Friday, 5 October 2018
Visiting Peru a few years back it was fascinating seeing how they interpreted the Christian saints with regards to religious icons. While a lot of the elements carried over, there were definite adjustments to the figures. It's equally clear looking at Roman Catholic images of saints that their style of art differs from that of, say, Byzantine icons. Even the Czechoslovakian stamps above have their own style to them. I'm currently researching Ethiopia and its Christian history, and again, there's a very distinct style of art (which changes over the years).
Fantasy worlds tend to have different foods and clothing and customs between actual races (humans, dwarves, elves). Sometimes there are more than one sub-race (wood elves vs high elves) who also dress and act differently. But you don't always see that kind of variant between humans. Yes, humans from different continents and countries could be varied, but what about regional differences? People living by the coast will have a different diet from those living in deep forests and those in larger cities.
Religious differences in practice and art is something else that's often missed, even though the church militant comes up a lot. Where are the different militant orders? Where are the arguments over doctrine, the heretics who've been cast out for various practices? Where are the iconoclasts whitewashing church walls to get rid of icons even as others paint gorgeous frescoes of their god(s)?
There are a lot of opportunities for conflict here.