The anthropological dimension of synesthesia - as a metaphor or as neurological phenomenon- is usually avoided or forgotten. Van Campen alluded to this reality in "Synthetic Indians" with a commentary on the book World of sense by Constance Classen. Basbaum developed this idea of a synesthesia phenomenon conditioned by culture in a philosophical reflexion using references to Classen and Flusser. The last year I had told that we needed informations on synesthesia in the different cultures of the multicultural Mediterranean world. The emergency of an anthropology focused in the sensory worlds of different cultures enabled to put into perspective the western association between seeing and meaning. Quotation from the same article by Basbaum:
"Different cultures emphasis in other senses gives birth to cosmologies based, for example:
- in thermal sensations, like the Tzotzil's of Chiapas, Mexico;
- in olfactory sensations, like the Ongee's of Little Andaman Island, in Bengal Bay;
- in a highly synesthetic cosmology, like the Desana's of Amazon, which make meaning of their world based on multisensory correspondences experimented under hallucinogenic plants trance; (Classen, 1993: Chapter 6)
- in such an emphasis on aural experience, like the Kaluli people of Bosavi, as to "reckon time and space by reference to auditory cues and entertain a fundamentally acoustic view of the structure of their physical and social universe." (Howes, 2003:xvii)
These radically different sensorial arrangements (and there are many
more), the meanings they ascribe to the world and the ways of dealing with life that emerge from them, make reasonable for us to talk not anymore about a "point of view", typical of Western culture, but of a "point of experience", the kind of hierarchy of the sensorium that structures experiences and cosmologies in different cultures."
Mein GlückSeit ich des Suchens müde ward,Erlernte ich das Finden.Seit mir ein Wind hielt Widerpart,Segl' ich mit allen Winden.Ashita wa ashita no kazé ga fuku
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