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ARTH304: African Art

Unit 5: The Atlantic Coastal Regions and Lower Nigeria   This unit looks at several groups that came to the West as a result of the slave trade and have formed diaspora communities. The social and spiritual structures of groups in this region are diverse, ranging from autonomous communities governed by elder societies to dynastic monarchies that are still maintained within modern nations. These differences are reflected in their respective art styles.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 21 hours to complete:

☐    Subunit 5.1: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 5 hours

☐    “Art Analysis” Assignment continued from Unit 4: 3-5 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - discuss the earliest African art commissioned by Europeans; - analyze the diversity of masquerades in the region; - demonstrate an understanding of the Yoruba culture’s history; - discuss the metal casting techniques and forms in the region; - assess the diversity of traditional kingships in Africa and the importance of “regalia” in these societies; - examine how the slave trade infiltrated the region; - compare and contrast the forms and functions of personal votives in Africa; - describe and compare the major textile forms of Akan groups and the Yoruba; and - discuss problems with the terminology and concept of “authenticity” in analyzing African art.

5.1 The Western Coast   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Emma George Ross’ “Afro-Portuguese Ivories” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Emma George Ross’ “Afro-Portuguese Ivories” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read about these ivory works, which were produced by
a group known as the Sapi for early Portuguese traders.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: National Museum of African Art: “Nomoli Style Head” Link: National Museum of African Art: “Nomoli Style Head” (HTML) 

    Instructions: Read this entry on Nomoli figures, which are remains of ancestral groups by the present day Mende and other people of coastal Sierra Leone and Guinea. Take special note of the unique appearance of the Nomoli figures and the use of soapstone, which is rare for the region.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: National Museum of African Art: “Nomoli Style Male Figure” Link: National Museum of African Art: “Nomoli Style Male Figure” (HTML)

    Instructions: As with the resource above, take note of the unique appearance of the Nomoli figures and the use of soapstone, which is rare for the region.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Baga” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Baga” (HTML)

    Instructions: Explore these works by the Baga, descendants of the Sapi people. Note of the variety of styles and purposes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Esther Moses’ “Mende People” Link: Esther Moses’ “Mende People” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this brief introduction to the largest group in Sierre Leone. It points out the substantial Mende heritage in African Americans. Note that Mende is not to be confused with the large West African linguistic group, Mande.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: saleoneheritage: “Sierra Leone Heritage: Sowei Mask: Curator’s Notes with Bill Hart” Link: YouTube: saleoneheritage: “Sierra Leone Heritage: Sowei Mask: Curator’s Notes with Bill Hart” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: The helmet masks discussed in this video are a traditional Mende mask-type used in masquerades performed by women. These female-performed masquerades are highly unusual in Africa, though the Mende culture also has male masquerades.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: Africa in the Classroom: “Sande Masquerades: Teaching Inner and Outer Beauty” Link: Michigan State University’s Exploring Africa: Africa in the Classroom: “Sande Masquerades: Teaching Inner and Outer Beauty” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read through this webpage and answer the questions to evaluate your ability to summarize basic ideas about form and function in African art. You may wish to explore this website, which is intended for teachers of primary and secondary schools. It is well-organized and contains a wealth of information and activities that you can attempt.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: gbakoi’s “Annual Sowei Dance” Link: YouTube: gbakoi’s “Annual Sowei Dance” (YouTube)

    Instructions: This video demonstrates how traditional masquerades and festivals have become integrated with modern holiday celebrations.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Global Connections: “The Lone Star: The Story of Liberia” Link: PBS: Global Connections: “The Lone Star: The Story of Liberia” (HTML)

    Instructions: This article provides a brief history of Liberia, which was colonized as a sovereign Christian nation by African Americans in the 19th century.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Dan” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Dan” (HTML)

    Instructions: Browse these objects and read the descriptions of the Dan as an introduction to a culture in the region that mainly borders the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire).

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Kinyago Gallery: “Dan Gunyege Runners Mask” Link: Kinyago Gallery: “Dan Gunyege Runners Mask” (HTML)

    Instructions: View this example of Dan artwork. Note that many commercial enterprises dealing with African art on the global art market offer informative websites. In fact, the art market’s role in art studies commands much scholarly attention. Connoisseurship in African art, likewise, is a broad discourse, commanding ongoing discussion in terms of criteria and aesthetics.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization: “Virtual Visit of Gorée Island” Link: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization: “Virtual Visit of Gorée Island” (HTML)

    Instructions: Browse this website about Gorée Island, a former major slave port off the Senegalese coast that is now a cultural district with museums and heritage sites.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assignment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Compare and Contrast the Roles of the Poro and Sande Societies” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Compare and Contrast the Roles of the Poro and Sande Societies” (PDF)

    Instructions: Read this prompt and craft a response essay.

    Completing this assignment should take approximately 1 hour.

5.2 Ghana and the Surrounding Region   - Reading: The Library of Congress’ Country Studies: “Ghana: The Pre-Colonial Period” Link: The Library of Congress’ Country Studies: “Ghana: The Pre-Colonial Period” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read “Chapter 1: The Pre-Colonial Period” and
“Chapter 2: The Akan Group.” These chapters provide a general
history of several groups in Ghana.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.
  • Reading: National Museum of African Art: “The Baule – African Art, Western Eyes” Link: National Museum of African Art: “The Baule – African Art, Western Eyes” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this brief introduction to the Baule.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: H-Net Online: Robert T. Soppelsa’s “Review of ‘Baule: African Art, Western Eyes’” Link: H-Net Online: Robert T. Soppelsa’s “Review of ‘Baule: African Art, Western Eyes’” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this exhibition review, which will give you a better idea of Baule art in relation to spirituality.

    Also available in:
    PDF

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: National Museum of African Art: “Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity” Link: National Museum of African Art: “Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this entire webpage.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Wonders of the African World: “The Slave Kingdoms: Wonders” Link: PBS: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Wonders of the African World: “The Slave Kingdoms: Wonders” (HTML)

    Instructions: This article is specific to the Ashanti kingdom during the colonial period. While reading the article, also click on the embedded links, which discuss two significant objects from the Ashanti kingdom.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: “Manhyia Palace” Link: “Manhyia Palace” (HTML)

    Instructions: Explore this website, which explains the relationship between the Asantehene in Ghana and the country’s government.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Creative Roots: Daniel Laine’s “The Kings of Africa” Link: Creative Roots: Daniel Laine’s “The Kings of Africa” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: View this photographic presentation of contemporary African kings.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “Gold in Asante Courtly Arts” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “Gold in Asante Courtly Arts” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this introduction and examine each of the eight works of Asante regalia at the top of the page.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Weights: Elephant, Bird with Body in Knot, and Bird Claw” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Weights: Elephant, Bird with Body in Knot, and Bird Claw” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this page and view the images related to the gold trade and symbolic gold weights.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: “The Glassell Collection of African Gold” Link: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: “The Glassell Collection of African Gold” (HTML)

    Instructions: Scroll down to The Glassel Collection of African Gold and view the slideshow.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Adire African Textiles: “Asante Adinkra Cloth” Link: Adire African Textiles: “Asante Adinkra Cloth” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this brief description and click on the image at the bottom to explore some examples of Adinkra cloth.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Reading: Adire African Textiles: “Fante Asafo Flags” Link: Adire African Textiles: “Fante Asafo Flags” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this introduction to Fante Asafo flags and view some of the examples at the link at the bottom of the page.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Akuaba Figure” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Akuaba Figure” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this entry on the Akuaba figure, a popular sculptural type related to fertility that was used by women for many purposes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Michigan State University, Kresge Art Museum’s African Art, Western Eyes: “Akuaba Female Figure” Link: Michigan State University, Kresge Art Museum’s African Art, Western Eyes: “Akuaba Female Figure” (HTML)

    Instructions: Compare and contrast this example to the Metropolitan Museum of Art example in terms of form and carving technique.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3 Southern Nigeria   5.3.1 Yoruba, Fon, and Benin City   - Reading: University of California at Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology: Nicole Mullen’s “Yoruba Art & Culture” Link: University of California at Berkeley's Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology: Nicole Mullen’s “Yoruba Art & Culture” (HTML)

 Instructions: The Yoruba, the region’s largest group, are a
hierarchical society with a number of king-chiefs at various sites.
Traditional Yoruba religious practices, Ifa divination and orisa
cults, vary by region. Fon society, found to the west in the modern
republic of Benin, is also monarchic, with related spiritual
practices closer to Caribbean “voodoo.” To the west of traditional
Yorubaland in the modern country of Nigeria is the royal city of
Benin, the namesake of the modern country. The Igbo are another
large hierarchical society further to the east. Strong
bronze-casting traditions, regimented royal arts, and a great
variety of masquerades are found throughout the region.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Ife Pre-Pavement and Pavement Era (800–1000 AD)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Ife Pre-Pavement and Pavement Era (800–1000 AD)” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this page on early civilization in Ile-Ife.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Museum for African Art: “Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria” Link: Museum for African Art: “Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this introduction on an exhibition of art from ancient Ife that has been traveling around the country for several years. Next, eplore the slideshow to the right. Note the Ife aesthetics that are used when representing kings and queens.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: The Guardian: Bonnie Greer, Elliot Smith, and Henry Barnes’ “Hidden Treasures: Inside the Kingdom of Ife Exhibition” Link: The Guardian: Bonnie Greer, Elliot Smith, and Henry Barnes’ “Hidden Treasures: Inside the Kingdom of Ife Exhibition” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this video of a brief tour of an exhibition of Ife sculptures at the British Museum.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: National Museum of African Art: “Olowe of Ise: A Yoruba Sculptor to Kings” Link: National Museum of African Art: “Olowe of Ise: A Yoruba Sculptor to Kings” (HTML)

    Instructions: Click on the images in the left-hand column to explore this presentation. Take special note of why few artists’ names are known, and why Olowe of Ise’s name has been documented. Also note his unique carving style.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Olowe of Ise: Caryatid Veranda Post” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: “Olowe of Ise: Caryatid Veranda Post” (HTML)

    Instructions: View this image, taking note of the symbolism carved into the post and also why the design are representative of Olowe of Ise’s style.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Grains of Africa: “Ere Ibeji (Yoruba Twins)” Link: Grains of Africa: “Ere Ibeji (Yoruba Twins)” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article to learn more about the purpose of the Ibeji figures and their significance in relation to Yoruba religious beliefs.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Bryn Mawr College, Art & Archeology Collections: “Ere Ibejis: Yoruba Figures” Link: Bryn Mawr College, Art & Archeology Collections: “Ere Ibejis: Yoruba Figures” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article and view the linked images of Yoruba twins (ibeji) and twin votives (ere ibeji).

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Annenberg Foundation: Art through Time: A Global View: “Dance Vest with Esu Staff Figures” Link: Annenberg Foundation: Art through Time: A Global View: “Dance Vest with Esu Staff Figures” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read about this object and how it is used in Yoruba spirituality.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The British Museum: “Wooden Mask for Gelede Masquerade” Link: The British Museum: “Wooden Mask for Gelede Masquerade” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this page, which introduces a masquerade honoring ancestral mothers.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Indianapolis Museum of Art: “Egungun Masquerade Costume” Link: Indianapolis Museum of Art: “Egungun Masquerade Costume” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this entry on Yoruba Egungun masquerades, and explore the “Related Artworks” on the left.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Art Gallery of Ontario’s “Bolaji Campbell on Egungun” Link: YouTube: Art Gallery of Ontario’s “Bolaji Campbell on Egungun” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this interview with art historian Bolaji Campbell.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Art Gallery of Ontario: “Bolaji Campbell on African Art” Link: YouTube: Art Gallery of Ontario: “Bolaji Campbell on African Art” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Watch this interview with art historian Bolaji Campbell.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: YouTube: Art Gallery of Ontario: “Bolaji Campbell on the Body” Link: YouTube: Art Gallery of Ontario: “Bolaji Campbell on the Body” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Watch this interview with art historian Bolaji Campbell.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.3.2 The Fon (Dahomey)   - Reading: PBS: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Wonders of Africa: “Wonders: Ashanti Kingdom” Link: PBS: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Wonders of Africa: “Wonders: Ashanti Kingdom” (HTML)

 Instructions: The article provides background information on how
the Dahomey rose to power during the slave period.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Historical Museum of Abomey: “Kings of Abomey” Link: The Historical Museum of Abomey: “Kings of Abomey” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read these pages to get an idea of the chronology of the Abomey.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Henry John Drewal’s “Joyful Blues: Yoruba Indigo-Dyed Cloth” Link: Henry John Drewal’s “Joyful Blues: Yoruba Indigo-Dyed Cloth” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this webpage about Yoruba adire cloth and view the examples included at the bottom of the page.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “Origins and Empire: The Benin, Owo, and Ijebu Kingdoms” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “Origins and Empire: The Benin, Owo, and Ijebu Kingdoms” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read this article for an introduction to the Kingdom of Benin.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “Benin Chronology” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “Benin Chronology” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article, which introduces cast and royal head sculptures. Be sure to explore the examples at the top of the page.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “African Lost Wax Casting: Bronze, Copper, and Brass” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alexander Ives Bortolot’s “African Lost Wax Casting: Bronze, Copper, and Brass” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this essay on the lost wax casting technique.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Edo-Nation: “Oba Erediauwa’s Coronation” Link: Edo-Nation: “Oba Erediauwa’s Coronation” (HTML)

    Instructions: View these images of the Oba Eerediauwa at his 1978 inauguration. Coral regalia, as you have seen imitated in the metal-cast works, represents devotion to the major ocean deity, Olokun.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The British Museum: “Benin Craft” Link: The British Museum: “Benin Craft” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this webpage about Benin artisans. Then click the image titled “Bronze Figure of a Hornblower” under “Related Objects” in the upper right-hand corner. Enlarge that image and explore the rest of the collection’s ten entries.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Benin and Ife Bronzes: Comparison” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Benin and Ife Bronzes: Comparison” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please complete this activity.

    Completing this activity should take approximately 45 minutes.

5.3.3 The Igbo   - Reading: National Museum of African Art: “Igbo Objects” Link: National Museum of African Art: “Igbo Objects” (HTML)

 Instructions: View several of the works in this collection, paying
particular attention to mask/masquerade objects and shrine
sculptures.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alice Apley’s “Igbo-Ukwu (ca. 9th Century)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Alice Apley’s “Igbo-Ukwu (ca. 9th Century)” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this introduction and view the two images under “Related Works.”

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: John C. McCall’s “Photographs from Igbo Music, Alusi/Arunsi (Shrines), Shrine Objects, and Other Cultural Artifacts” Link: John C. McCall’s “Photographs from Igbo Music, Alusi/Arunsi (Shrines), Shrine Objects, and Other Cultural Artifacts” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Explore these images to study various types of Igbo shrine figures, especially Alusi and Ikenga.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Wikipedia’s “Ikenga” Link: Wikipedia’s “Ikenga” (PDF)

    Instructions: Read this link as background information on the personal altar type known as Ikenga.

    Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. The original version of this article can be found here.

  • Reading: John C. McCall’s “Photographic Indexes” Link: John C. McCall’s “Photographic Indexes” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Explore these images of masqueraders.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: “Ijele Masquerade” Link: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: “Ijele Masquerade” (HTML and YouTube)

    Instructions: Read this introduction to the Igbo Ijele and watch the video on the third tab at the top of this webpage.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Igbo Cyber Shrine: Omenka Egwuatu Nwa-Ikenga’s “Honoring your Ancestors” Link: Igbo Cyber Shrine: Omenka Egwuatu Nwa-Ikenga’s “Honoring your Ancestors” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this description of the Mbari and explore the accompanying images, noting the detailed process necessary to construct a Mbari shrine.
     
    Terms of use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: St. Lawrence University, Richard F. Brush Art Gallery: “Mbari Houses: Photographs by Ullie Beier” Link: St. Lawrence University, Richard F. Brush Art Gallery: “Mbari Houses: Photographs by Ullie Beier” (HTML)

    Instructions: Explore this webpage for an introduction to Igbo mbari, or house-shrines.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Free Library: Sylvester Ogbechie Okwunodu’s “The Historical Life of Objects: African Art History and the Problem of Discursive Obsolescence” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

  • Reading: National Museum of African Art: “The Uli Aesthetic” Link: National Museum of African Art: “The Uli Aesthetic” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read this webpage, which introduces Igbo uli painting. When you have finished, read the other two tabs, “The Artists” and “The Nsukka Group.”

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Boundless: “Igbo-Ukwu” Link: Boundless: “Igbo-Ukwu” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the entirety of the text on this page and study the images closely.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Boundless, and the original version can be found here.

5.3.4 “Mami Wata”   - Reading: University of California, Los Angeles, Fowler Museum: “Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and its Diasporas” Link: University of California at Los Angeles, Fowler Museum: “Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and its Diasporas” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the brief page on *Mami Wata*, a water spirit
found in various forms, such as masks and votives, throughout West
Africa and the Diaspora in the Caribbean.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Emory University, Michael C. Carlos Museum: “Snake Charm: A Diva Comes Home” Link: Emory University, Michael C. Carlos Museum: “Snake Charm: A Diva Comes Home” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this brief article on Mami Wata.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

5.4 Special Topics   - Reading: Universidade de Lisboa’s Artafrica: Sidney Kasfir’s “African Art and Authenticity: A Text with a Shadow”

Link: Universidade de Lisboa’s *Artafrica*: Sidney Kasfir’s
[“African Art and Authenticity: A Text with a
Shadow”](http://www.artafrica.info/html/artigotrimestre/artigo_i.php?id=14)
(HTML)  

 Instructions: Read this article carefully. Scholars in the field
must engage with the complex issues regarding Western acquisition,
value, and study of African art. While you will recognize some of
the art discussed, some groups mentioned will be discussed later in
the course.  

 Also available in:  
 [PDF](http://www.artafrica.info/novos-pdfs/artigo_14-en.pdf)  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The New York Times: “Ivory Coast: Faced with a Shrinking Supply of Authentic Art African Dealers Peddle the Illusion”

    Link: The New York Times: “Ivory Coast: Faced with a Shrinking Supply of Authentic Art African Dealers Peddle the Illusion” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article, which was written two decades before Sidney Kasfir’s article above. This will give you an idea of the kind of misunderstandings and oversimplifications long rooted in Western assessments of African art, which Kasfir was seeking to address in his article.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Museo d’Arte e Scienza: “African Artworks in Bronze, Stone, and Ceramics” Link: Museo d’Arte e Scienza: “African Artworks in Bronze, Stone, and Ceramics” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article for further insight into the Western market for and connoisseurship of African art.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.