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African Art

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Amanda Baldwin

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of African Art

Africa Language Various tribal languages existed. 6 main groups with regional variation.
They were part sign language, drums, whistles and clicks.
Most did not have an alphabet so there was no writing • The Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken by 285 million people widespread throughout the Horn of Africa, North Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia.
• The Nilo-Saharan language consists of more than a hundred languages spoken by tribes in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and northern Tanzania.
• The Niger–Congo language family covers much of Sub-Saharan Africa and is probably the largest language family in the world There are several other small families and language isolates. More than 1,000 different languages are spoken in Africa Most countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have adopted colonial European languages for official government business, most people speak indigenous or local languages Most people in the North African countries speak Arabic and follow Islam. In some parts of North Africa people are multilingual.
For example, the official languages of Chad and Djibouti are Arabic and French. Yoruba, Hause, and Igbo are some of the nearly 400 native languages of Nigeria In Ethiopia, people may speak one or more of 70 unique languages or 200 different dialects. Modern music of the continent includes complex choral singing in southern Africa and the dance rhythms of the musical genre of soukous. Indigenous musical and dance traditions of Africa are maintained by oral traditions
They are distinct from the music and dance styles of North Africa and Southern Africa • Africa is the second largest continent in the world
• Africa is three times the size of the continental United States
• Measuring north to south, Africa is 5,200 miles long! - at its widest point, its nearly as wide as it is long • Five huge river systems - the big three (in order of size): the Nile, the Congo, and the Niger
• Africa has few natural harbors – difficult to travel there by boat because you need to hunt for a safe place to land
• The Atlantic Ocean borders Africa to the west, the Indian Ocean borders Africa to the east, and the Mediterranean borders Africa to the north – surrounded by water • Because of its size Africa has an extremely diverse geography
• Africa has rainforests, grasslands, and is home to the largest desert in the world, the Sahara
• A few mountain ranges - the Atlas Mountains in the north (Africa does not have a huge mountain range)
• The prime meridian, which is the imaginary line that separates the world into Eastern and Western Hemispheres, runs vertically through Africa • Most African sculpture was in wood and other organic materials
• Masks are important elements in the art of Africa, along with human figures, often highly stylized
• Variety of styles depending on the use of the object, but wide regional trends are apparent
• Sculpture is most common among "groups of settled cultivators in the areas drained by the Niger and Congo rivers" in West Africa
• Direct images of deities are relatively uncommon, but masks in particular are or were often made for religious ceremonies • West African cultures developed bronze casting for reliefs to decorate palaces and for very fine naturalistic royal heads
• Many done in terracotta as well as metal, from the 12th–14th centuries
• Many West African figures are used in religious rituals and are often coated with materials placed on them for ceremonial offerings. • The Mande-speaking peoples of the same region make pieces from wood with broad, flat surfaces and arms and legs shaped like cylinders
• In Central Africa, however, the main distinguishing characteristics include heart-shaped faces that are curved inward and display patterns of circles and dots
• The art varies depending on the region of Africa each with its own unique landscape, natural materials, and culture Geography Religion Tribal Life
-Some tribes practiced polygamy
-Patriarchal, men do mostly physical labor
-First born boy receives inheritances of family
-Family Lineage is key to tribal government
-Children are named by the names of their ancestors
-Drum beats can indicate the presence of different families
-Hundreds of tribes exist in Africa
-Wars are based on agrarian lifestyle
-Land is most commonly fought over
-This was common until European Imperialism
-Some tribal warfare continues today
-Slavery was very common
-Slaves would work for "meygas", or local lords
-Meant to be exploited
-Gave meygas gifts and worked their land
-Some slaves were incorporated into families
-Many individual clans of each civilization
-Chieftains ruled over most tribes
-Tribes are separated based on family lineage
-Imperialistic kingdoms also existed Family Life Conflicts Social Ideals Governments
refers to an Mijikenda Grave post in coastal Kenya
Grave post made very ritually and cautiously
Prayed at ceremony before cutting the tree
wood had to be seen pure
the end product would serve as many things
seen not as artwork by native cultural but spiritual
protected the living people from troubled deceased Kigangu
relates to the spiritual idea of reincarnation
unborn soul shapes destiny
focuses on spiritual agreement with "Chi"
success is very imporntant, people are responsible for themselves
also refers to sculpture that takes form of personal shrine
sign of power, bigger height more power
masculinity portrayed to show success and achievement Ikenga church introduced by Portugal
shows combination of Christianity and african beliefs
Christ began to intimidate African appearances
Made out of wood or metal 4 to 8 inches tall, inspired by europeans
shown as a sign of power not salvation
Although influenced bt Christianity still held firm to old beliefs of reincarnation
Passed on from ruler to ruler as a sign of authority over all under them BaKongo Crucifix Statue used for various functions of spiritualty
Drive nail into wood when "prayer" is answered
Could be used to heal people and maintain order
Almost seen as little gods Nkisi N'kondi Statue Types of Art •Some African artists worked exclusively making statues for the king
•They made Ndop statues, 2 foot tall statues of the ruling kings
•Could have served as kings “Spiritual” double in his absence
•Decorated with carving representations of jewels •Benin heads were made of brass
•Portraits of Obas
•Placed on an altar
•Chokwe Scepters represent high status, dignity, and masculinity
•Chiefs would wear Scepters inserted in their belts or carried them
•Consisted of a mid section (also called a plate) and a sculpted head •Yoruba crowns were beaded
•Made for Obas, the Yaroba rulers
•Cone shaped, or cone with a stem, or “elliptical helmet” form
•Red jasper beads or coral beads
•Ndeble Beaded Apron: Bridal Aprons
•Beads made from indigenous material (ivory, Animal Teeth, etc.) : PAINTINGS
•Triptych: A picture divided into 3 panels
•Generally religious themed
•Colors red, green, black and yellow created by pigments from minerals, plants or coal
•Blue obtained by indigo
•Religious paintings were given special value and placed in churches MASKS
•Gelede Masks
•Display visual information that reflects social changes and events
•Comment on current events and male and female roles, fashions, innovations and achievements
•Helmet structure with a super structure attached : GRAVE POSTS
•Reserved for medical practitioners, holy men, and members of secret societies
•Served as a place where the deceased elders spirit could be called upon in time of need
•3-6 feet high
•Head, neck, and body
•Thick plank of wood Statues Statues Beadwork Time Line
Arrival of Europeans in Benin Kingdom

Portuguese trade beads with South Africa

Beginning of the reign of Kuba kings

Rise of Ashanti Kingdom, West Africa

End of English slave trade

Abolition of slave trade in Portugal and the United States

William Sheppard visits Kuba Kingdom

Diamonds are discovered, Kimberley, South Africa

First trans- Africa railway completed from Angola to Mozambique

Ghana first country to gain independence

Zimbabwe independence

Apartheid abolished in South Africa

Nelson Mandela elected President of South Africa 100 350 900 1000 1100 1250 1312 1482 1485 1500 1600 1680 1807 1848 1850 1867 1931 1951 1980 1992 1994 Height of Nok culture

Ethiopia becomes first christian nation south of the Sahara
First dynasty in Ghana

Guild system established in Benin Kingdom

Zimbabwe culture dominant in Africa

First lost wax metal castings, Ife, Nigeria

Beginning of BaKongo kingdom

Mali Empire reaches its height

Portuguese arrive in BaKongo kingdom

Beginning of slave trade Summary Architecture Legacy Human origins point to Africa as the birthplace of humanity.
Several scientists such as Drs. Mary and Louis Leakey, had discovered, the remains of Homo habilis, estimated to be 1,750,000 years old.
The team also found, two human skulls and stone tools that were excavated in Kenya, their age is estimated to be 2.6 million years
In February, 1971, a human jawbone from the same area was five and a half million years old
No part of the world has proved as “fertile a field for the discovery” of skeletal remains and stone tools. The most remarkable to date is the finding at Fort Ternan, Kenya, of a man-like creature and animals to be fourteen million years of age Around 1,500-2,000 years ago, Africans living on the western shores of Lake Victoria, in Tanzania, had produced carbon steel that later gave life to the Industrial Revolution. Many of the great thinkers of Europe, such as Thales, Hippocrates, Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato, studied and learned from Kemetic (Egyptian) thought. Although the Kemites' contribution to modern science and mathematics is well documented, the Kemites get very little credit from many historians There were many tribal civilizations and states in Ancient Africa. Many of them were subject to power changes and migration of its people. Areas of Africa were colonized through European imperialism, and therefore were heavily influenced by the mother countries. African influence on it’s own modern society is limited, aside from the locations due to migration. Pyramids Maghreban Architecture
Thousands of tombs were left by Berbers that were pre-Christian in origin and whose architecture was unique to north-west Africa. The most famous was Tomb of the Christian Woman in Western Algeria. This structure contains column domed and spiraling pathways that lead to a single chamber. Nubian architecture is diverse and ancient. Permanent villages have been found in Nubia which date from 6000 BC. Mud-bricks became the preferred building materials as settlements became larger South African North African North Africa dominated by traditions of egyptian architecture Politics:
*IPACC-Indigieous People of Africa
*Less sophisticated but more peaceful

*dry to start fires
*temperate seasons allows for migration

*Survival vs. Animalistic modernization:
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