Arabesque And Africa

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This Islamic artistic form, famously known for its intricate and beautiful designs can be seen in Africa whereby its style has been adapted and recreated. Geometric pattern and complex mathematical deigns were the foundation that the Arabesque was founded upon. Beautiful intricate ceramic tiles were made for the elaborate decoration of mosques, just as stained glass windows were used in Europe to adorn their churches and cathedrals. (Both traditions took pride in their set place of worship decorating their walls with their finest designs.) Most forms of coastal art in East Africa are characterized by geometric patterns and bold, vibrant lively designs (an influence from the Islamic cultural faith and arts) This was brought upon by the trade in Africa, whereby some of the fist settlers in the coastal regions were Arabs, bringing with them their Islamic influences in terms of architecture and design. Parts of Mombasa, a coastal town in Kenya are now referred to as ‘Old Town’, and are host to many ruins of the Muslim world such as ‘Fort Jesus’. The town consists of mosques once heavily adorned in intricate designs, but now old and un-kept remain as reminders of what they once were. After the defeat of the Portuguese, the Omani Arabs controlled the coast of East Africa (1697-1888), and it is this Arabic influence that can be traced around Mombasa town. Old town for example is renowned for its impressive carved doors. These Arab influenced doors are a decorative and interesting feature of the architecture of the coast of East Africa, and are a tradition which dates back to the Arabic coastal settlements of the early middle ages. The Arabs brought to Africa their unique and intricate sense of design, a trait which many African’s now incorporate into their own artistic

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