Mundane Objects: Materiality and Non-verbal Communication

1st Edition

Pierre Lemonnier

Routledge
Published August 31, 2013
Reference - 205 Pages
ISBN 9781611320572 - CAT# Y287370
Series: UCL Institute of Archaeology Critical Cultural Heritage Series

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Summary

This concise book shows the importance of objects that are considered ordinary by cultural outsiders and scholars, yet lie at the heart of the systems of thought and practices of their makers and users. This volume demonstrates the role of these objects in nonverbal communication, both in non-ritual and in ritual situations. Lemonnier shows that some objects, their physical properties and their material implementation, are wordless expressions of fundamental aspects of a way of living and thinking, as well as sometimes the only means of expressing the inexpressible. Through the study of the most mundane technical activities such as fence building, creating models cars, or trapping fish, we often gain a better understanding of what these objects mean and how they work within their cultures of origin. In addition to anthropologists and archaeologists, this book will also be of interest to sociologists, historians, philosophers, cognitive anthropologists and primatologists, for whom the intertwining of “function” and “style” is the very mark of all cultural behavior.

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