African Art 3

Topics: Bambara people, Art, Mask Pages: 3 (807 words) Published: May 9, 2011
Exhibition Review

Throughout the course of African history there has been a significance contribution to the art of the different cultures. After reading and studying about various regions and cultures the similarities and differences all seem to link to a fascinating group of people. Exploring different groups of objects and cultures broadened my knowledge of particular traditions within the African culture. Visiting an actual exhibition contributed to a deeper level of understanding with the visual aids in close reach at the museum. I visited the Brooklyn Museum‘s African art exhibition and was very impressed and pleased with my findings. The group of objects that I focused on were made of the same material, and also derived from Mali. Two of the pieces I am focusing on are from the same culture, and the other is from a different ethnic groups.

The Karaga mask is a form of art found in Mali used by the Dogan people. The Dogon people lived in villages that were built upon cliffs in northern and eastern Mali. The Dogon people created a wide variety of masks throughout their cultures, and over seventy masks are known to the public. The Karaga masks are used for ritual purposes in various ceremonies among the villagers. The knowledge held by the tribal elders is passed to the members at the ceremonies where the mask is used. The structure of the object is a large towering wooden structure with black shading. The shape of a box, sharp slender nose and two pairs of double L shaped arms are very significant. The arm extending down is representing the earth, and the other arm is reaching toward the heavens. The masks are used during several Dogon rituals, and are left on the ground to deteriorate quickly after a ceremony. Although the Karaga mask that I saw had an unknown artist this was a three piece mask from the twentieth century. The dancers in Mali honored the deceased with this work of art.

The Toguna post is also a piece of art from Mali. This...
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