African Art Study Guide

African Art Study Guide - Introduction to Africa, Oceanic,...

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Introduction to Africa, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian Art Study Guide 1 – METHODOLOGIES, DOGON COUNTRY, AFRICAN ART AND CONCEPTS Themes of the course (overall): image of the body, ecology, life cycle Life, birth, death Art made for the human body and on the human body Space and time – communal space, altering of space / time Methodologies : African Art Tropical diseases prevalent in parts of Africa: Malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, parasites such as the guinea worm, hepatitis, AIDS, encephalitis Life expectancy: 42 or under Food: millet, maize, rice (rice is a luxury food) 90% carbohydrate diet The differences in cultural concepts: o Knowledge o Power o Gender roles o Who inhabits the world: sprits, ancestors, humans o Life expectancy: all deaths except those of the extremely old caused by spiritual powers or ill-intentioned humans Archaeology: uses excavation, stratigraphy, DNA analysis of human / animal bones, carbon 14 dating, gps orientation and other scientific techniques to uncover remains of earlier culture Oral Literature : Griots: Among Mande people, griots are members of caste of praise singers, historians, political advisors, musicians and courtiers o i.e. in Mali the Sunjata Epic from the 13 th century performed every 7 years at the vestibule of Kangaba problems with oral history: history of griots aimed at the particular audience they address at any one moment Written Arabic Sources : Tarikhs (books of history), in Mali a large collection of these is now conserved at the Centre Ahmed Baba at Timbuktu
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problems: require knowledge of Arabic often display anti-black-African bias usually don’t discuss art but focuses on battles and military / economic history Colonial Texts : give names, dates, places, easy access in libraries / archives problems: express viewpoint of colonizer, not indigenous view often racist (by modern standards) simplify complex phenomena (i.e. Komo men’s association reduced to ‘the work of the Devil’ Anthropology Fieldwork: very detailed and accurate information can be collected through long term life in another culture
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This note was uploaded on 10/14/2011 for the course ART HIST 250 taught by Professor Brett-smith during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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African Art Study Guide - Introduction to Africa, Oceanic,...

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