Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture

Alisa Lagamma, "Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture"
2002 | pages: 138 | ISBN: 1588390748 | PDF | 15,1 mb

Pondering the origins of the world and their own ancestry, African societies often sought to provide answers to these and other perplexing concepts in their oral traditions, poetry and art. The Bamana people of Mali, for example, attributed the invention of agriculture and their understanding of the earth, animals and plants to a mythical hero called Chi Wara, shown in sculptural form as a roan antelope. The elegant Chi Wara headdresses were created in wood in male-female pairs and worn during agricultural ceremonies. This volume examines the Chi Wara headdress as an icon of African sculpture and presents 40 examples of this well-known form. Major artistic traditions in other African societies - including the Dogon of Mali; the Yoruba of Nigeria; the Bwa, Bobo, Kurumba and Mossi of Burkina Faso; the Kuba and Luba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the Chokwe of Angola and Zambia - are also discussed in terms of the distinctive cultural perspectives and local traditions that inspired them. The masterworks featured and analyzed are drawn from public and private collections in the United States.

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