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  • Women as Diviners, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    many Western traditions women are portrayed as untrustworthy and unable to keep secrets particularly in the realm of politics Just the opposite is often the case in African societies Mary Nooter Roberts has showed through her work with Luba peoples of Democratic Republic of the Congo that women are recognized as the primary keepers of societal secrets These secrets are not trivial bits of gossip but rather the history and

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/divination/women-as-diviners/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Birth, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    their newborn from the way the birth occurred Was it an ordinary head first face backwards delivery without complication for mother or child Or was it a breech birth with the buttocks or feet appearing first Was the child born with a caul that is a piece of embryonic sac covering the head or was the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby Any of these unusual deliveries is potentially fatal

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/education-initiation/birth/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Reintegration / Ancestors, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Museum of Art The Stanley Collection X1986 157 In general the term ancestor is synonymous with forebears and refers to one s late grandparents and great grandparents For many African cultures the term has a more complex definition For instance among Dogon and Senufo peoples there are primordial ancestors who not unlike Adam and Eve are the original male and female pair that gave birth to humanity Clan ancestors are familial progenitors who led a full and honorable life and died in old age This figure of an ancestor of the Ijaw people in the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria wears a top hat a symbol of status based on personal achievement in 19th century coastal Africa The figure served as a dwelling place for the spirit of the deceased and both localized stabilized and confined the spirit to form a channel of communication between the living and the dead Kenya Kambe peoples Grave post Wood H 113 cm 44 1 2 Detroit Institute of Arts Founders Society Purchase Eleanor Clay Ford Fund for African Art 78 14 Among Kambe peoples of Coastal Kenya the graves of honored ancestors were marked by placing posts such as this example

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/death/reintegration-ancestors/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Archaeology of Rule, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Angeles Nigeria Yoruba Ife peoples Oni figure Brass H 37 cm 14 9 16 National Museum Lagos Nigeria 13 79 R 9 Photo by Dirk Bakker Kingdoms rose and fell through the course of African history and we must rely on a variety of sources to reconstruct the histories of these states including oral traditions archaeology written sources and architectural ruins Archaeological research has been uneven in Africa due to

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/governance/archaeology-of-rule/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Recycling, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    and a common form of culture building that emerges both in adaptation to and in protest against cultural exploitation In Africa broken or worn out objects are often transformed from purposes associated with the socioeconomic class of their first possessors to others deemed more appropriate to the needs of the vast majority of people who cannot afford the luxuries enjoyed by the original owners Examples range from buckets made from

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/cultural-exchange/recycling/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Ife, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Death Governance Cultural Exchange Ife By William Dewey Pennsylvania State University formerly University of Iowa Nigeria Yoruba Ife peoples Oni figure Brass H 47 1 cm 18 9 16 National Museum Lagos Nigeria 79 R 12 Photo by Dirk Bakker The Yoruba people of Nigeria believe the world began at the city of Ife One version of their myth relates how Olodumare the creator sent his son Oduduwa to form the earth At that time there was only a wide expanse of water Oduduwa climbed down on an iron chain and placed a chicken and a calabash of earth upon the water The chicken scratched and spread the earth thereby creating the land A chameleon was then placed on the land and in its slow and careful manner tested the earth s firmness Oduduwa then established himself as Ife s first sacred king This brass figure discovered in Ife represents one of those sacred kings and dates from the 11 th or 12 th century C E A D He wears the traditional regalia of a king a beaded crown and necklaces and holds in his hands a scepter and a medicine horn the symbols of his power and authority

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/ancient-africa/ife/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Smoking and Drinking, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    important religious and political events Grains including millet corn or tree sap may be fermented in large pots Different regions towns and even households brew alcohol according to their own recipes The cups from which these beverages are consumed are often marked by elaborate decoration setting them apart from other vessels Likewise tobacco use has significance far beyond its casual use in the West In some parts of Africa in

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/everyday-endeavor/smoking-and-drinking/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Marriage and Eligibility, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Marriage and Eligibility By Christopher D Roy University of Iowa Democratic Republic of the Congo Woyo peoples Pot lid Wood W 25 4 cm 10 The University of Iowa Museum of Art The Stanley Collection X1990 600 Marriage is a key moment that follows immediately after initiation among many peoples because both events serve to break the bonds of the individual with childhood and the unmarried state and to reintegrate the individual into the adult community Among the Woyo people of western Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo a young woman is given a set of carved pot lids by her mother when she marries and moves to her husband s home Each of the lids is carved with images that illustrate proverbs about relations between husband and wife If a husband abuses his wife in some way or if the wife is unhappy she serves the husband s supper in a bowl that is covered with a lid decorated with the appropriate proverb She can make her complaints public by using such a lid when her husband brings his friends home for dinner The carved figure on this lid represents a cooking hearth with a pot on three

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/key-moments-in-life/marriage-and-eligibility/ (2016-02-13)
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