THE MEANING OF ANIMAL MOTIFS IN NEOLITHIC CHINA
based on examples of jade figurines and shell mosaics
The history of animal images in world art probably begins some 40,000 years ago in the Palaeolithic period. The figures of animals, or their stylised (more or less) patterns, once presented in the form of paintings and sculptures, made it possible to present various meanings and values. Learning about animals probably helped to understand many relationships in life, and thus to create a slightly clearer picture of the forces of nature. Since ancient times, the Chinese have been aware of the fundamental principles that govern all things, not only people but also animals and the heavens. They demonstrated this awareness through creative activity, an excellent example of which are figurines and patterns made of jades, as well as shells inspired by animal figures, made in the Neolithic times. This article is an attempt to read these meanings, which could also influence the perception of the world today.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.