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Sculptures of Ancient Nigeria: Nok, Igbo Ukwu, Ife, Benin (Edo-Bini)

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Presentation on theme: "Sculptures of Ancient Nigeria: Nok, Igbo Ukwu, Ife, Benin (Edo-Bini)"— Presentation transcript:


2 Sculptures of Ancient Nigeria: Nok, Igbo Ukwu, Ife, Benin (Edo-Bini)
2500 BP (500 BC) –1897 AD

3 Map of Nigeria depicting the ancient culture areas

4 Conceptual basis of African Art Visual Metaphors
Emotional & Social Proportions Head—site of spirituality and personality

5 Nok: the birth of Art in Africa
Oldest sculpture in Africa south of the Sahara Dates back 2500 BP—500 BCE Located on the plateau In North central Nigeria Characteristics: - Fairly naturalistic life size cylindrical heads and figures -Semi circular/triangular eyes -Flared nostrils -Pierced eyes, nose, mouth and ears -Elaborate coiffure

6 The Dinya Head Nok, Nigeria c. 500 BC – AD 200 ( 2500 – 1800 BP ) Terracotta 36 x 22.5 cm

7 Warrior Figure Nok, Nigeria Terracotta 88 x 23 x 20 cm

8 Head of a Bearded Man, Nok (Sokoto) Terracotta, 2300BP

9 Amulet statuette, Nok, Nigeria Terracotta, 2350 BP, h. 5.5 in

10 Kneeling male figure, Nok, Nigeria Terracotta 65.5 x 19 x 23 cm Based on style elements object might have Functioned as finials on rooftops

11 Human/Bird Composite Birdman, Nok, Nigeria Terracotta 47 x 20 x 22 cm

12 Statue on bended knee with Elephant and Feline,
Nok, Terracotta, 2350 BP

13 Igbo Ukwu: Art of an ancient Aristocracy

14 Igbo Richard, Igbo Isaiah and Igbo Jonah
Igbo Ukwu art comes from 3 Archaeological sites in southeastern Nigeria: Igbo Richard, Igbo Isaiah and Igbo Jonah -consists of objects made from bronze, terracotta, beads and Ivory -metal objects were made by the lost wax technique -they are believed to date to around 1100 BP(900 AD) -objects discovered in ancient burial chambers, shrines and storage areas -made by sophisticated bronze casting techniques Objects include bronze pendants, bowls, and shells With skeuomorphic ornamentations

15 Caroline Sasson’s rendering of
the burial chamber of Igbo Richard, Depicting the priest-king, Igbo Ukwu, Water color,

16 Artistic rendering of the storage house
From Igbo Isaiah, depicting some of the sacred objects on an altar

17 Roped Vessel on a stand, Igbo Ukwu, Leaded bronze, 1100 BP (900AD)

18 Staff finial or flywhisk handle
With an equestrian motif, Igbo Ukwu, Nigeria 9th century (1100 BP) Bronze h cm (6 3/16 in.) Emotional/social proportion

19 Head Pendant Igbo Ukwu, Nigeria 9th Century (1100 BP) Bronze h. 7.6 cm Keloid like patterns on the face are marks of distinction and identity

20 Triton shell, Igbo Ukwu, Nigeria, Bronze, 1100 BP
Skeuomorphic image of a snail shell

21 Ife: origin of Art and Life

22 Ife: Origins of Art and Civilization
Art consists of objects in Terracotta, Leaded Brass, & Stone --objects date to BP ( AD) -art created for the ruling elite Style elements: Idealized naturalism Striations on the face Slightly elongated necks, with rolls of fat Careful modeling Heavily beaded figures with elaborate headdresses Full length figures and busts

23 Group of stylized abstract heads representing, inner spiritual head--site of personality
Yoruba, (Ita Yemoo, Ife) Nigeria, terracotta, h. 13 cm(5 in); 19 cm(7.1/2 in); 16.5 cm (61/2 in) 16 cm (6 3/8 in)

24 Ooni (Ruler), Yoruba, (Ita Yemoo, Ife) Nigeria 12th -13th century ( BP) Zinc brass (leaded brass) 47.1 x 17.3 x 16.3 cm Appro. h. 18 3/8 in Idealized naturalism Emotional proportion

25 Lajuwa, royal usurper Terra-cotta, Ife, Yoruba, 12/15th cent. (odo) Ephebism: relative youthfulness

26 Head, Yoruba (Ife), Nigeria 12th-15th century ( BP) Zinc brass (leaded brass) 31 x 9.5 cm

27 Mask Head Yoruba (Ife) Nigeria 12th-15th century ( BP) Copper, 33 x 19 cm (13 in)

28 Seated figure, Yoruba, (Tada) Nigeria 13th-14th Century ( BP), Copper 55. 7 x 34.4 x 36 cm h. 21 9/10 in.

29 Crowned Head of a Ruler, Ife, Nigeria Zinc Brass, BP (12th-15th cent.) Leo Frobenius assumed this was Greek Poseidon or Roman Neptune Which belonged to the famed Atlantis

30 Benin: foundation, zenith and demise Oranmiyan, Eweka Dynasty
Oranmiyan, Eweka Dynasty

31 The Royal Art of Benin Style Elements
-Objects consist of commemorative busts and ritual items for members of the royal family Vast majority of art made in bronze, terracotta, and ivory Early Period (Warrior Kings i.e B.P ) Middle Period (Plaque Period, i.e B.P ) Late Period (Restoration Period i.e B.P ) Style Elements Thin castings, Busts depict beaded collars Delicately rendered features Careful attention to details, in terms of surface ornamentation Bust of Kings and Queen-mothers Plaques, animal imagery etc

32 Head of Oba, Benin, Nigeria, Brass and iron, early period, ( BP) 8.25 in. (21 cm)

33 Head of an Oba, Late Period, Bronze, 18 in.

34 Head of a Queen Mother, Benin, Nigeria 16th century (400 BP) Brass h. 35 cm

35 Warrior Chiefs, Bronze Plaque, 400-300 B.P, 18.7/8 in

36 Plaque of warrior chiefs, Benin, Nigeria, 16th century (400 BP), brass 50 x 37 cm
Social proportion--hierarchy

37 Portuguese Soldier, Plaque Period, Bronze

38 Palace Messenger, Bronze, Benin, Nigeria Late period

39 British Marines displaying their loot after the sack of Benin, 1897

40 Mask of Queen Idah, Ivory, 16th century Benin Festac 77

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