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  • Death, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Space Checks and Balances Public Art Animal Imagery Regalia Cultural Exchange Death By Mary Nooter Roberts University of California Los Angeles Cameroon Kom peoples Mask Wood copper H 39 7 cm 15 5 8 The University of Iowa Museum of Art The Stanley Collection X1990 601 When a king or important chief passes away society dies a symbolic death as well An interregnum follows that is of critical importance Interregnum is a rite of passage through which society is moved from loss to rebirth with the investiture of a legitimate successor Frequently the death of a ruler is marked by solemn spectacles in which masks perform to honor and remember the deceased Among some Cameroon Grasslands kingdoms the most important occasions for the appearance of masks are formal funerals called cry dies of adult males including chiefs and kings The funeral is the final summing up of a man s existence in which all that was his due in life is recalled and celebrated in the form of public spectacle Northern 1979a 2 1979b This particular mask in the Kom Oku style possesses a headdress that represents a chief s knitted cotton cap A mask society waiting for its dance

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/governance/death/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Benin Kingdom, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    of objects back to Europe as war booty The origins of the kingdom probably go back more than 500 years According to oral history the people of Benin were first ruled by the Ogiso kings but the people revolted and asked the King of Ife to send a prince to rule them He sent Oranmiyan whose first son Eweka became the first Oba or king of the new dynasty Terracotta

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/ancient-africa/benin-kingdom/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Textiles, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Rovine University of Florida formerly University of Iowa Nigeria Hausa peoples Robe Cotton silk H 127 cm 50 The University of Iowa Museum of Art In memory of Diana Benz from her friends and family Contributors to the Diana J Benz Memorial Fund Astrid Bennett John Benx Jackie Blank Natalie Brody Sarah Brown Barbara Buckley Eve Dolch Judith Dows Sally Fedge Judith Hurtig Mary Lea Kruse 1988 33 This robe of a type worn by men in many parts of Nigeria and neighboring countries incorporates several important characteristics of high status garments It is large reflecting the wealth of its wearer and literally increasing his size The high cost of the gown is also the result both of the amount of material required and of its labor intensive production the cloth of which it is made is woven in thin strips and much of the garment is decorated with elaborate hand stitched embroidery The large size of an agbada is more than an impressive visual display it is also a practical adaptation to the warm climate of the African savanna The layers of loose billowing cloth cool the body circulating air as the folds of the cloth move 1 2

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/everyday-endeavor/textiles/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Elderhood, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    can exercise greater influence over the life of the community Elders cease to have the day to day concerns for the health and well being of their children who are now grown with children of their own They are instead more concerned with the health and well being of the lineage and community Elders are respected because they have accumulated knowledge and are able to exercise the power that is

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/key-moments-in-life/elderhood/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Reintegration, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Jordán As the liminal phase of initiation proceeds boys are taken backstage of their own culture where they learn the nature of dramatic artifice This is not to say that the theater of change is a sham instead boys are taught how to effect sacred transformations to preserve that most basic of dialectic truths men are men only in opposition to women Toward the end of the liminal period boys

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/education-initiation/reintegration/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Secrecy, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    in many African kingdoms They also govern the aesthetics of court practice more generally Secrecy Allen Roberts writes is the essence of politics for it implies a hierarchy of privilege and dependency some people know something others do not 1993 65 Secrecy silence and concealment infuse all aspects of Luba court etiquette kings eat and drink in isolation they demonstrate authority by remaining silent when addressed the king s mother

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/governance/secrecy/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Sierra Leone Stone Figure, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    Governance Cultural Exchange Sierra Leone Stone Figure By William Dewey Pennsylvania State University formerly University of Iowa Guinea Conakry Sierra Leone Nomoli Style Male figure 15th 17th century Steatite H x W x D 16 2 x 8 6 x 10 8 cm 6 3 8 x 3 3 8 x 4 1 4 in Museum purchase 85 1 2 Photograph by Franko Khoury National Museum of African Art Smithsonian Institution Figures such as this carved of soft steatite or soapstone are frequently found by the Mende people of Sierra Leone and are called nomoli They are found in caves and earthen mounds and are often discovered by farmers The Mende place them in shrines by their rice fields to increase the fertility of the crops If the crops do not fare well the little figures are whipped so that next year the crops will do better This may have nothing to do with their original functions Those who carved them were a people known to the Portuguese traders of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as the Sapi This figure is fairly typical with a large head Lamp has discovered that the iconography of the carved figures suggests that they

    Original URL path: https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/chapters/ancient-africa/sierra-leone-stone-figure/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Death and Rebirth, Page 1 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Museum of Art
    and Rebirth By Christopher D Roy University of Iowa Democratic Republic of the Congo Hemba peoples Singiti male ancestor figure Wood H 73 7 cm 29 The University of Iowa Museum of Art The Stanley Collection X1986 313 Death is the final event in life and is celebrated by the same important rites of passage that mark every significant transition in the life of an individual or a community in Africa As in initiation death is a leaving behind of one phase of life and the beginning of another and so the death of an elder includes separation from the community of the living a journey to the land of ancestors and reintegration into the world of the ancestral spirits The memory of the deceased may be preserved and the living may appeal to the spirit of the deceased to act as intercessor with the spirits of nature to secure their blessings The figure from the Hemba people was placed with several additional figures in a small hut to protect it from the rain and represented the ancestors of the family The elegant cross shaped hairstyle was so common in the area of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in

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