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Sri lankan decorated casket
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Sri lankan decorated casket

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  • 1.  The relief carving on this 16th-century casket from Sri Lanka depicts a nobleman riding an elephant as attendants and onlookers hail him. Another side of the casket is decorated with gold and rubies.
  • 2.  This mask from Kanganaman, Middle Sepik area, New Guinea, was meant to be worn or carried in rituals. The mask is wood with overmodeling, with cowrie shells, boar’s tusks, and human hair. It stands 59 cm (about 23 in) and is part of the collection of the Tropical Museum, Amsterdam.
  • 3.  Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, lies in northeastern Tanzania near the border of Kenya. The mountain has two volcanic peaks, spaced 11 km (7 mi) apart, with the higher of the two rising 5,895 m (19,341 ft). Farmers cultivate coffee beans and plantains on Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes.
  • 4.  Lake Tanganyika, located in the Great Rift Valley, is the longest and second deepest freshwater lake in the world.
  • 5.  Wearing elaborate wooden headdresses, Dogon tribesmen in Mali leap in a funeral dance. Dancing and drumming continue to be an important part of traditional religious ceremonies, and about 15 percent of African peoples practice indigenous religions.
  • 6.  The waters of the mighty Nile flow past the high banks at Aswān in Upper Egypt. The Aswān High Dam, completed in 1970, altered the course of the river and enabled Egypt to control the perpetual flooding that had plagued it for centuries. The large dam project increased the country's amount of arable land and provided much-needed additional electricity. Controversy ensued, however, when it became known that the project would submerge valuable antiquities. The most famous of these monuments, the temples of Abū Simbel, were painstakingly moved to higher ground and thereby saved from destruction.
  • 7.  Acrobatic dances performed by girls or young athletes are popular in Côte d’Ivoire and other regions of West Africa. In this snake dance, supple young girls writhe and coil as though they were snakes. They are then tossed into the air by men who appear to catch them on the tips of knife blades. The dance stems from a ritual intended to protect against snakebite.
  • 8.  Large-scale livestock herding has been practiced in Uganda for centuries. Here, a herder and his Ankole cattle are silhouetted against the sunset. Ankole cattle are distinctive for their long curved horns.
  • 9.  This carved wooden staff from West Africa shows the mischievous deity known as Eshu. He is said to serve as a messenger between the gods and humans, and plays an important role in many rituals for the Yoruba, Fon, and other West African groups.
  • 10.  These members of a Nilotic tribe in Samburu, Kenya, are wearing traditional clothing. The men wear solid bright red fabrics; the women have vivid designs on their clothing and collars made of roped beads. Jewelry plays an important role in traditional African dress.
  • 11. ABOUT ASIANS
  • 12.  Red mangroves grow along the shore of Thailand’s Lipe Island, one of many offshore islands included in the country’s Tarutao Marine National Park, off the western coast in the Strait of Malacca. Mangroves are an essential part of the marine ecology in many tropical areas of the world, providing estuaries for wildlife nesting and feeding.
  • 13.  Sculpture from Prambanan, Java  The largest Hindu temple complex in Java is at Prambanan and was built from the 8th to the 10th century. Sculptures like this rounded human figure decorate the outside walls of the temples.
  • 14.  The giant faces carved on the Bayon temple at the Angkor Thum complex in northwestern Cambodia represent both the Buddha and King Jayavarman VII (ruled about 11301219). Although a Buddhist temple, Angkor Thum was modeled after the great Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat.
  • 15.  Dancers on the island of Bali, Indonesia, perform a barong dance-drama. Dancedramas enact battles between good and evil, and dancers appeal to the spirit world during performances. The barong dance-drama is believed to exorcise evil spirits from the village. This scene depicts a struggle between the witch Rangda and the barong, a mythical and benevolent beast.