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Art: Maasai couple figurine

Art: Maasai couple figurine

The Maasai are an indigenous African ethnic tribe of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. Due to their distinctive customs and homes being near the many game parks of East Africa, they are among the most well-known African ethnic groups internationally.

The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but the Maasai have continued their age-old customs. Recently an Aid organization has claimed that the lifestyle of the Maasai should be embraced as a response to climate change because of their ability to farm in deserts and scrublands.

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'Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa' At the British Museum

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Obalufon mask. Ife, Nigeria. Early 14th century. © Karin L. Wills/Museum for African Art/National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria.
LONDON.- This spring, two major exhibitions at the British Museum will explore two important artistic traditions which flourished at the same time in different part of the worlds.

Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa (4th March - 6th June 2010) will tell the story of the legendary city of Ife through some of the most refined and beautiful sculptures ever to be found in Africa, created between the 12th and 15th centuries. Meanwhile Fra Angelico to

Indus Valler Civilization

The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were founded about 2200 BC by two groups of people from Africa, Negroid and Dravidian (Black people with wooly hair and black people with straight hair). Some scholars say that many left the Nile Valley during the Third Dynasty in Kemet. They built the world's first indoor toilets with closed sewer systems that ran from each toilet stool to the outskirts of town. - C. L. Clark.

Art: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria


Over the course of some four centuries, artists at Ife created sculpture that ranks among the most aesthetically striking and technically sophisticated in the world. Dynasty and Divinity reveals the extraordinarily creative range of Ife art through a diversity of objects that includes handsome idealized portrait heads, exquisite miniatures, expressive caricatures of old age, lively animals, and sculptures showing the impressive regalia worn by Ife's kings and queens. Together, these illuminate one of the world's greatest art centers and demonstrate not only the technological sophistication of Ife artists, but also the rich aesthetic language they developed in order to convey cultural concerns.

The sculptures in the exhibition express the dignity and self-assurance readily associated with the idea of dynasty and the violence and misfortune that could befall human beings. Several superbly crafted copper alloy and terra-cotta heads and figures are expressive representations of the notion of authority, while startling representations of disease and deformity, rendered in stone and terra-cotta, show the afflictions that may result from both divine and worldly forces.

A catalogue with an introductory essay by Enid Schildkrout,  Chief Curator Emerita at the Museum for African Art and an essay by Henry John Drewal, Evjue-Bascom professor of art history and Afro-American studies at the University of

Art: Ancient Ife


Art: Ancient Ife

Africans believed that the creative-source in nature and human culture were two completely different developments. Africans did not wish to offend nature by trying to imitate creation. They consider it an insult to do so. The human mission was to advance culture not creation. Nok civilization around 300 BC began using the cultural geometric volumes of sphere cylinder and cone to portray the human figure. When Yoruba emigrants from the Nile valley moved into the region they continued using those same shapes to create an illusion of human likeness. - C. L. Clark

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