Dance Paddle (Rapa), Rapa Nui People, wood, early 19th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. Gertrud A. Mellon, 1972.



In recent years aesthetics has grown into a rich and varied discipline. Its scope has widened to embrace ethical, social, religious, environmental, and cultural concerns. As international communication increases through more frequent congresses and electronic communication, varied traditions have joined with its historically interdisciplinary character, making aesthetics a focal center of diverse and multiple interests. These need a forum that is universal and inclusive, easy to access, and unhampered by financial, political, and institutional barriers. An on-line publication offers an ideal opportunity for advancing these purposes and Contemporary Aesthetics endeavors to provide that forum.

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A note on our home page image: Rapa are dance paddles in the form of highly stylized human figures from the Pacific island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The inhabitants use them, often in pairs, in ceremonial dances. Mourners reportedly carried rapa in the funerary rites of slain warriors. This rapa can remind viewers of the resilience of the long-colonized Rapa Nui people. Watch a traditional ceremonial dance by the Rapanui band, Matato’a, here: MangroveNoumea.

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