The magical power of African Art, illustrated in the nkisi nknode figure is unfamiliar to Westerners because we don't know the context of the art and the intention of the artist. Westerners are interpreting that illustration without any real knowledge of the culture. Due to these figures been in museums in West, the culture has lost a great deal of their history and memory. The Westerners in return have gained some knowledge and have created there own interpretation of the figures. The culture also suffered a great loss because the figures that were designed to evoke awe in the spectators were destroyed by European Missionaries because they saw their work as witchcraft and direct evidence of African Idolatry.
The relationship between museums and non-western collections can be viewed as cultural survival, cultural survival is concerned among the non westerners as they have lost their collections to the museums in the west. Museums are among the most successful leisure venues and can provide a social framework for effective and interactive sharing of history and memory. With the non-Western collections been in museum it brings on the debate on how these collections should be viewed. Many might argue whether they should be viewed in a primarily scientific or aesthetic light. When we visit the museums and look these collections we are excepted to learn about the history and the culture of the art, for some it might memory of the culture, which they might have lost if they have moved to the west. The museums does shed some light on the history of the collection and spreads the culture, but how much of the context is interpreted from the collection is up to the viewers.
There are some problems with the non-Westerner collections been in museums. The problems arise from the fact that having the museum provide a sufficient cultural context in museum cabinet can be very difficult, if not impossible. Many of the text that the museums have provided can be outdated and...
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