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Evans.H. How do cultures visually express and define art?
Transcript of Evans.H. How do cultures visually express and define art?
1100-1500 Century Africa: Shona of Zimbabwe Continent: Africa
Ethnic Group: Shona
Artistic Expression: Scuplture
Sserpentine, verdite, springstone, or various other rocks.
Much of the stone comes from the Great Dyke, a 300+ mile volcanic ridge of 2.5 billion year old hills that forms the backbone of Zimbabwe.
Originally, artists polished the stone using plant oils; later techniques have included applying layers of hot wax, such as beeswax. The surface is then sanded by hand with sandpaper, or, in earlier days, river sand on a wet rag. Colors:
Black (hardest and most uncommon, Brown, Mauve, Green, Orange, Grey, Red and Yellow
The Shona believe that everything has a spirit, including plants, animals and rocks. Sculptors often say that the spirits come to them in their dreams and reveal the spirit that dwells in the rock.
Culture of family, love, life, nature fables, folk tales, myths and real life stories. Depictions of everyday events in the lives of the people - their spiritual beliefs, fears, hopes, and taboos - are a common trait. History of the Shona The modern day Shona people are descendants of the Shona of Great Zimbabwe. They are known for their stone sculpture. Great Zimbabwe flourished until 1450. It is the largest stone structure south of the Sahara.
The Shona name collectively given to two groups of people in the east and southwest of Zimbabwe, north eastern Botswana and southern Mozambique. They are classified as Western Shona (Bakalanga) and eastern Shona. The western Shona are called the Bakalanga and is agreed that it is the oldest Shona cluster. They are found in South western Zimbabwe and Botswana. They have been heavily assimilated by the Ndebele people.
Through the period from the 11th century to the 15th century, descendants of the Shona speaking people are believed to have built the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. These ruins of Ancient Zimbabwe are some of the oldest and largest structures located in Southern Africa, and are a truly remarkable sight to see.
At its peak, estimates are that the ruins of Great Zimbabwe had as many as 20 000 inhabitants. The ruins span 1,800 acres (7 km²) and cover a radius of 100 to 200 miles (160 to 320 km). The Great Zimbabwe ruins are built entirely of Stone. Material: Serpentine marble representing a crouching man.
Artist: Richard Mteki who was born in 1947 in Zimbabwe, where he joined during his youth the workshop School of the National Gallery. Mteki most common subject is the human form: in many of his sculpted heads it is as if a peaceful hand had passed over the brow, shutting the eyes for sleeping. Material: Soap Stone
Most famous works of art are the eight birds carved of soapstone that were found in its ruins. The birds saverage sixteen inches tall. The sculptures combine both human and avian elements, substituting human features like lips for a beak and five-toed feet for claws.
Scholars have suggested that the birds served as emblems of royal authority, perhaps representing the ancestors of Great Zimbabwe's rulers. Works Cited:
"Great Zimbabwe (11th–15th century)." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/zimb/hd_zimb.htm, 2011. Web. 7 July 2011.
Gonçalves, Rui Carlos A. "Origin of Shona Art." Shona Stone Expo. http://www.shonastone.ch/?page_id=25〈=en, n.d. Web. 7 July 2011.
"Tribes & People Groups." Shona People Traditions & Culture. http://www.africancraftsmarket.com/Shona_people.htm, 1998. Web. 7 July 2011.