African Stone Art

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The Charm of African Arts and Crafts

Africa is well known for its art and craft works, most of these arts works are found in the form of sculptures, fabric work, decorative items, musical instruments like drums, and paintings. Most of the statues will be carved in the form of humans, which represents great leaders. They make their art work in such a way that each and every piece of art reveals their tradition and culture. Normally Africans DO NOT show affection to each other, they make their art work which resembles their culture.

The statues of animals in African art are included with human figures, to further give praise to the person being honored. For example, a horse is considered a very noble animal, and including one in a sculpture of a man or woman means that person is being held in very high regard. Most contemporary statues are made of either stone or carved of wood.

Evidences of African art could be found as early as 500 BC, with carved rocks in the Sahara and sculptures from Nigeria. The use of bronze, brass and other metalwork, as well as the incorporation of terracotta, ivory and other embellishments were attributed to go back as far as 10th century AD, and usually reserved for royalty. African art forms that were not statues or figurines were still meant to be three-dimensional pieces. Decorative fabrics are meant to be worn, with the wearer becoming part of the art piece, while wall paintings, usually carved from wood, though flat, become part of the residence that it is hung in.

Most of the African arts and crafts resemble its tradition and culture. Each and every art piece resembles the daily life and culture of African peoples. And today those arts can be found in museums, one good example is African masks. African people used masks on some occasional days or on some regional ceremonies, and even in wars and also on the day of harvesting.

The styles and designs of African masks differ according to each country and each tribe . For example, the Dan people of the Ivory Coast and Liberia have wooden masks carved with African features, such as wide foreheads, flat noses, wide and full lips, accented by attached strands of rope to look like hair. The Punu people of Congo, Cameroon and Gabon have wooden masks with wooden hair, usually piled high as they represent wealthy women, and decorated with long strands of raffia along the jaw line. The whitened faces of these masks serve to scare off witches and evil spirits.

Other African arts and crafts used in old African traditions are African baskets. The baskets of the Etsha and Gumare tribes in Botswana are particularly famous for their beauty. While baskets are usually carried over the head, the influence of foreign cultures has modified the way baskets are carried, allowing totes to be slung around one’s shoulders. The result is many gorgeous designs of African ladies’ handbags which are still quite unique and appealing, using indigenous materials such as mud cloth and suede, decorated with fringes and cowries shells. Contemporary, yet still reflective of a vast heritage of African arts and culture.

About the Author

Herman Wheeler had focused mostly on psychology and spirituality, but he had been a long

time collector of African Art and Crafts. So he started the website to share his

passion on African arts with other people. Visit and decorate your

home with the miracle and wonder of original hand-made African Arts and Crafts.

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