This book explores the fusion of myth, history and geography which leads to ideas of primitivism, and looks at their construction, interpretation and consumption in Western culture. Contextualized by Susan Hiller's introductions to each section, discussions range from the origins of cultural colonialism to eurocentric ideas of primitive societies, including the use of primitive culture in constructing national identities, and the appropriation of primitivist imagery in modernist art. The result is a controversial critique of art theory, practice and politics, and a major enquiry into the history of primitivism and its implications for contemporary culture.

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