The paper raises the issue of signs and symbolic meaning in developing human personality. From the standpoint of cultural historical psychology personality as a kind of totality of subjectivity may be considered as a higher mental function that should be disclosed in terms of its historical genesis and the cultural resources that are to develop it. The role of the plastic image as a cultural means of allowing a person to conceptualize himself/herself and his/her place in the world as a kind of integrity and value is showed. The genesis of the plastic sign of literal physical transformation (tattoos, etc.) to more conventional forms when the plastic image takes on a symbolic value (mask, dance, actor’s part in the theater and others) is considered. Its history can reveal such representations of a person as personality and individuality. The emergence of the most rudimentary forms of cultural behaviour demonstrates an active, transforming the relation of person to him/herself. Bodily changes, cultural «mutilation» and other transformations of physical features are the first signs and symptoms of separation from the nature and development of identity and mechanism of identification with the family name and the image of the totem. The sculptural portrait and anthropomorphic images point to the allocation of the individual family, society and the awareness of a person as a citizen of the state, make their own decisions and to responsibility for oneself. Further theatrical culture shaped a view of a person as an actor who can carry a role without merging with it completely, taking a decision from different positions.
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