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Sculptures and statuettes

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Yoruba statuettes (Sculptures and statuettes)

Tuesday 25 March 2008 by Brad

The history of the Yoruba, a tribe living between Nigeria and Benin, can be retraced from the beginning of the 20st century with the Ife civilisation. Following their falling a certain amount of kingdoms like the ones of Ijebu (1500-1750) and Oyo (1680-1830). This last one was directed by an emperor, called alafin, who served as a supreme judge. His power was offset by a council of seven chiefs, each one at the head of a non royal family. From the 17th century, the Oyo extended their territory thanks to their … Themselves they had been disintegrated during the 18th and the 19th century but had been reincarnated/rise from the death by the colonist power at the end of the 19th century. Today they are still at the base of the politic structure of the Yoruba.

Baule statuettes (Sculptures and statuettes)

Monday 21 January 2008 by Florence, Brad

The Baule represent one of the most important tribes of Ivory Coast and have got a long artistic tradition. The Baule statuettes have principally two functions. The first group, named asie usu, represents natural spirits wandering in the jungle, described in turn as hideous and very beautiful. These spirits were supposed to have the power to possess human beings, to use them as mediums and to become embodied as statuettes intervening in divination seances. Such spirits must above all not be upset, but should be conciliated with an offer of a beautiful image in which to embody themselves.

Mahafaly totem poles (Sculptures and statuettes)

Sunday 2 December 2007 by Brad

The Mahafaly (Mahafaly mean ‘the ones who make taboos’) inhabit the South of Madagascar and practise an ancestral funerary art...

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