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African Tribal Art is Unique 

African Tribal Art is Unique 

African Tribal Art is unique mainly due to its diversity.  

We can see diversity not only across long expanses of time and geography, but also from village to village, culture to culture. 

Each village, each tribe, have their own culture, their own religion and Gods, their own interpretations. So each one of them also have different rituals and its meanings, and their tribal art is based on their beliefs, culture, religion and ceremony meanings and goals they aim to achieve. 

African Tribal art pieces have a particular purpose, making it unique to the tribe who produced the art piece, with an unique meaning. 

African Tribal Art depicts the abundance of the surrounding Mother Nature. 

Pieces are abstract interpretations of human figures, such as a pregnant Mother or a couple about to begin their new life together. Masks, animals, plant life, or natural designs and shapes. 

Traditional African Tribal Art 

Africa’s art may seem complex, but it is simply a masterpiece.  African Tribal Art is Unique .

Going back to the beginning, culture and art are among Africa’s most valuable assets. 

Various religions are practised on the continent, thus impacting on pieces made.  

African art, in addition to prehistoric and ancient art, includes Islamic objects from North and West Africa, as well as Christian items from East Africa. Including artefacts from these areas, and tribes with distinct rituals and beliefs. 

But the worth of a culture should not be measured in terms of size. Every culture, with no exception, has a unique contribution to art. 

African cultures are part of the second most populous continent on the planet and have been of paramount importance in human history for thousands of years. 

Africa has a rich cultural history that has been passed down through the centuries. 

African art is known for its bright colours, distinctive and complex designs, due to its tremendous diversity and different languages spoken across the continent. 

African Tribal Art carries a multiplicity of meaning, which may be confusing to Western observers. Those who search for a specific description of the meaning of an African tribal art piece may not find their answers.  

African Tribes do not disclose every meaning of a particular piece, there are secretes within the tribe that will not come out for others to know. Like having secrets to the world within. 

We can only guess or compare the multitude of uses, meanings, and social contexts that can be contained in a single artwork. 

What is unique about the function of African sculptures? 

African Tribal Art is Unique and offers insights into the cultures and tribal community from where they came from. 

They represent human form, occasionally animal or both, and may be spiritual in nature. 

African sculptures represent the human form and are made primarily from wood, but it can also be carved from stone. 

The portrayal of the human form is not proportional but often strives to emphasize or exaggerate specific bodily characteristics.  

They are often used as forms of communication between people and supernatural forces and beings. Many are carved in wood for particular ceremonies within the tribes. 

African tribal art is crafted by the artist and then given their power by religious practitioners who make contact with the spirit worlds of their Gods and ancestors. 

The purpose of the pieces crafted are many, including to bring fertility, rain, good harvests, protection from disease, natural calamities, evil spirits, helping with social decisions and judgments, commemorating important events and even making political statements. 

Most pieces found today in Africa are 20th Century. It is much rarer today to find 19th Century tribal art pieces, or before, if it is not preserved in a museum. Pieces’ deterioration are caused by termites or they can rot because sometimes they are left outside suffering with weather conditions. 

Now I will leave you with two stunning fine examples of African Tribal Art pieces from gallery Preira’s website: 


Baule Maternity Figure – Gallery Preira

Most African sculptures were not created to be sold but rather were produced for specific roles such as to celebrate an important occasion, or, to represent religious ideals. 

Baule Asie Usu Figure – Gallery Preira

Many African Tribal sculptures are carved with great craftmanship, showing elaborate hairdos and ornamentation.   

Through fascination and acquisition by foreigners, these sculptures created their own marketplace in the Western art world and were thus given monetary values, some of them quite high.

If you’d like to read a bit further follow the links


And if you’d like to learn a bit more about African Tribes follow the link


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