African Art Essay

523 Words3 Pages
African Art Art is one thing that anyone can use to express themselves. Most people in the United States use art as a way to open their minds, free their thoughts, and entertain and amaze peers with their talents. Art is beautiful in its own way, no matter where it is created. Africa has very unique, interesting artworks. Several different forms include: masks, soapstone carvings, walking canes, ebony carvings, jewelry, musical instruments, and music. Masks are a very big part of African tribes’ culture and religion. Masks were worn in harvest festivals, initiation rites, war preparations, peace gatherings, and ceremonies for reunions, deaths, births, and marriage. The masks were typically made of wood, bronze, brass, copper, and ivory, and decorated using, colored beads, bone, animal skins and vegetable fibers. Soapstone carvings are usually found and made in Kenya. The carvings are also called “Kisii Stone,” named after the village they originate from. Using the soapstone, Africans make wild animal figures. The stone is very smooth, and color can be added using various colors of dyes. Walking canes are not used to help someone walk, but for protecting oneself against the dangerous animals that lurk around their villages. Canes are also symbols of prestige and tokenism. They are hand-carved. Depending on where the cane is made, it is made of different types of wood. In Ghana, they are made of sese wood; in Kenya they are made of Mvuli wood. Ebony is a black, hard, dense type of wood. It is one of the most expensive kinds of wood in the world, although, just like any wood does, ebony dries and cracks. Africans tend to call Ebony carvings “Mpingo.” Ebony carvings, like soapstone carvings, are usually animal and human figures. Jewelry is made and worn in Africa, for not only looking beautiful. Africans create bracelets, earrings, and necklaces to
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