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African Art

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on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of African Art

African art
Body decoration
Jewelry, Hairstyles and Fashion...
You'll often see almost tiny little imprints (like bumps) on the people's skin. Its a tradition, what they do is that they get a thin needle like plant where they press it into the skin with a tiny bit of ground up plant. This make that bit of skin swell, they have to do this once a month if they want it to stay, but its more of a celebrational thing.
Lulua Masks
The Lulua people are known for decorating their bodies elaboratly, as is reflected in their mask making.
Main mask characteristics:
Geometric pattern
Coloured with a reddish pigment.
Pointed forms at the top of the mask represent the Lulua hairstyle.
Despite this, they do not have unique characteristics compared to other regions, as the Lulua people are located on "ethnic crossroads" therefore are influenced by surrounding traditions.
Main techniques and objects used in african hairstyles are braids, beads and afros.
You hair should be done by family or close relatives, or else..........
African Music
African Drama
Masks are the most widespread art forms in Africa.
Masks in Africa are used in the traditional way, in spiritual ceremonies.
The masks designs were often inspired by animals and nature.
This gave the people a special connection to the nature around them.
The design of the masks was vastly influenced by the location and people that made them. In different regions you would fine very unique and individual designs.
Goli masks:
used in tribal dances
harvest festivals
to honor destinguished visitors
funerals of important visitors
An example of a mask in the Baule Region .
Typical features:
Circular face: to represent the force of the sun
Horns: great power of the buffalo
made of wood, rectangular mouth, two holes for eyes.

Music and Dance
African Music varies greatly throughout the continent but all african music have some things in common, They are traditional, have call and response techniques and all their music is involved in their everyday life time.
Africa is a big continent and the music does vary depending on where abouts in Africa you are
A lot of things influenced African music:
population movement
govermental decisions...
...and African music influenced lots of other things:
Desert Rose by Sting and Jhonney Wakelin
Blowin in the wind by Bob Dylon
African instruments
The Agundu
Now watch this video!!!!
There are two distinctive t types of Lulua masks:
1st group: Concave eye sockets, and intricate painted geometric designs.
2nd group: Concave eye sockets, rectangular shape, and simpler patterns.
Types of Lulua masks
Actual tattoos are quite unsual, but they have something similar to tattoos where they press a hot piece of metal onto the skin. As this burns it scars and becomes permenant. The people make beautiful designs with they metal and its comes out very well.
The Djemba
The Agundu is a traditional stringed instrument and a drum.
The Djembe is a traditional drum

By Emily Mitchell, Celia McCormick, Grace Storrie, Emily Brown, Charlie Tincknell and Amy Wilson
Groups such as the Alokli West African Dance Ensemble who perform historical, social and ritualistic dance forms from all along the Ivory Coast illustrate the wide variety of dance forms.

Dance music and storytelling are among the ancient art forms that have flourished for many centuries in Africa.

Loose-fitting robes are worn in many different regions of Africa, especially west Africa.
In west Nigeria there is a loose-fitting robe which is called an Agbada.
The most popular forms of clothing in Africa are Dashikis, Yoruba Aso Oke, Princess Kaftans.
Bibliography for masks research:
website name: African Masks
wedsite address:
website name: Encyclopedia Britannica
website address:
website name: Tribal African Art
website address:
Materials: Ceremonial costume cloth is made from tree bark. Early clothing was made from treated animals hides, furs and feathers. Women spin and weave camel and sheep wool. Aso oke cloth is used for ceremonial garments.
African Jewellery...
The Baule people
The Baule are a group of people who are mainly farmers that populate the Eastern side of the Ivory Coast and some of Ghana. The Baule people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the West African region. They also have a very individual style of mask.
Theatre innovators built onto village traditions of storytelling, some borrowing production styles from the colonial music-hall entertainment staged in West African cities in the 1920s and ’30s. Concert parties toured Togo and Ghana, and in the 1950s the Ghanaian “Trios” emerged, with Bob Cole and his company delighting audiences in Accra with comic dramatizations of local events.

In Africa, theatre and drama matter. African theatre is entertainment, but it can also be politically, socially and spiritually performed. Lots of modern African theatre refuses to be broken up into a particular form of presentation. Instead it is acted on performance traditions including dance, music, storytelling and mime, and combines them with ideas of drama drawn from experiences of Western world. At its best, African theatre is a total experience of mind, body and soul which interacts with an involved and vocal audience.

Background on the Jewellery
It can be storage of wealth.
Emblems are also used to resemble the tribe you belong to.
Jewellery can be used as a protective guard against illnesses evil spirits.
Jewellery was also used to trade for slaves or a bride.
Dance in Africa is not a separate art but forms part of everyday life. Unlike many dances of the west, African dance is not detached from the lives of the people. It is a spontaneous release from the people and translates everyday life experiences into movement.

African dance has traditionally played an essential role in the culture of the tribes. Much more than entertainment, Dances communicate emotions, celebrate rites of passage, and help strengthen the bonds between members of the tribe as a whole.

African dance is set apart from most other dance traditions in the world. The dancer's body is segmented into separate areas of movement, with each area being able to move to different rhythms within the music

African Dance

Most African villages had a "dance master" who taught the members of the tribe from a very young age how to perform the various dances.
It was very important that these dances were performed exactly as taught, with no room for improvisation until complete knowledge of the form was achieved. Different areas of Africa have very different dances.


Traditional African Fashion compared to Modern African Fashion.
Stretching their ear lobes.
Necklaces and belts worn for ceremonial occasions.
Hair combs used to style and arrange the hair.
Emblems to show which tribe you belong to.
Popular forms of Jewellery...
Materials: African jewellery is made from brass, gold, silver, cowry shells (including sail shells), coral, beads, ivory, fish vertebrae, animal teeth, fruit seeds, straw, string, delicately worked ivory and precious stones.
Bibliography for Jewellery
Bibliography for fashion

History of African Fashion...
African clothing dates back about 75,000 years.
The material used in this time was animal skin and fur.
Collars, Necklaces and bead work
African Men
Men wore a four-piece coordinated Babariga outfit.
Men also used robes as shirts or jackets.
Patterns: Woven, dyed, painted or appliqued onto the robes. Strands of fabric can be woven into strips of cloth. Batik is another way of applying a pattern to a fabric.
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