African Art: The Extraordinary Terracotta Ceramic Faces Essay

African Art: The Extraordinary Terracotta Ceramic Faces Essay

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Apart from rock art, ancient artists in Africa prepared sculptures. One of the oldest sculptures in Africa was the extraordinary terracotta ceramic faces, many of which have worn out over time, recorded in western African country of Nigeria and are as old as 2,500 years or more. The sculptures are assembled using iron cast or even grog compounds though none of them exists in their initial form. They demonstrate a resilient spirit in the African culture that dates back to about 200 AD (Peter 89. Their stupendous formal characteristics and communicative eminence places them at a distinct position with reference to African art history. They are unique because they depict distortion and are uniquely designed depicting complicated hairstyles and embellishment. Terracotta carvings presently hold a critical but unique spot in world's artistic evolution.
Sokoto district in Nigeria has been identified as one place with sculptures of captivating sternness, some of which were produced in the period around 1st Century AD. The district could have emerged as a trade center (several trade routes cross through the town). The carvings are known to have a uniquely heavier crests and carry lesser decorations around their necks as compared to those found in the other Nigerian districts (Biler 72). Coincidentally, a town with a similar name in South Africa was found with carvings similar to the just described pieces. Archaeologists estimate that the art pieces could have been assembled around 500 AD identifying them as the earliest pieces in the southern end of the continent. There is very scanty information linking the sculpture work to a specific ethnic group though there is enough reason to assume that individuals who buried them in the earth's c...


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...e by the use of colorful patterns, especially the beautification of house walls, and a renewed passion towards spatial surroundings, settings that not only appeal to people on the basis of their convenience but also bond well with man's discernment. From the literature in the presiding paragraphs, it is clear that African art is broad and wide- extending from carvings, through weights to clothes. Some of the geometrical shapes used in modern-day schooling were devised by African artists. It can proudly be said that the history of African art has through the centuries shaped the art we currently witness all over the globe.


Works Cited

Biler, M. (2007). A History of Art in Africa. New York: McGraw Hill Books.
Bassani, Ezio. (2012). African Art. New York: Top Ten Publishers.
Peter, G. (2002). Early Art and Architecture of Africa. New York: Oxford University Press.

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