History of African Art and New World Culture

Topics: Ghana, 2nd millennium, Dogon people Pages: 16 (2641 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Art History of African Art and New World Culture - Exam #1 Study Guide ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ceremonial Robe (Chilkat Blanket), 19th-20th c.

Haida red cedar bentwood box

Cultural Anthropology:
-the study of learned behavioral systems.
-Includes kinship systems, religion, economic systems, political systems, and symbolic systems Holism: Cultures make sense when the relationships of these various parts are understood. Cultural Relativism: behavior/practices of one culture should not be judged by another culture. Petroglyph: rock carvings/drawings by prehistoric people

Pictograph of pastoral scene from Tassili N’Ajjer, Algeria c. 7000-c 3000 BC

Giraffe petroglyph, Niger; 6000-9000 y.a

uKhahlambda; Drakensberg Park, South Africa. Pictograph
Culture: San
Importance: Small human figures in running postures, hunting eland (large antelopes), systems of metaphors are closely associated with San Shamanistic religion.

Algonquian purple wampum belt, 18th c.

African Peoples:
-Continent of 52 nations
-1/5 of the world’s land mass
-More than 2000 ethnic, cultural & linguistic groups

Belief’s and practices:
-Honoring ancestors
-Nature spirits (animism)
-Initiations (birth, puberty, marriage, death)/membership in secret societies
-Secret societies: seen as a “rite of passage” to induct youth into adulthood
-Ritual connection with ancestors/nature spirits
-Bamana peoples/professional caste (blacksmiths, farmers, warriors)

-Introduction of metallurgy
-Metallurgy: extraction of metal from their cores
-Ironworking spread from Nok

African trade routes/products 11th-12th c.:

Mali, West Africa:
-Over 40 languages spoken (most unintelligible)
-Religion is 90% Islam
-Agriculture is their main economical source

-Domestic compounds
-Mud, brick & stucco buildings
-Houses are round in Senou village
-Islam mostly practiced in urban areas
-Bamana peoples belong to initiation societies
-“Power Objects” or Boli used
-Masquerades aided in communication with ancestors
-Islam affected the way ceramics were made in the 19th-20th century
-Female art. v. Male art

Water jar (jigada). Bamana, MaliVessel, 19th century
Mid-early 20th century

Animism: The belief that every single thing has a spirit

The Great Mosque at Djenne, c 13th c. AD. Made of clay over wood posts, Torons - wooden beams projecting from walls, largest clay building in the world Mali, West Africa: Djenne

Archer figure, 13th-15th century. Maker: Inland Niger Delta Style. Djenne, Mali

Typical couple, Djenne. 12th-16th century Male dignitary bust, Djenne. 10th-16th c.

Djenne terracotta figures on horseback, 13th-15th c, and 12th-16th c.

Mali, West Africa:
-Made of wood
-Aid women who want to get pregnant
-Figures are “fed”, given libations
-Blood, other substances
-Purified/decorated once they’re on a shrine & presented to ancestors
-Female: beauty, intelligence, power;
-Male: hunting attire, amulets show off how men should be.
-Male figure usually has a lance in his hand; passed from father to son during initiation.
Female & Male gwandusu figures, displayed for Jo or Gwan Society annual festival

Jonyeleni: (nyeleni) Means little ornaments

Jonyeleni figuresFertility charm; Bamana, Mali; 20th c. Made of wax over wood, protective, fertility charm
made for women to get pregnant
Mali, West Africa: Bamana Arts/Culture

Chi Wara Headdress:
-Represents male, female and baby antelopes
-Chi Wara was a cultural...
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