Visual and Cultural Art

1001 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 4 Pages
For my essay I have selected key pieces of art that I believe express the African experience in terms of their social, ethnographical and theological beliefs. This paper will also attempt to draw a comparison to key themes features in the African Creation myths, which will further elucidate the meanings hidden in these various works of art. It is my belief that this paper will not only serve as a guide into the philosophical ideas of the African peoples but will help to juxtapose these ideas with the often false premise purported by certain groups of society, which would like to view Africans as primitive and uncultured. My first piece is the Benin bronze leopard. Situated in the African art section of the James E Lewis museum, if stands out not only as a true testament to workmanship but also as a sort of conveyor of nobility, this nobility which references the monarchy of the Benin Kingdom. The Benin Kingdom is ruled by a king names the Oba. This reverence for the Oba can be noted as a special style of ancestor worship, more specifically ancestor reverence. The idea of the society is that the Oba is divine, and as such the lives of all those who live under his rule revolve around his divinity. This divinity is represented by the various bronze plaques. The leopard has been regarded as a symbol of strength and fortitude for many years in the Benin Kingdom. This bronze cast…
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