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Ancient African Art By: Karen Flores. Background Info The city of Ife in Southwestern Nigeria is known as the “navel of the world”, in other words the.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient African Art By: Karen Flores. Background Info The city of Ife in Southwestern Nigeria is known as the “navel of the world”, in other words the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient African Art By: Karen Flores

2 Background Info The city of Ife in Southwestern Nigeria is known as the “navel of the world”, in other words the site of creation the people of Ife believed that their first ruler, oni Oduduwa, came down from heaven to create and populate the earth In the 11 th century, Ife became a lively metropolis and cultural center Ancient Ife was circular with the “oni” palace at the center, and ringed by protective stone walls and moats Ife was connected to other Yoruba cities by roads that radiated from the center and pierced the city walls at elaborate fortified gateways partially decorated with pavement mosaics created from stones and pottery shards from these elaborately patterned pavement mosaics, came the name for Ife’s most artistically cohesive centuries (C CE), the Pavement period

3 13-1. Ritual Vessel 1. Artist: 2. Name: Ritual vessel 3. Date: th century 4. Medium: terra-cotta 5. What culture: Yoruba, Nigeria 6. Why was it made: religious purposes 7. Subject: religion 8. Style: Yoruba, Nigeria 9. Historical/cultural context: this vessel was broken on purpose, before burial, so that earths liquids could flow through it; found in Ife in a semi- circular courtyard; height of 24.9 cm

4 The Lure of Ancient Africa African riches attracted merchants and envoys in ancient times, and trade brought the continent in contact with the rest of the world Between 1000 and 3000 BCE, Phoenicians and Greeks founded dozens of settlements along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa in order to extend trade routes across the Sahara to Lake Chad and then the Niger River In the 7 th and 8 th centuries CE, Islam swept across North Africa, and therefore Islamic merchants were regular visitors to Bilad al-Sudan, the Land of the Blacks West African gold financed the flowering of Islamic culture A new language, Swahii, evolved from centuries of contact between Arabic-speaking merchants and Bantu-speaking Africans

5 Saharan Rock Art Early Africans painted and inscribed an abundance of images on the walls of the caves and rock shelters in which they sought refuge. Rock Art has been found all over Africa. The earliest images of Saharan rock art are thought to date from the least 8000BCE Vivid images of hippos, elephant, giraffe, antelopes, and other animals incised into rock surface that there was a lot of wildlife that roamed around.

6 13-2 Cattle being tended section of rock-wall painting, Tassili- n-Ajjer, algria. C BCE

7 *Men and women are gather in front of their round, thatched houses and the men tending cattle. The cattle shown are quite varied. Overlapping forms and the confident placement o near figures low and distant figures high in the picture creating a sense of depth and distant Egyptian influence on the less deveolped region of the Sahara

8 Sub-Saharan Civilizations Saharan peoples presumably migrated southward They brought there agriculture and animal husbandry Created more efficient weapons and farming tools

9 13-3 Head Nok, c. 500BCE-200BCE terra-cotta height 14 3/13 National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria

10 NOK Some of the earliest evidence of iron technology in sub-Saharan Africa comes from the so-called Nok culter. Nok people were farmers who grew grain and oil-bearing seeds They were also smelter with the technology for refining ore The triangular or D shape are the characteristics of nok style and appear on scalpers of animas The holes on the face allowed the air to pass freely as the figure was fired

11 IFE A tradition of naturalistic sculpture began in 1050CE Symbols of kingship that had been worn within living memory, indicating that the figures represent rulers

12 13-4 Head of a king from Ife. Yoruba, c. 13 century ce. Zinc brass.

13 13-5 head said to represent the Usureper Lajuwa. From lfe. Yoruba, c CE. Terra-cotta

14 The head could also have been used to display a crown during annual purification and renewal rites. Terra-cotta are bit fitted for attachments. There are debates whether or not the Ife heads are true portraits. Africans did not produce natural portraits

15 BENIN Ife was probably was probably the artistic parent of the great city-state of Benin The tradition of casting memorial heads for the shrines of royal ancestors endures among the successors f the oranmiyan to this day

16 13-6. Memorial head benin early period. C CE. Brass, height 9 3/8

17 The British invaders discovered shrines to deceased obas filled with brass heads, bells, and figures. Benin brass heads ranged from small, thinly cast, and naturalistic to large, thickly cast, and highly stylized Benin heads must be visualized on a symmetrical circle Necklaces form a tall, cylindrical mass that greatly increases the weight of the sculpture

18 13-7 Head of an oba(king) Benin late period, c CE, brass

19 13-8 General and officers Benin Middle Period c CE Brass

20 Shows elaborate military dress holing a spear in one hand and a ceremonial sword in another hand Obas also commissioned important works in ivory

21 13-9 Mask representing an iyoba(queen mother) Beinin middle period, c.1550CE, ivory, iron, and copper

22 Other urban centers Important centers also arose in the interior. West Africa to the Mediterranean from at least the first millennium BCE West Africa met caravans arriving from the Mediterranean Eventually the trading networks extended across Africa from the sedan in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west

23 13-10 Horseman from old Djenne Mail th century, terra-cotta height 27 34

24 13-11 Great Friday Mosque, Djenne Mali, showing the eastern and northern facades. Rebuilding of 1907, in the style of 13 th century

25 13-12 conical tower, great Zimbabwe. C CE high of tower 30’

26 13-13 bird, top part of a monolith from great Zimbabwe. c CE Soapstone, height of bird 14 ½’’


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