Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ethno arts… What’s that?

The Star of Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus,
and the Magi portrayed in the Kwoma visual language

Merry Christmas to all!

Check out this article about Wycliffe Australia member Peter Brook and his ethno arts research among the Kwoma people of Papua New Guinea.  Using photography and video Peter documents local artistic expressions, seeking to better understand world views, cultures and cultural art forms.

The article briefly explains the importance of cultural art forms and the challenge to preserve and adapt them in an increasingly globalized world.  It also defines what an Arts Specialist is, and how one's research can be used to benefit indigenous societies and the church.

Genesis 1:20-25
God created living creatures on land, in the air and the sea.

Peter's research has resulted in some new indigenous Christian visual art!

In November 2010 Peter met Nanias, an artist working on the north west coast on Papua New Guinea... About halfway through 2011 Peter set Nanias the challenge of painting stories from the Bible using traditional designs and images of his clan. The result was a beautiful set of paintings of the Genesis creation account and the beginning of a series on the Life of Christ. Nanias was transformed as he read the scriptures to accurately translate these stories into the Kwoma visual language. 
In April and October 2012 Peter went out with Nanias to his village to document their arts and culture. When the villagers saw the new “Biblical” paintings their enthusiastic response was “These are ours!”

I hope to find out more about how these images will be used by Peter and Wycliffe for the furthering of the Gospel in Papua New Guinea.  In the meantime, check out this short promotional video about ethnoarts work in Papua New Guinea:

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