Figures in african art

Like the masks the african figures were used for different roles. African Figures in art from Afrcia are mainly ancestor figures, fetishes or dolls. Carving african figures the artist followed the traditional style more strictly than creating masks. Therefore many people are speaking of copies, because the obviously same type of african figures is published before. But this is not true discussing authentic african figures. Each african figure must have the personal expression of the artist and it is authentic by its use in the rituals of the tribe. Therefore we have to between the following main groups of carvings:

  • authentic African figures made for use in the tribe

  • good copies for museums and collectors

  • tourist copies

We try to find authentic figures, but sometimes we must accept good copies too, because the use is not visible.

Ancestor african figures are used as a spiritual or ceremonial stand-in for the spirit of the deceased. They have to be carved with signs of recognition for the coming spirit of the ancestor and the have to be carved in a good quality in honor of the ancestor. The priests know how to invite the ancestors to dwell in the figure. Aside of a good quality of these african figures it needs more to satisfy the ancestor. The african figures are decorated and will have food and drinking. The storage of the african figures is very different- sometime in the field for a good crop, in front of the house to protect the family, inside in a shrine, big figures in a temple e.t.c.. This is what gives the african figures so different appearances independent from age.

Kategorie: , Aktualisiert am 26. November 2007 von admin | Anmelden

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