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  • Architecture, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    by Christopher D Roy African architecture is often very sophisticated in its adaptation to local materials and climate In arid regions where tall trees are not available people build with bricks of dried mud and straw Where stone and labor are available African builders have created structures of amazing strength and sophistication In many urban areas today multi storied buildings made of steel and concrete are more common than structures

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/everyday-endeavor/architecture/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Religion, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    same he serves as an essential link in the chain of communication between the spirit world and the natural world When people have a problem when disasters befall them when they need answers to unanswerable problems they deal with the gods with the help of the ritual specialist who may use any of hundreds of techniques to open lines of communication between man and God Such techniques may include prayer

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/key-moments-in-life/religion/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Signs and Symbols, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    F Roberts University of California Los Angeles formerly University of Iowa Democratic Republic of the Congo Kuba peoples Mask Wood copper cloth leather shells beads H 27 3 cm 10 3 4 The University of Iowa Museum of Art The Stanley Collection X1986 195 Of the arcane knowledge or gnosis learned during the liminal period of boys initiation cosmology is often so important that it is acted out through masked dramas and exhibitions of sacred materials referring to the origins of cultural institutions Boys see and eventually participate in theatrical productions explaining how the world has come to be the way it is Axiomatic values are often personified and plots for these plays often pit cultural heroes against forces of evil or chaos Among Kuba peoples performances are staged for three major masks called moshambwooy the first king ngady a mwash his queen and bwoom a commoner The iconography of bwoom masks like this one refers to nature spirits and hunter gatherers who so intimately know the rain forest In initiation dramas bwoom competes for the throne of moshambwooy and the sexual favors of ngadya mwash much to the king s displeasure The same masker polices the initiation camp see

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/education-initiation/signs-and-symbols/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Investiture, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    the candidate from an ordinary person into an extraordinary being with supernatural powers In the past Luba investitures consisted of a series of dangerous rites that categorically set rulers apart from other members of society Aspiring chiefs were required to prove themselves by overcoming cultural taboos First incumbents committed incest with a female relative Candidates were also to sleep sequestered away with the relics of their predecessors Finally blood was

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/governance/investiture/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Owo, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    town of Owo and found terracotta sculptures dating to the 15th century Owo is situated halfway between the Nigerian towns of Ife and Benin and so it is not surprising that Owo art displays characteristics of both traditions The Ife style is quite obvious on this Owo terracotta head The parallel striations on the face the overlap at the corners of the eye the raised edge of the lips and

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/ancient-africa/owo/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Dress, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    great deal of skill and creative energy to the creation of clothing and adornments African attire encompasses a broad range of media and styles from wool cotton and raffia textiles to metal leather ivory bone and glass jewelry Ephemeral adornments such as body painting and hairstyles are also important artistic expressions in many parts of Africa These forms of attire are intended to enhance the beauty and the presence of

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/everyday-endeavor/dress/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Leadership, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    established at the apex of a complex and well ordered political bureaucracy Such systems exert power over communities cities kingdoms and empires In contrast non centralized systems of government rarely extended beyond the clan or community In these communities councils of elders representing each of the families in the community meet to make decisions about the conduct of life In addition there are communities in which there are no apparent

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/key-moments-in-life/leadership/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Gender, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    University of California Los Angeles formerly University of Iowa Democratic Republic of the Congo Mbole peoples Figure Wood pigment white ochre traces of black H 38 1 cm 15 The University of Iowa Museum of Art The Stanley Collection X1986 315 During initiation boys learn the secrets that will make them men From another perspective the purpose of boys initiation is the cultural construction of male identity This is only possible by defining a gender dialectic for women are the ultimate audience for male theater Secrets remain a source of power only if they are kept see Nooter 1993 and so transgression of boys initiation may be punished severely Mbole people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo once made figures portraying young men who had been hanged for having fled their initiation camps to return to their mothers bosoms and reveal men s secrets Such figures are meant to frighten boys into compliance recalling a story of Laka people of Chad as told in the late 1960s of how a woman was buried alive when she hid her son rather than return him to initiation camp whence he had fled Similarly Senufo boys of Côte d Ivoire used to

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/education-initiation/gender/ (2016-02-13)
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