ART 212, Art History
Early African Art
Although Ife and Benin city were amongst the cities that arose in ancient Africa, The city of Mbanza Kongo, south of Congo were also significant cities. There , cities and states that developed around them grew wealthy from the trans-Saharan trade that also connected west Africa to the Mediterranean. Salt and gold were the most significant trades that arose Mopti, Timbuktu, and Jenne. Trades like Horseman were also discovered by archaeologists that as well made the city more significant. Not only the trades were significant but the place itself called the the Great Friday Mosque where the most unusual features of the west African mosques were the torons. The creation of it it was also significant known as the adobe.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Benin, a series of cast brass plaques were created to beautify the exterior of the royal palace in Benin city. These plaques are discovered to have a meaning and to tell the relationship to one another. This plaques were made following the lost wax casting process (fig.1). This plaque shows a warrior chief in the middle. His rank is suggested by the necklace and the cap he wears. Not only is he indicated by the clothes he wears but the eben sword he holds above his head. The eben sword is a leaf shaped blade made of iron with openwork surface decoration is a major symbol that he is a high rank warrior in Benin. The plaque is a scene of ceremony. The warrior chiefs gesture of raising the eben sword is still preformed today in which the chiefs declare their faith and loyalty to the oba.
Among the most significant goods exchanged were salt from the north and gold from the west of Africa. Such as cities like Mopti, Timbuktu, and Jenne were at the area of grasslands along the Nigeria River known as the Niger Bend. That was significant because the cities were in the center of the buying and selling of goods, where merchants from all of west Africa...