Weapons are one of the oldest and most significant forms of artifacts, occurring in virtually all human cultures. Weapons and their technology often determine power structures, not only by brute force of arms, but by long standing respect to ritual aggression. In many cultures, weapons have become abstracted and formalized to become symbols of power and authority, as in a ruler 's scepter, which is a glorified war club. Jewelry functions in much the same manner, proclaiming the social status of the wearer, although in the western world, we have lost most of the symbolic meaning of our jewelry; for example, we no longer wear talismans to protect us from perceived evil. Meaning has also been lost in our weapons they have become matter-of-fact objects, like a hammera very dangerous trend in our war-economy society. But they still function dually, to threaten as well as act. It is this very duality which fascinates me; the grey area between perceived threat and commitment to action.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Jewelry making--Themes, motives; Jewelry making--Technique; Art metal-work--Themes, motives
Department, Program, or Center
School of Art (CIAS)
Kuhn, Karen, "Aggression and symbols of power" (1990). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus