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Ancient Africa Art History Survey
 

Ancient Africa Art History Survey

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Covers highlights in Ancient African art history based on the Stokstad textbook (3rd ed) including Benin, Great Zimbabwe, Igbo Ukwu, and more, along with a brief video on Edward Said's "Orientalism" ...

Covers highlights in Ancient African art history based on the Stokstad textbook (3rd ed) including Benin, Great Zimbabwe, Igbo Ukwu, and more, along with a brief video on Edward Said's "Orientalism" theory.

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    Ancient Africa Art History Survey Ancient Africa Art History Survey Presentation Transcript

    • Ancient Africa Art History Survey I T, R, 12 -1:20PM Professor Paige Prater
    • Africa  Trade with Egypt through the Hellenistic period  Greeks traded with northern coast  Romans continued trans-Saharan trade  Islam: 7-8th century CE –  West African gold  Chronicled Ghana, Mali, Songhay, etc.  East Africa: Swahili and trade ports of Mogadishu, Mombasa, and Kilwa  15th century: Portugal establishes trade with Benin  20th century: African art widely collected but misunderstood
    • Challenges to studying African Art  Wood  Myth of “Primitive” art  Contemporary traditions  Oral histories  Still discovering…  Ocher pigment + perforated shells; 70,000 years ago!
    • Orientalism = applicable to Africa?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwCOSkXR_Cw
    • Sahara Rock Art – 8000- 500BCE Cattle Being Tended, section of rock-wall painting, Tassili-n-Ajjer, Algeria, c. 5000-2000 BCE
    • Nok – 500 BCE- 200CE  Earliest evidence of iron technology (western Sudan, present-day Nigeria)  Terracotta Head, Nok, 500BCE-200CE, 36cm, National Museum, Lagos, Nigeria
    • Igbo-Ukwu  Eastern Nigeria  Earliest known evidence for copper alloy and bronze casting  Roped Pot on a Stand, Igbo-Ukwu, 9th-10th century, 32.3cm (approx. 12”)
    • Ife – 800 CE-Present  “navel of the world”  Circular plan metropolis by 11th century; palace at center  Stone walls + moats  Radial roads  1000-1400CE – Pavement Period  “oni” = first ruler
    • Ife (Yoruba peoples)  800CE  Naturalistic sculpture – 1050CE  Continuous dynasty  Crowned Head of a King, Ife, Yoruba, c. 12th- 15th century CE, Zinc brass, lost-wax method
    • Ife  Head Said to Represent the Usurper Lajuwa, Ife, Yoruba, c. 1200-1300CE  Preserved in the oni’s palace
    • Benin  City, 150 miles southeast of Ife  Oral histories: 1170 CE, Prince Oranimiyan sent to rule Benin (by oni of Ife).  1485 – Portugal begins trading with Benin  Ivory, forest products…slaves  1897 – British sacked/burned royal palace after massacre of trade negotiators  Early Period: 1400-1550 (influenced by Ife)  Middle Period: 1550-1700CE (increasingly stylized  Late Period: 1700-1897CE (large/heavy)
    • Benin  Head= symbolic center of:  Wisdom  Intelligence  Spiritual communication  King-like “Great Head”  Memorial Head of an Oba, Benin, 16th century, brass, 9”
    • Altar, Edo Culture, Nigeria, 1959. Photo by Eliot Elisofon.
    • Plaque: Warrior Chief Flanked by Warriors and Attendants, Benin, Nigeria, 1550-1650CE, Brass  One of approximately 900 examples!  1897 Punitive Expedition (British found in storehouse)  http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=tmrdunRXfbw
    • Benin Ivory • Hip Mask • Iyoba (queen mother) • Iron, Ivory, and copper 9 3/8” • Middle Period, c. 1550CE
    • Jenné (in Mali) – 200 CE - Present  Great Friday Mosque, 13th century (rebuilt 1907)
    • Great Zimbabwe  Conical Tower in Imba Huru or “Great Enclosure”  18’ diameter on tower  30’ high  800 ft long masonry wall  17’ feet thick base  1200-1400CE
    • Great Zimbabwe  Bird Monolith (top part)  1200-1400CE, soapstone  Over 5’ tall
    • Kongo Kingdom  1482 – Portuguese encounter  Early 17th century  9 ½” x 28 ¼”, raffia