雅思阅读高频词汇·文化类

雅思阅读高频词汇·文化类

文化艺术这个话题在雅思写作口语中更多呈现在音乐、美术、雕塑等形式上,也有文化交融的问题。群体切口更多集中在青少年这个层面,要不要开设艺术六合开奖网址?要不要向大众免费开放艺术场馆?是否要保留艺术场所等,要不要融入到当地问题中。也是很多雅思考生害怕的话题,为什么?因为储备词汇太少,不熟悉。本次的三篇阅读就值得仔细精读,储备词汇。

Passage1 Origins of Writing

Ancient civilizations attributed the origins of writing to the gods. For the ancient Egyptians, their god Thoth was the creator of writing and, in some stories, also the creator of speech. The ancient Sumerians and Assyrians also believed that writing originated with certain gods, as did the ancient Maya. In Chinese mythology, the creation of writing is attributed to an ancient sage and was used for communication with the gods, Clearly, writing was highly valued even by ancient peoples.

Humans began painting pictures on cave walls 25,000 years ago or more, but writing systems did not develop until groups of people began settling in farming communities. Scholars say that writing systems developed independently in at least three different parts of the world: Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica.

The oldest known writing system developed among the ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. Along with the rise of agricultural societies came the development of property ownership and the need to keep records of it. In early agricultural societies, property consisted largely of land, livestock such as cattle, and grain. Originally, clay tokens of various shapes were used to count these possessions. From this developed a system of impressing the shapes onto clay tablets. One of the earliest clay tablets of this type was found in excavations in Mesopotamia and dates from the time of the Sumerian culture. Scribes then began using reeds instead of tokens to mark the clay, developing a system of wedgelike shapes to represent the tokens. This system of writing using wedge shapes is known as cuneiform. It was later adopted by other cultures and became the basis for other writing systems. Originating in a system that used pictures to represent objects, cuneiform writing eventually developed into systems that used symbols to represent the sounds of language.

The oldest form of Chinese writing dates from around 1500 B.C. It is called oracle bone script because it was carved on animal bones and shells that were used for predicting the future. At a later period, Chinese writing appeared on bronze vases and later still developed into a system that was used to record government affairs. The Chinese writing system was also the original basis for both the Japanese and Korean writing systems.

In Mesoamerica, a region that encompasses parts of Mexico and Central America, it ts the ancient Mayans who are famous for the writing they inscribed on temple walls and other religious structures. However, scholars believe that writing in that part of the world may have begun before the rise of the Mayan civilization. The Zapotec culture, centered on Oaxaca, Mexico, was already using writing around 400 B.C., or possibly earlier. The Olmec culture may have developed a writing system even earlier than that. Recent discoveries show that the Mayans may have begun writing around 2,300 years ago. They used a system of symbols that represented words and syllables to record information about the deeds of their rulers as well as information connected to their calendar and astronomy. Their system of writing survived until the time of the Spanish Conquest tn the 1500s.

In ancient times, only specialized people such as scholars, priests, or government officials used writing. Today, close to three-quarters of the world’s adult population can read and write, and literacy is considered a basic skill necessary to function in the modern world.

Word Families

noun

agriculture

People settled in Mesopotamia because it was a good area for agriculture.

adjective

agricultural

Wheat was one of the first agricultural products.

adverb

agriculturally

Mesopotamia was an agriculturally important part of the world.

noun

creator

The ancient Maya were the creators of temples and other beautiful structures.

noun

creation

The ancient Sumerians used clay and reeds for the creation of property records.

verb

create

The ancient Sumerians created tokens out of clay.

adjective

creative

Ancient peoples developed creative ways to record information.

adverb

creatively

Ancient peoples recorded information creatively, using materials such as clay.

noun

excavation

Early clay tablets and clay tokens have been found in excavations in Mesopotamia.

noun

excavator

Excavators found a clay tablet that dates from the time of the ancient Sumerians.

verb

excavate

When archeologists excavated the area, they found some ancient oracle bones.

noun

literacy

Literacy was not considered necessary before modern times.

noun

illiteracy

Illiteracy is a problem throughout the modern world.

adjective

literate

Few people were literate in the ancient world.

adjective

illiterate

An illiterate person cannot read or write.

noun

mythology

Mythology was very important in ancient civilizations.

noun

myth

Today we read the myths that were told in ancient times.

adjective

mythological

The Maya included mythological creatures in their writing system.

noun

specialty

That scholar’s specialty is ancient Mayan culture.

noun

specialization

With the growth of agriculture, people developed specializations.

verb

specialize

Some scholars specialize in ancient studies.

adjective

specialized

Specialized skills are needed to identify ancient objects found in excavations.

Passage2 Hula Dancing in Hawaiian Culture

Many people dream of visiting the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Mention of this Pacific paradise evokes images of women in grass skirts swaying their hips as they perform graceful island dances far the benefit of tourists. Although this image is a common stereotype of Hawaii, it has its roots In a real tradition that continues to play an important role in Hawaiian culture.

Hula dancing has always been part of Hawaiian life. Hawaiian mythology includes various stories that explain the origins of hula, each story attributing its creation to a different god or goddess and its first appearance to a different location. In reality, hula dancing is such an ancient tradition that it is impossible to say when or where it first appeared. It was most likely originally performed in front of an altar in honor of gods and accompanied by great ritual. It ts a common belief that the ancient hula was danced only by men, but some scholars point to evidence suggesting that hula was traditionally danced by both men and women.

The English explorer Captain James Cook’s visit to the islands in the eighteenth century caused many changes to Hawaiian society as a result of the contact with European culture. Although hula did not completely disappear after contact, it was discouraged. King David Kalakaua is credited with reviving hula dancing during his reign in the late nineteenth century. He was interested in reestablishing lost traditions, and hula was performed at celebrations held in his honor.

In the 1960s, a Hawaiian cultural festival was established as part of an effort to attract more tourists to the islands. A major part of this festival consisted of hula competitions, which were organized into categories of hula kahiko, or hula danced in the ancient style, and hula auana, or modern hula. This festival, called the Merrie Monarch Festival in honor of King David Kalakaua, has become a major annual cultural event. The hula competition ts a central part of the festival and has had a significant influence on modern hula dancing.

Hula continues to be danced in both the ancient and modern styles. Traditional hula ts an energetic dance performed to the accompaniment of chants and the beating of drums. The dancers wear traditional costumes consisting of garlands of leaves, skirts of tapa (a type of bark), and anklets made of animal bone. Many of the movements of modern hula are based on the ancient hula, but the modern style iss slower and more graceful. It is danced to flowing guitar and ukulele music, and the dancers wear elaborate costumes, including the famous Hawaiian floral garlands known as leis.

Hula has attracted the interest of people outside the islands, and hula schools can be found in many parts of the world. Although people of other nationalities learn to dance some form of hula, it is also danced by Hawaiians who live away from the islands, on the mainland United States, in Europe, and elsewhere. It has become a way for native Hawaiians to maintain their cultural identity even while living away from their island homeland. What was once a religious ritual has become a form of entertainment, not only for tourists, but also for native Hawaiians who seek to maintain connections with their cultural heritage.

Answer the questions about Hula Dancing in Hawaiian Culture.

Word Families

noun

accompaniment

The accompaniment of drums and chants helps the hula dancers maintain their energy.

verb

accompany

Guitars often accompany modern hula dances.

noun

benefit

A benefit of hula dancing is that it attracts people to Hawaii.

verb

benefit

Hawaii benefits from the large numbers of tourists who visit the islands.

adjective

beneficial

Tourism is beneficial to the economy of Hawaii.

noun

celebration

Hula dances are often performed at cultural celebrations.

verb

celebrate

People like to celebrate important events by dancing.

adjective

celebratory

Celebratory dances were performed in honor of the king.

noun

energy

It takes a great deal of energy to dance hula.

verb

energize

The beating of the drums energized the crowd.

adjective

energetic

Energetic chants and drumming accompany the hula dancers.

adverb

energetically

The dancers performed energetically all evening.

noun

influence

The influence of other cultures has changed the way hula is danced.

verb

influence

Ancient hula influenced the modern style of hula dancing.

adjective

influential

King David Kalakaua was influential in the return to old traditions.

noun

tradition

Hula dancing is an ancient tradition.

adjective

traditional

Hula is the traditional dance of Hawaii.

adverb

traditionally

Hula was traditionally performed in honor of the gods.

Passage3 The Art of Mime

Miming dates back to the theaters of ancient Greece and Rome. Mimes use movements, gestures, and facial expressions to portray a character or an emotion or to tell a story-all without words. Over the centuries, the art of miming grew to include acrobatics, props, and costumes, culminating in the fine-tuned art form that people recognize today.

Miming can be abstract, literal, or a combination of the two. Abstract miming usually has no plot or central character but simply expresses a feeling such as sorrow or desire. Literal miming, on the other hand, tells a story and is often comedic, using body gestures and facial expressions to present a main character facing some type of conflict in a humorous way, for example, acting out a tug-of-war without the aid of rope or other props.

The twentieth-century style of miming reflects outside influences of the period, most notably silent films. in which actors relied on their ability to communicate thoughts and stories through facial expressions and exaggerated gestures. Two superstars of the silent movie era, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, sharpened their miming skills in the theater before using them in movies. Both were so successful that they have continued to influence mimes and other live performers long after their deaths. People still consider Chaplin a master of the miming technique, in particular, his tragicomic “little tramp” character, who so effectively portrays human frailty through physical comedy, also known as slapstick.

Another twentieth-century influence on modern miming involves a renowned French mime and acting teacher named Etienne Decroux, who developed what was known as corporeal mime. This art form focused on the body, showing thought through movement, and became the prominent form of the modern mime era. In the 1930s, Decroux founded a mime school in Paris based on corporeal mime. One of his students, a young Frenchman named Marcel Marceau, emerged as what many consider the master of modern mime.

Marceau added his personal touch to the art of miming and presented it to the world for half a century on television and in theaters. Among his well-known illusions are portrayals of a man walking against the wind and a man trapped inside a shrinking box. Marceau also created his own special character, Bip the clown. White-faced and dressed in a striped shirt and floppy top hat with a red flower, Bip is reminiscent of both Chaplin’s little tramp and Pierrot, the traditional downtrodden mime character from centuries earlier.

Miming is still taught in dance, drama, and acting schools worldwide, although it has changed considerably since the ancient Greek plays and even since the solo performances of Marceau. Group miming is now in fashion, and sounds, lighting, and other special effects are included to help create the desired atmosphere. Current examples include the U.S. dance troupe Pilobolus, which merges modern dance, acrobatics, gymnastics, and mime to create elaborate geometric shapes with their bodies, and the Canadian Cirque du Soleil, which uses lighting, spectacular costumes, and special effects to produce striking illusions.

Word Families

adjective

considerable

It takes considerable skill to perform mime.

adverb

considerably

The mime’s audiences grew considerably as word of his skill spread.

noun

effect

His skilled performance was the effect of years of experience.

verb

effect

He worked hard to effect change.

adjective

effective

A really effective mime performance makes the audience believe in the illusion.

adverb

effectively

A skilled mime can effectively perform a variety of illusions.

noun

exaggeration

A mime uses exaggeration to create illusions.

verb

exaggerate

A mime may exaggerate certain gestures.

adjective

exaggerated

The exaggerated gestures of a mime are used for humorous effect.

noun

frailty

Mimes can make us laugh at our own frailty.

noun

frailness

The mime portrayed the frailness of old age.

adjective

frail

Humans are frail, and mimes can make us laugh at this.

adverb

frailly

The mime moved frailly around the stage as if he were 100 years old.

noun

portrayal

Charlie Chaplin is renowned for his portrayal of the little tramp character.

noun

portrayer

Mimes are often portrayers of human frailty.

verb

portray

Mimes portray common situations in humorous ways.

adjective

portrayable

Almost any everyday situation is portrayable through mime.

noun

reminiscence

Reminiscences of the early days of film would include stories of stars such as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

verb

reminisce

People like to reminisce about the great performers of the past.

adjective

reminiscent

Marcel Marceau’s clown character was reminiscent of characters performed by earlier mimes.

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