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Light, water & colours in the Americas

  • Overview
  • Programme

An SRU workshop, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA Norwich
20 June 2007 (9.30 am - 5 pm)

The theme of the workshop concerned light and humidity as a means for exploring interconnected perceptual qualities experienced by people in ethnographic and archaeological contexts in the Americas. Weather conditions make an impact upon the world of perceptual experience. Participants considered aspects concerning the sun and moon as sources of radiant energy which, with water, circulate life-enhancing forces associated with brilliance, colours and other related sensorial phenomena.

The social and cultural contexts in which perceptual experiences are revealed to people were explored. Topics covered the constitution of perceptual experiences through the working of material substances (for example, textiles, stone and clay) and associated verbal practices in which colours are revealed and transformed.

Discussants: Denise Arnold, Warwick Bray

Organisers: Penelope Dransart, George Lau

Speakers (included): Elizabeth Baquedano, Colin McEwan, Ann Peters, Barbara Saunders, Nicholas Saunders, Pia Tohveri, Gary Urton.

09.30-10.00   Penny Dransart and George Lau

Welcome and introduction

10.00-10.30   Elizabeth Baquedano

"The colour of the Lord of the Underworld in codices of Highland Central Mexico"

10.30-11.00  Colin McEwan and Ann Peters

"Hairy issues: serpents, hair, blood and water on the South Coast"

11.00-11.20  Tea and coffee

11.20-11.50  Ann Peters

"Social relationships and colour relationships in a foggy desert: Evidence from tombs at Paracas and Ocucaje, 150 BC – AD 250" 

11.50-12.20  Nicholas Saunders

"Sacred moisture in the Americas"

12.20-12.50  Warwick Bray


12.50-14.20  Lunch

14.20-14.50  Gary Urton

"Archives of colors: khipu and k’uychi"

14.50-15.20  Penelope Dransart

Title TBA

15.20-15.40  Tea and coffee

15.40-16.10  Barbara Saunders

"What can be said about the 'Colour Terms' of the Kwakwaka'wakw?"

16.10-[end]  Denise Arnold  


Closing remarks (organisers)