The role of traditional art in african society

Aesthetic Skill Though the forms of art and the style of the artists differ from the use we are familiar with in the West, a closer look will show that they have a remarkable degree of aesthetic skill and technique.

However in BC the Assyrians invaded Egypt and defeated them. The Prehistoric Colour Palette used by Bushmen artists in their cave painting consisted of earth pigments. Among the Bamileke, artists were thought of and treated as servants, even slaves, of their chiefs in whose palaces they lived and through whom they sold their work.

Today we are better informed, although whole corpora of African art remain mysterious entities since they were collected long ago, as curiosities, from people who had lost awareness of their uses or symbolic meanings.

In his later book on Tradition and modernity, Gyekye has criticised a too strong subsumption of the individual person under the community in African thought in general, especially because of the predominant orientation to the past inherent in the endeavour to act in accordance with the spirits of the ancestors.

It is obviously not seen in a critical, but rather in an affirmative way. For all their extensive trade contacts across the Saharathese medieval empires did not significantly change the basic structure of society in the western Sudan. Initially the masks and figures may seem strange or even grotesque, but when viewed in terms of their own cultures the sculptures of Africa can be seen to be sophisticated, powerful and dynamic.

Throughout Africa, art objects are used in the divination of the supernatural causes of illness. If we want to learn from ubuntu and to work with ubuntu principles, we have to try to behave in the spirit of these principles in our own cultural environment with its specific conditions.

Elvania Zirimu Keeping Up with the Mukasas, was a significant dramatist, her first prizewinning play dealing with the clash between modern and traditional values. Any human judgment reached is considered tentative until the Mask has indicated its approval.

The elo mask has a human face with a motif sometimes a human figure rising above it, flanked with stylized horns. Tellem figures usually have uplifted arms and are mostly female or sometimes hermaphrodite.

Thus, chiefs and elders might be criticized for pompousness or abuse of authority through seemingly comic ridicule and caricature by a mask. A special motive is the relation between men and women and between mothers and children, which we find on some masks and sculptures. They parade to the accompaniment of songs, dances, and acrobatic performances, all performed by the masks.

African theatre

This method was highly effective because it did away with the often destructive and frankly, Western notion, that a marriage or serious relationship if only the business of the two involved. Four examples — Photos by author They have been selected to illustrate different aspects of what I have described as the contents of ubuntu and communalism.

They deal with problems of the community. It is only within this environment that you can experience the same feelings as those that lived in centuries past. Ruch from South Africa and K. A major initiative was the creation of a Krio language drama, particularly through the work of linguist and writer Thomas Decker, who in the s translated Julius Caesar and As You Like It as Udat di kiap fit into the language that is widely spoken in the country.

Moreover, the very idea of tribe is an attempt to impose identity from the outside. That means that we must not look for a direct application, but where necessary, for a transformation of the practical outcome of a deeper understanding of the leading principles.

CubismFauvism and Expressionism. This argumentation makes us understand that ubuntu cannot be interpreted easily from outside. Oluwole, who teaches philosophy in Nigeria. The Art of the African Kingdoms Art is universally a means of glorifying persons of rank.

These figures and heads are exceptional not only in terms of age and beauty but in size as well. A proverb of the Chewa in Malawi says: To discuss the notions of ubuntu and communalism means working out some important aspects of the second theme.

Many pieces of such jewelry are made of cowry shells and similar materials. The radical power of his playwriting is also evident in the pessimistic play If: During the long initiation rites the women are led to believe that their children are swallowed by the masks, and scarification is said to be caused by the masks when they ingest the boys and later give birth to them.

Like the Fang, the Kota keep the skulls and bones of ancestors in containers, which consist here of a basket surmounted by the carved figure. When one member of a family or clan is honoured or successful, the whole group rejoices and shares in the glory, not only psychologically as one would rejoice when the local soccer team has won a matchbut ontologically: In connection to this new approach to African philosophy, a different use of language is necessary.

It is only through her courts that decrees, especially death sentences, made by the King could be annulled.

Among the Ashanti, trade in gold and slaves brought great wealth to the kings who made the working of gold a court monopoly.

The Role of an Afrocentric Ideology

Philosophers of art in the West might agree that works of art are simply artifacts made with the intention of possessing aesthetic value, and in that sense art, which would include craftwork as well as works of fine art, would indeed be found in all parts of Africa as indeed it is throughout human culture.

Nyasani, and Kwame Gyekye, dealing with the relation between person and community Ntumba and ; Nyasani ; Gyekye and We thus have to look in more detail to the philosophical impact of ubuntu and of the African community spirit in order to discover what they can mean in the world of today.Traditional African Medicine and its Role in Healing in a Modern World.

Print Ayurvedic medicine (which has origins in ancient Indian society), and traditional African medicine. It is the last of these examples that this article will examine. The Prevalence of Traditional African Medicine. African art, the visual arts of native Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, including such media as sculpture, painting, pottery, rock art, textiles, masks, personal decoration, and jewelry.

For more general explorations of media, see individual media articles (e.g., painting, sculpture, pottery, and textile).For a discussion of the characteristics, functions, and forms of masks, see mask.

In African culture and African traditional life, gender is defined according to roles and functions in the society. It is what it means to be male or female in a. In traditional thinking, ancestors are an essential link in a hierarchical chain of powers stretching from this world to the spirit world.

African Art Museum

Insofar as African traditional religion can be defined by specific “religious” actions, the cult of the ancestors is its most common and essential activity. Product of Ancient Civilizations and Centuries of Artistic Traditions. Unlike the art of Western societies, traditional African art was a functional and necessary part of everyday life and it would be impossible to understand African culture without an understanding of their art.

Colonialism profoundly negatively affected the role and status of Women in African society. There is a section dedicated to colonialism an its impact on the status and roles of Women in Africa. Moreover, in much of pre-colonial Africa, bridewealth gave women a certain amount of economic independence and clout.

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The role of traditional art in african society
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