Rock Art Research & Art History Home Reinaldo Morales Jr.
Ph.D. Dissertation

Abstract & Excerpts

6 July 2002



By Reinaldo Morales, Jr.
B.A. Christopher Newport University, 1995

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Virginia Commonwealth University, May 2002.

Major Advisor: James D. Farmer, Associate Professor, Art History.  

This dissertation addresses the Nordeste Tradition of rock art from southeast Piauí, Brazil, as part of a sacred aesthetic still reflected in the living arts of the Brazilian Indians. Two major points are presented in this dissertation. First, a previously unrecognized style of rock painting, the Angelim Style, is identified. Second, a deeper understanding of the Nordeste Tradition is proposed through a detailed study of the historic arts of the Brazilian Indians. This provides a historic significance for the rock art and contextualizes the historically known arts as part of a long-lived tradition of visual expression. The rock art of the Serra Branca and Angelim Styles, and the Salitre Subtradition is characterized by elaborate, elongated anthropomorphs that bear a significant resemblance to several living mask types used by Northeast and Central Brazilian Indian groups. The historically documented ceremonies associated with seasonal resource procurement, death, and ancestors, most likely have a functional and conceptual basis in the same ceremonial structures that gave rise to the rock art.


Sample Illustrations

Table of Contents

Excerpt from the Introduction

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Excerpt from Chapter 2

Excerpt from Chapter 3

Excerpt from Chapter 4

Excerpt from Conclusions

Excerpt from the Appendix


Dissertation Committee:

Official VCU Department of Art History Faculty Web Page

Major Advisor:
James D. Farmer, Associate Professor
Pre-Columbian Art; Native American Art; Modern Art of the Americas  

Primary Reader:
Howard Risatti, Professor
Twentieth Century Art; Criticism

Babatunde Lawal, Professor
Traditional and Contemporary African Art; African American Art

Robert Hobbs, Rhoda Thalhimer Endowed Chair of American Art
Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American Art; Native American Art

Outside Reader:

Terence Grieder, Professor Emeritus of Art History
The University of Texas at Austin
Pre-Columbian Art
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Department of Art History,
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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