Aesthetic Realism
A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology

Anthro TECH Site of the Month Award
study sphere award of excellence
Rainbow in the Valley: Papua New Guinea

From the Novel:

      Her second was born an hour before dawn, when it was cold, in the Rainy Season. According to custom, the child was nameless for 27 days and was secluded with her in a birth house built in a quiet tree-covered place by her brother and herself.  

     Those 27 days she held the small being in her arms, taking turns with her sister who was secluded with her. Thus the most vulnerable days for the infant were taken care of, keeping the baby steadily warm in mountain weather, cold even indoors.  

     Bettiana looked at his soft skin, the color of sunny earth. She felt his fingers grasp at her, and while he sucked milk from her breast she felt, blissfully, "The world is so kind." Then, in the dark, her mind seemed to turn upside down, and she remembered how insultingly her husband had ignored her opinion in the garden. Again, he said the potatoes she was ready to harvest weren’t big enough yet! She cradled the infant closer and thought, "But my baby loves me." The babe seemed to reply by paddling its little arms in the air and gurgling. Read more   


Anthropology Class taught by Dr. Arnold Perey.

People everywhere in the world, including yourself—whether you live in a NY apartment or a pandanus-roof home in Papua New Guinea—can at last be understood with the depth, kindness, and scientific accuracy that humanity so needs. This class shows that it's through the principles of Aesthetic Realism, founded by poet, critic, and educator Eli Siegel that the full reality of a person's feelings—your feelings—can be seen truly. This is the knowledge that can end racism and prejudice, as well as ill will and cruelty in homes, economies, and among nations—a statement I make carefully, definitely, and with great hope. Read More


Japanese Actor by Sharaku Veddas  or Wanniyalaetto of Sri Lanka The great Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce The Wooden People of Olmec 

Fall / Winter 2014
6:00 - 7:30 PM on Alternate Wednesdays


1. September  24  A Feeling Is a Fact In New Guinea Rainforest & New York Kitchen

2. October 8  Love and War on the American Plains: Dakota, Cheyenne, Blackfeet

3. October 22  Notions We Have in Common with Early People Including, Who’s a Friend or Foe?

4. November 5 Strong & Graceful: Great Women of Korean Folklore

5. SATURDAY November 29   The Museum, the Hut, the Tent – & Respect for Beauty
[NOT Wednesday, NOVEMBER 19]

We meet with The Visual Arts and the Opposites class taught by Marcia Rackow at a Museum to be announced in New York City, 11 AM.

6. December 3  For and Against in Well-Told African Tales

7. December 17 Students Speak on the Place of Aesthetics in Anthropology




An anti-prejudice book for children,
inspired by a traditional story of the Ndowe People of Africa.
Told and illustrated by Arnold Perey.

Illustration from the book III
Illustration from the book II
Illustration from the book I

Elephant and Hippopotamus were chatting one day, and Elephant said, "Have you heard, that little tortoise has been saying he's equal to us! What nerve!"

Said Hippopotamus, "Who, that pipsqueak? My foot is bigger than he is! And he's saying he's our equal?" He was angry.

Hippo was the biggest animal in the river and Elephant was the biggest animal on the land. At the thought of Tortoise calling himself their equal, they both laughed out loud...

For more info


A Doctoral Dissertation Based on Aesthetic Realism
How a People of Papua New Guinea Represent Aesthetics and Humanity

Man resting from work in traditional
sweet potato agriculture. I took this
photo in the Mountain Ok region
of Papua New Guinea.

diamond dot for Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology"A New Perspective for American Anthropology"

Published in The Anthropologist (University of Delhi, India)

"Consider the native people of 0kapmin, New Guinea....Do they have two opposite attitudes to the world—that it has been kind to them and the gods have been good, and also that it has rooked them?"

Read new explanation of what you hope to understand: What is culture shock, and do I have it? What's the cause? Do people have more emotions in common than I think? Can prejudice end?

Aesthetic Realism provides a new and needed perspective for American anthropology and for people today. Here are some of the reasons.

diamond dot for Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & SociologyKinship: "Body and World in Oksapmin Kin Terms"

By translating the terms used for relatives, we see a junction of body and the natural world world that is symbolic of what people hope for: that world and self join accurately and kindly. Read more

diamond dot for Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology"Idealism and Practicality: How Can a Man Have Both?"

In which I discuss my own life and that of the great anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, using his famed Diary in the Strict Sense of the Word, written in New Guinea 1914-1918. This paper is about the division in every person between being "practical" and "idealistic." I suggest in this paper that Malinowski, who was very courageous in the Diary, wanted to resolve this division in his tremendous contribution to anthropology, Functionalism.. Read more

Some Resources I Like & Recommend
bulletAmerican Anthropological Association
bullet Miner's "Body Ritual among the Nacerima"
bulletWeb Directory: FastSearch
bulletAesthetic Realism Theatre Company
bulletAesthetic Realism Foundation
bullet"Arrows of Melanesia: A Neglected Art Form"
bulletLink to Anthro.Net bulletPelagus literature

Depsin is one of the men I liked and respected during my field research
in the Mountain Ok area of Papua New Guinea

*These images from Papua New Guinea are photographs taken by Arnold Perey.


Copyright © 2001-2014 by Arnold Perey. All rights reserved