Art is a distinctive map of the success of all humankind. It shows how people developed in different eras, what they believed in, how their perception of the world collapsed, changed, and was built again. All discoveries, new ideas, goals, and beliefs are reflected in art. There are pictures on cave walls that demonstrate the way of life of an ancient person and that are already history. Moreover, some stories become myths and legends that represent people’s ancestors’ beliefs and imagination. Religious art is inextricably linked with the faith in God, spiritual life, rituals, and the divine power symbolism. However, one can assume that all art is religious since it requires a change in the environment for one single benefit – aesthetic pleasure. Nevertheless, there are situations when art, for some reason, can insult religion and lead to the suffering or death of a person (Nanda and Warms 279). The power of art may lie in its emotional expression of important cultural themes, or the art itself may be regarded as inherently powerful, as when art is performed as part of a ritual.
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Dance is a special form of art that may be used for expressing emotions, getting rid of worries and aggression, telling a story, sharing feelings, and even praying. There are some religions and cultures that use dance as a form of communicating with their Gods. Besides, several “religious rituals may involve the telling or acting out of sacred stories; the use of music, dance, drugs, or pain to move worshippers to a state of trance” (Nanda and Warms 263). Certain movements may mean special things and be used in dances for various purposes.
Music is one of the oldest forms of art that is present in all cultures and religions. Music arose from a combination of voice and tapping, and dance was often added to it. It is difficult to disagree with the fact that music is meaningful: it may express one’s mood and emotions or tell a story. Music unites people, and one example of that is national anthems, which are sung by all the citizens of the country. Another example is how soldiers in a war raise morale with native songs. Music lives in every person, regardless of whether they play any instruments or not.
Nanda, Serena, and Richard L. Warms. Culture Counts: A Concise Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Cengage Learning, 2017.