Southern African rock art. It considers the difficulty of playing ‘ethnographic snap’, i.e., finding apparent similarities between cultures separated by huge geographical or temporal distances. It argues that, despite the perils of ‘ethnographic snap’, the parallels between the discoveries of anthropologists and the discovery of Palaeolithic paintings and sculptures make it hard to escape the conclusion that this kind of awareness goes back deep into prehistory.

Keywords:   rock art, rock paintings, spiritual power, North America, South Africa, Palaeolithic art, vision quest, prehistoric art, trance dance, prehistory

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .