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Visual purple: A context for cultural understanding through the visual arts

Visual Purple is based on the author's experience with the Old Pasqua Youth Artists (OPYA) which is a biweekly, after-school program for Yaqui youth ranging from five to fifteen years of age. The paper seeks to relate the primary experiences of seeing and drawing linking them to cultural concepts, socialization patterns, and community setting. The Yaqui children's perceptual understanding acquired through learning and development co-varies with their cultural environment and upbringing. Through a content analysis of the OPYA artwork with special attention paid to the children's interactions, she contends that this understanding manifests as a set of aesthetic principles, the knowledge of core cultural symbols, and shared interpersonal behaviors based on cooperation, watching, and learning. The data suggests that the rich symbolism of Yaqui culture aesthetically socializes the children giving them an eye for detail and the ability to pick up and readily relay visual concepts.


Bethany Marie Leaman


Nancy Parezo





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 L39v


ATT 1359299

UA Library: 

E9791 1994 163
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences