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  • Nkanu - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    viewed within the context of the whole region In 1482 the Portuguese arrived on the coast beginning diplomatic relations with Kongo royalty which included sending Kongo nobles to visit the royal assemblage in Portugal in 1485 The relationship established between these two empires brought both Christianity and slaving into the region Nkanu peoples were undoubtedly affected by both of these influences Nkanu share many cultural and linguistic similarities with their Yaka and Lula neighbors indicating probable historical connections between them Economy Among Nkanu men contribute to the local economy largely through hunting They may hunt either individually or in groups and most often use bow and arrow or old rifles The women contribute primarily through cultivation of cassava sweet potatoes beans and peanuts They further supplement the diet through the gathering of wild fruits and berries and occasional fishing in the nearby rivers Manioc is the main staple throughout the region but maize is also very important Intergroup trade with neighbors in the region play a critical role in Nkanu economics Political Systems Like most of the peoples living in this region Nkanu peoples traditionally observed matrilocal descent inheritance rites succession and residence patterns Although in recent years there has been a tendency for some sons to reside in their own villages after marriage succession and inheritance still observes matrilocal patterns In most cases however when a man and a woman are married they move to the village of the bride Many times the bride s father is the brother of the groom s father In effect the groom is marrying his maternal cousin and living in the compound of his maternal uncle In this way power resides within the maternal line This arrangement results in a relatively high value being placed on daughters who in most cases bring in

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Nkanu (2016-02-13)
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  • Nok - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Kuba Kusu Kwahu Kwere Laka Lega Lobi Luba Luchazi Luluwa Lunda Luvale Lwalwa Maasai Makonde Mambila Mangbetu Manja Mbole Mende Mitsogo Mossi Mumuye Ngbaka Nkanu Nok Nuna Oron Owo Pende Pokot Punu San Sapi Senufo Shambaa Shona Songo Songye South Sotho Suku Swahili Tabwa Tuareg Urhobo We Winiama Wodaabe Wolof Woyo Wum Yaka Yombe Yoruba Zaramo Zulu Nok See All View all images in the media gallery Types of Art n a History Some of the earliest examples of sophisticated sculpture in sub Saharan Africa come from the Nok culture We do not know what the people called themselves so the culture was named after the town of Nok where the first object was found The fired clay or terracotta sculptures range in size from small pendant to life size figures Nok is an iron age culture that has been dated between 900 B C and 200 A D Archaeological artifacts have been found in Nigeria primarily to the north of the Niger Benue River confluence and below the Jos escarpment According to some accounts based on artistic similarities between early Yoruba art forms and Nok forms there may be connections between Nok culture and contemporary Yoruba peoples Economy n

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Nok (2016-02-13)
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  • Nuna - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    surrounding Nuna territory is infested with the tsetse fly making sleeping sickness endemic Mossi accounts tell of the magical powers of Nuna peoples and their neighbors Because of the structure of Nuna towns they were difficult for cavalry raiders to penetrate Nuna farmers could stand on the roofs of their homes and kill any mounted warriors who dared to enter the narrow alleys between houses The region however was constantly ravaged by slave raids perpetrated by the Mossi Fulani and Songhay until the end of the 19th century Economy Nuna are primarily sedentary farmers growing millet sorghum and yams Maize rice peanuts and beans are grown in addition to these staples Farmers throughout the region practice slash and burn farming using keri fields for approximately seven or eight years before they are allowed to lie fallow for at least a decade In the family fields close to the villages women grow cash crops including sesame and tobacco which are sold in local markets Men participate in hunting during the long dry season This is important for ritual reasons since it is during this time that men may interact with the spirits that inhabit the bush During the dry season when food supplies are running low some fishing is practiced in local swamps Political Systems Nuna societies are comprised mainly of farmers without social or political stratification They are not divided among occupational castes or groups since most of them simply till the land and engage in occasional hunting Before the arrival of the French they had no internal system of chiefs and all important decisions were made by a council of elders consisting of the oldest members of each of the village lineages Religious leaders do maintain some political authority determining the agricultural cycle and parceling out land for cultivation

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Nuna (2016-02-13)
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  • Oron - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    for several hundreds of years and while written information about them only exists in colonial records from the late 1800s on oral traditions have them in the region much earlier than this The peoples in the Cross River delta area were very resistant to colonial invasions and it was not until after the end of World War I that the British were able to gain a strong foothold in the region Even at this time however the British found it necessary to incorporate local traditions in order to impose indirect rule in the region Economy The main economic staple in the region is the palm tree the oil of which is extracted and exported Among Oron those of the highest rank in the Ekpo society Amama often control the majority of the community wealth The Amama often appropriate hundreds of acres of palm trees for their own use and with the profits they earn ensure that their sons achieve comparable rank effectively limiting access to economic gain for most members of the community The Ekpo society requires that its initiates sponsor feasts for the town which fosters the appearance of the redistribution of wealth by providing the poor with food and drink In effect this allows a disparity in wealth to be perpetuated in Oron society Political Systems Individual villages are ruled by Ekpo Ndem Isong a group of village elders and the heads of extended families Their decisions are enforced by members of the Ekpo society who act as messengers of the ikan ancestors Ekpo members are always masked when performing their policing duties and although their identities are almost always known fear of retribution from the ancestors prevents most people from accusing those members who overstep their social boundaries effectively committing police brutality Membership is open to all

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Oron (2016-02-13)
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  • Owo - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Lunda Luvale Lwalwa Maasai Makonde Mambila Mangbetu Manja Mbole Mende Mitsogo Mossi Mumuye Ngbaka Nkanu Nok Nuna Oron Owo Pende Pokot Punu San Sapi Senufo Shambaa Shona Songo Songye South Sotho Suku Swahili Tabwa Tuareg Urhobo We Winiama Wodaabe Wolof Woyo Wum Yaka Yombe Yoruba Zaramo Zulu Owo See All View all images in the media gallery Types of Art n a History The Owo site was first excavated in 1969 by Ekpo Eyo in the contemporary Yoruba town of Owo Archaeologists have found terracotta sculptures dating to the 15th century Owo is situated halfway between the Nigerian towns of Ife and Benin in southern Nigeria and so it is not surprising that Owo art displays characteristics of both traditions Some of the Owo objects show similarities to the art of Benin while others display characteristics that are unique to Owo Ife was then declining in power as Oyo another Yoruba city situated in the north was ascending Benin in the 15th century was expanding its influence to both the east and west and must have affected Owo Owo claims that it was never conquered by Benin but there are many elements of Owo culture clearly borrowed from Benin such

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Owo (2016-02-13)
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  • Pende - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    sculpted Carved stools staffs chairs and swords are used by chiefs and other important people to signify their power History The Pende along with their neighbors the Yaka and Suku can trace their origins to modern day Angola between the Atlantic Coast and the Kwanza Cuanza River They were forced north to their current region during the Lunda expansion in 1620 which also resulted in numerous cultural influences They are divided into two major groups a western group who live just to the east of the Yaka and an eastern group who live on the western bank of the Kasai River Although each group is culturally distinct they consider themselves as one people The Chokwe expansion around 1885 engulfed most of the eastern Pende and some of the western group as well Colonialism halted the expansion of the Chokwe and allowed the Pende to reclaim their independence Economy The Pende are mainly farmers who produce millet maize plantain and peanuts The women do the majority of the farm work and are wholly responsible for selling goods in the community markets The men help with the clearing of the fields and also contribute to the diet with occasional hunting and fishing in the numerous local rivers Political Systems The Pende political system is mainly controlled by lineage and marriage There is no recognized central political power and the chiefs that do exist do not exercise significant authority The extended family seems to serve the needs of social control within individual communities The Pende are a matrilineal people and the eldest maternal uncle in a family is usually recognized as heading the lineage a position which entails ensuring the well being of the family and taking care of the ancestors Religion Mvumbi the ancestors are placated through various rituals and offerings The

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Pende (2016-02-13)
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  • Pokot - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    come from the north and to Bantu peoples who come from central Africa For purposes of the Kenyan census Pokot are placed in the Kalenjin group which consists of many diverse groups of people who share Nilo Hamitic ancestry and history There are two main subgroups among Pokot The nomadic way of life that most Pokot live has allowed them to come into contact with numerous different peoples throughout history This interaction has allowed them to incorporate social customs that in some circumstances included marriage with other communities Many specific Pokot customs seemed to be borrowed from their Turkana and Karamojong neighbors Economy About one quarter of Pokot peoples are cultivators corn people while the remaining are pastoralists cow people Among both groups however wealth is measured by the number of cows one owns Cows are used for barter exchange and most significantly as a form of bride wealth A man is permitted to marry more than one woman as long as he has sufficient number of cows to offer to her family in exchange This is the primary way for wealth and resources to change hands in Pokot society Cows are rarely slaughtered for meat because they are much more valuable alive They provide milk butter and cheese which provide an important component of Pokot dietary needs Political Systems Pokot society is governed through a series of age grades Group membership is determined by the age at which one undergoes initiation For young men this occurs between ages fifteen and twenty while for young women it usually occurs around age twelve at the onset of menarche After initiation young people are allowed to marry and are permitted to begin participating in local economic activities Young men and women form close bonds with other members of their initiation groups and

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Pokot (2016-02-13)
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  • Punu - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    View all images in the media gallery Types of Art The most common types of objects found are carved masks which have been stylistically compared to Japanese art They also carve standing reliquary figures which watch over the bones of the deceased History Although not much is known about the history of the Punu linguistic evidence suggests that they moved into their current location from an area to the north possibly driven southward by the Kota and Fang who moved into the area just north of Punu territory in recent centuries This area had been occupied by various Pygmy peoples prior to Bantu expansion Punu art forms suggest a connection with their neighbors that may have emerged from a shared history or simply through contact Economy Punu economy is based on shifting hoe farming conducted in fields that have been carved out of the rain forests through slash and burn techniques This is supplemented when necessary with hunting fishing and livestock such as goats sheep and chickens The surrounding Equatorial forests also provide various fruits nuts and tubers for consumption The main crops include banana yams cassava maize peanuts and manioc Most labor is divided between the sexes with men doing most of the hunting gathering and clearing of land and women doing the other agricultural tasks Political Systems The Punu live in small villages in the Ogowe River Basin that each include several lineages and are led by a individuals within the community who have inherited their position matrilinearly rather than by a centralized force Religion There is very little known about the Punu religion but similarly to their neighbors to the north the Fang and Kota the Punu carve wooden reliquary figures which are stylistically different but similarly attached to a basket carrying the bones of individual family

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/Punu (2016-02-13)
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