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Lecture | African Art and European Contact

November 15, 2013

Lecture | African Art and European Contact


November 15, 2013

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  1. African  Art  and  European  Contact   Reading:   H.  Gene

     Blocker,  “Is  Primi=ve  Art   Art?”  pp.  87-­‐97.       Range:   500  BCE-­‐1500  CE   Nok,  Ife,  Benin,  Sapi     Terms/Concepts:   lost-­‐wax  cas=ng,  primi=ve,   primi=vism,  othering,  savannah,   living  rock,  cruciform,  toron,  Oba,   ama,  manilla,  Olokun,  saltcellar     Monument  List:     TerracoQa  Head,  Nok  Culture,   Lagos,  Nigeria,  c.  500  BCE-­‐200   BCE.     Crowned  Head  of  a  King  (Oni),   Ife,  Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th  Century   CE     Hip  Mask  Represen=ng  an   Iyoba  (“Queen  Mother”),   Benin,  Middle  Period,  c.  1550   CE     Master  of  the  Symbolic   Execu=on,  saltcellar,  Sapi-­‐ Portuguese,  from  Sierra   Leone,  ca.  1490-­‐1540.  
  2. Erg  Chebbi  Sand  Dunes,  Sahara  Desert,   Morocco.   Makgadikgadi

     Pans,  Dry  Savannah,   Botswana.   Congo  Basin,  Tropical  Forest,  Republic  of   Congo  
  3. View  across  the  leb  bank  of  the  river   Kaduna,

     near  Kagara,  central  Nigeria.  
  4. Women  using  open  clamp  oven,  village  of  Oka  outside  

    of  Ibadan,  Nigeria,  1991.   Air-­‐dried  pots  are  placed  in  a  pit   over  a  fire.  
  5. Pit  kiln  or  open  clamp  oven,  Central  Nigeria,  2006.  

    The  kiln  reaches  over  1300°  F  to   harden  the  clay.  
  6. Its  residents  oben  referred  to  Ife  as  the   “Navel

     of  the  World.”   Figure  of  the  Oni,  Ita   Yemoo,  Ife,  late  13th-­‐15th   century.  
  7. Symbol  of  the  Inner  Head   (ibori),  western  Yoruba,  c.

      19th-­‐20th  century.   Cache  of  Bronze  Heads  found  under  the  floor  of  the   Wunmonije  Compound,  near  the  palace  of  the  Oni,  1938.  
  8. So-­‐called  “Ori  Olokun,”  likely  a  crowned   head  of  a

     King  (Oni),  Ife,  Yoruba,  early   20th  century  copy  of  14th-­‐15th  Century   original.  
  9. Archaeologist  and  anthropologist  Leo   Frobenius,  c.1910.     So-­‐called

     “Ori  Olokun,”  likely  a  crowned  head   of  a  King  (Oni),  Ife,  Yoruba,  early  20th  century   copy  of  14th-­‐15th  Century  original.    “It  [Ori  Olokun]  is  en=rely  devoid  of  Negro   characteris=cs  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  it   cannot  have  been  made  of  local  cas=ng…[I]   discovered  indisputable  proofs  of  the  existence   of  Plato’s  legendary  Con=nent  of  Atlan=s”  
  10. Crowned  Head  of  a  King   (Oni),  Ife,  Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th

      Century  CE   “May  Obatala  fashion  for   us  a  good  work  of  art.”  
  11. Crowned  Head  of  a  King   (Oni),  Ife,  Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th

      Century  CE   Yoruba  Aesthe=cs:   •  Ifarahon  (visibility)   •  Didon  (luminosity)   •  Gigun  (straight)     •  Odo  (“in  the  prime  of  life”)   •  Tut  (coolness)     •  Didogba  (symmetry)   •  Ogbogba  (balance)   •  Ohun  Eso  (ornamenta=on)   •  Jihora  (likeness)  
  12. TerracoQa  Head,  Ife,   Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th  Century   CE  

    Embodiment  in  Portraiture   •  Ashe:  Life  Force   •  Iwa:  Crea=vity   •  Ara:  Evoca=ve  Power  
  13. TerracoQa  Head,  Ife,   Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th  Century   CE  

    Scarifica=on  is  s=ll  prac=ced  in  western  Africa   today.  
  14. Bronze  Mask  Head,  Ife,   Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th  Century  CE  

    Masquerader  wearing  beaded  veil  at  a   ceremony  honoring  his  ancestors,  Ijebu,   Nigeria,  1986.  
  15. Memorial  Head  of  an  Oba,  Benin,   Early  Period,  16th

     Century  CE   Crowned  Head  of  a  King  (Oni),  Ife,   Yoruba,  12th-­‐15th  Century  CE  
  16. Head  of  King  (Oba),  Benin,   Nigeria,  Edo,  17th  century.

      Oba  Akenzua  II  in  beaded   regalia,  1958.  
  17. Head  of  King  (Oba),  Benin,   Nigeria,  Edo,  17th  century.

      High-­‐ranking  Benin  chiefs  in   the  “pangolin”  costume,  1997.  
  18. High-­‐ranking  Benin  chiefs  in  the   “pangolin”  costume,  1997.  

    Plaque  (ama)  with  the  Royal  Triad,  Benin,  16th-­‐17th  century.  
  19. Hip  Mask  Represen=ng  an  Iyoba   (“Queen  Mother”),  Benin,  

    Middle  Period,  c.  1550  CE   Woman  with  facial  scarifica=on,  Benin,  2010  
  20. Alterna=ng  PaQern  of  Olokun  and  Portuguese  Merchants,  Hip   Mask

     Represen=ng  an  Iyoba  (“Queen  Mother”),  Benin,   Middle  Period,  c.  1550  CE   Olokun   Olokun   Merchant  
  21. Olokun,  Hip  Mask  Represen=ng  an   Iyoba  (“Queen  Mother”),  Benin,

      Middle  Period,  c.  1550  CE   Bronze  Statue  of  Olokun,    Ebo-­‐ Olokun,  Nigeria,  c.  12th-­‐15th   centuries.  
  22. Members  of  the  Bri=sh  Puni=ve  Raid,  Benin  Palace,   1897.

      Members  of  the  Bri=sh  Puni=ve  Raid  with  spoils,   Benin  Palace,  1897.  
  23. Coloniza=on  Map   “He  became  a  Chris=an  and  at  

    school  was  my  fellow  scholar  in   learning  to  read  and  write.     When  he  leb  he  could  write  very   well,  because  the  Sapes  have  a   talent  and  skill  at  everything   they  learn.”  (Andre  Donelha  on   Beca  Bore,  a  Sapi  royal,  in   1570s).    
  24. Master  of  the  Symbolic  Execu=on,  saltcellar,  Sapi-­‐Portuguese,   from  Sierra

     Leone,  ca.  1490-­‐1540.   “This  is  how  they  mete  out   jus=ce…they  cut  off  the  heads   and  throw  the  bodies  to  the  wild   animals.”  (Alvarez  de  Almada,   17th  century).    
  25. Master  of  the  Symbolic  Execu=on,  saltcellar,  Sapi-­‐Portuguese,   from  Sierra

     Leone,  ca.  1490-­‐1540.   Mende  (Mande)  Stool,  Sierra  Leone.  
  26. The  Danish  naturalist  Ole  Worm's  cabinet  of  curiosi=es,  This  

    is  the  fron=spiece  to  Worm's  1655  Museum  Wormianium.