Aesthetic Historism and the Aesthetics of Tidibe: Ritual, Performance, and Contested Perceptions of “Skin” in the Papuan Highlands

Keywords: aesthetics, historism, cosmology, dance, Fuyuge, Papua New Guinea


The article focuses on a series of dances performed in Fuyuge (Papua New Guinea) ritual, one of which provokes debate about its ancestral appropriateness. I use these examples to examine the distinctiveness of Fuyuge aesthetics and historical understanding as compared with Western aesthetics and historical understanding. Whereas the latter is geographically wide and relativistic the former imagines all aesthetics and historical forms as deriving from the Fuyuge world.


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