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In the Evolution of Culture. The idea of cultural mentalities first arose in European anthropology's confrontation with global primitive cultures. During the early twentieth century's period of confident imperialism, the European nations articulated their confrontation with non-literate cultures in a poetic imagining of the 'primitive' as a Romantic 'Other'. As psychology developed in Europe to explore the unconscious as well as madness, a new ethnology also sought to enter into the mind of the primitive as an exotic place where logic and reason did not rule.