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In today’s Cultural and Creative Arts class, We will be discussing African Traditional Arts. We hope you enjoy the class!


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This is the traditional art of the African people centred around the religion, rituals, culture and social life of the African people. African traditional art is principally symbolic rather than representational. It is more concerned with visualizing functional concepts rather than an accurate representation of the subject.  The traditional art of the African people plays an essential role in the life of the African people and their different communities and tribes. African art is notable for its prime characteristics of functionality against aesthetics. African traditional artists depicted their objects in emotional proportion rather than the basic techniques of correct proportion.  In most African sculpture, the head which is referred to as the seat of wisdom and personality is usually enlarged to the proportion of one-fourth or one-third of the total height of the human figure instead of the basic western proportion technique of total figure measured out in seven and half heads. The emphasis of the big head symbolizes the importance of the person, his title or capacity in wisdom.

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Functions of African traditional art
  1. Rituals
  2. Ceremonies
  3. Sacred
  4. Worship
  5. Status of social respect, furnishings, embellishments of houses and doors, royal clothing and ornaments.
  6. Security and safety intended to assist for healing, prediction and control of the future, objects that aid successes in agriculture, hunting etc.

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However, the introduction of the European or western style of art which operated under the philosophy of aesthetic has revolutionized the African art over the years. The aesthetic principles of western art have been made evident in the rendition of traditional art forms in today’s art world.  Traditional art enjoys the creative exploration of different art materials.




We have come to the end of this class. We do hope you enjoyed the class?

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

In our next class, we will be talking about African Traditional Arts. We are very much eager to meet you there.


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