Top Ten Highlights of African Culture

Learning Team 3

By Adrianne Owings & Braylon Smith

1.    African Visual Art


African art often expresses traditional religious beliefs. Some of the most popular forms of this visual art created by the Africans includes the ceremonial masks and wooden figures by the Dogon people who live in Mali. Before the European colonialism in the 1800s, the African communities created art expressing their worldviews that could be functional or decorative. Unlike the Europeans, they thought that art was did not only provide a purpose for philosophical inquiry, contemplation, or other narrative reasons. The rational logic and naturalism in Western art was rarely found in African art (with the exception of Yoruba Ife Terracotta heads in the 12th and 13th centuries). Creativity was exercised through the applied and decorative arts, like jewelry and furniture. Costumes and masks were also a common form of visual art. They usually were used for spiritual rituals…

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