The contribution of arts to social order and health

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Arts

Document 1

Felton Earls of Havard University, he found out that “collective efficacy” is a factor that brings about the differences in the level of health among different neighbourhoods. According to him, riches, better access to healthcare services, level of crime and other tangibles contributes little to social order and health. The researcher concluded the study by saying “A more elusive ingredient - - the capacity of people to act together on matters of common interest - - made a greater difference in health and well-being of individuals and neighbourhoods. ” (Spring 245)This research will focus on the major contributions of art on the maintenance of social order and health among the Swahili and Samburu cultural groups of the East African region. Several debates with regards to the role of artwork in the development of a healthy mind have emerged over time.

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The artwork is part and parcel of the Swahili people and has penetrated all their subgroups promoting oneness and harmony. Architecture as one of the artworks that they engage in has brought about a positive impact on the social order and health. It was previously believed that they learned drawing and writing following their interaction with the Arabs and Persians. However, evidence has shown that these activities had their genesis in Africa propagated by the Swahili people. The fact that other people learned from them is enough to explain the unity between them and the people from the Middle East. Their respect for Muslim heritage has seen them engage in purely geometric designs as their culture do not permit them to draw images of living beings.

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This respect for the customs and norms of Muslims is what has made the Swahili stand together alongside other contributing factors. A well designed Kanga clothing that is season specific is a product of the creative arts among this group of people (Gumpert 77). It is a cultural attire with which that is proud to be identified with. The learning sessions on how to make the Kanga are conducted among different social groups which bring together people of the same age group. This activity has brought wealth and wellness to this cultural group while also maintaining a good relationship with other non-Swahili. Many social groups amongst this group have come together to form business hubs trading in traditional items generated from arts thus boosting social order as well as improving their health status.

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Among the Swahili people, the artwork has been seen as one of the activities that broaden individual participation in civic agenda. Several concerns have been raised over the rapid erosion of social capital amongst other communities related to increased diversification (Mire 72). However, this group has kept its standards high by ensuring that they pass over the value of art to subsequent generations. The Samburu The Samburu people are plain nilotes occupying the northern part of Kenya at the fascinating county of Samburu. They live a nomadic life and perform other economic activities at game lodges in the country. Their language is derived from that of the Maasai who are also common inhabitants of East Africa. This friendly cultural group is also one of the tribes that have upheld their cultural values to date.

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Their mode of dressing, cultural activities and food symbolize the true African culture. The proceeds obtained from the sale of these ornaments are used to improve the livelihoods the community members. Samburu weaved beads (Barton & Margret 1143) Samburu women in traditional attire (Barton & Margret 1157) In a study assessing the relationship between art and ownership among pastoralists in East Africa, the researcher noted that “there exists a strong relationship between an engraved mark on an animal in a herd and a mark branded on the owner of that herd. ” (Dumbadze & Suzzane 147)The marks made using hot iron served a significant purpose of identifying whether an animal was male or female. In some instances, these people also branded the same marks on their upper arm and the thighs.

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