Today we would like to express our appreciation for one of our dear clients: Desmond Morris.
Desmond Morris is known for his incredible success as a painter and for his writing. Desmond Morris startled the World with his book ‘The Naked Ape’ and has never stopped gripping public attention.
He is perhaps ranked as one of the foremost exponents of surrealism in Britain, Morris encapsulates the sociological importance of art through his books and paintings. One of his recent books ‘The Artistic Ape’ analyses artistic production in humans, how it began and why we pursue it with such intensity all over the World.
The Grand Egyptian Museum is now expected to open in 2021, not at the end of 2020. Originally the project was due to open in 2013 but construction and funding problems delayed the much-awaited opening and now the covid-19 pandemic has delayed it once again.
Zulu is the most popular tribe in Africa and also one of the largest ethnic groups in South Africa. The Zulu people see themselves as the “People of Heaven.” The tribe has an estimated eleven million people in the tribe, and they stand for union and togetherness.
Population: between 10 and 13 million
The Zulu people are the largest ethnic group in South Africa. They are descended from East African origins and over centuries, migrated south during what is called the great Bantu migration.
The Zulu rose into a formidable empire under the leadership of Shaka in the early 19th century. Under his leadership, the Zulu kingdom expanded and played an important role in the history of South Africa.
The Zulus of today are modern and progressive. While traditional clothing is reserved for special occasions, the Zulu retain strong connections with their ancestral and historical roots.
The Zulu are said to be warm-hearted and hospitable and it is to them that we owe the concept of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu states that we are people, not because of our individuality, but by virtue of our connections to other people, thus underlying the importance of relationships.
Although the Zulu are predominantly Christian, they have retained the belief in their supreme being, Unkulunkulu, who is the creator of all life. While Unkulunkulu is remote and detached, all fortune, misfortune, good or bad luck is attributed to ancestral spirits or amadlozi.
The ancestral spirits are the spirits of the dead, specifically, of people who were respected and successful in life.
By giving sacrifices to the ancestral spirits, the Zulu people seek to influence their lives on a day to day basis and all marriages or births are marked by sacrificial offerings.
The Zulu are also renowned for their skilled craftsmanship from earthenware pottery to weaving but most notably their beadwork. Bright colored beads are woven into intricate patterns that are highly decorative but also functional.
The patterns and colours have meaning.
For example, a triangle is the symbol used for a girl while an inverted triangle represents a boy. Joined triangles tip-to-tip indicates a married man, while triangles joined base-to-base is a married woman.
Each colour comes replete with the duality of life and has both a negative and a positive connotation. For example, red is for love and passion but can also represent anger and heartache, similarly, blue is the colour of faithfulness and request but also of hostility and dislike.
The symbolism is complex and unique while also being functional and beautiful. It is no wonder then that curio shops from airports to cultural villages and tourist attractions around the country are all stocked with Zulu beadwork curios.
The Zulu nation is a proud one.
They have opened cultural villages such as Shakaland in KwaZulu Natal, where you can experience their culture first hand. From traditional houses and dress to dancing, pottery, and beadwork.
This documentary film by Ghanaian filmmaker, Kwate Nii Owoo is a dramatisation of a visit to the British Museum by two Africans who discover African art, specifically Benin bronzes, hidden in the basement. An exposé of the policies of European colonial regimes which, in establishing their rule, attempted to wipe out all traces of African civilisation, religion, language, and art. It argues that materials collected in Africa and often hidden in the basements of European museums have been used against Africans as well as black people in the Caribbean, Europe, and the USA, making them look down on a rich cultural heritage.
The film is held in the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (JGPACA). To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film’s release, The Africa Centre, along with partners SOAS and AFFORD bring you a series of screenings and panel discussions to continue the debate and discussions around the restitution of African Art.
Among the panelists will be international curators, filmmakers, writers, cultural activists, and academics, including the filmmaker himself. The JGPACA and The Africa Centre’s event will focus on Restitution: Africa and The Diaspora’s participation and the role of cultural organisations such The Africa Centre.
Africa has many old tribes and today I am going to talk to you about the Chokwe People.
The Chokwe People have an estimated population of 1.3 million people. They are found primarily in Angola, southwestern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa to Lualaba), and north-western parts of Zambia.
The known history of the Chokwe Tribe dates back to the 15th century when a Lunda queen married the Luba prince Chibinda Ilunga. They were driven south after members of the Luanda ruling elite disapproved of the marriage. The couple settled and established several kingdoms, each ruled by a God-King. Chabinda Ilunda would become a cultural hero and is portrayed in many art forms.
Chokwe People consider Kalunga the God of creation and supreme power. They worship ancestors and various spirits and deities. Diviners are consulted to help defend against evil spirits and promote good health.
Artwork created by the Chokwe tribe is connected to their religious beliefs. Many sculptures are images of ancestors, most prominent being Chibinda Ilunga, with bent legs and a formidable stature.
This year, due to the covid-19 situation we are all living through, the Tribal Art Fair 2020 will take place exclusively online and, not in Duif in Amsterdam as planned. At the Tribal Art Fair you can find objects from Oceania, Africa, Asia and North and South America. The exhibition includes jewellery, sculptures, textiles, masks, implements and furniture.
If you have a passion for Tribal Art, make sure you do not miss this event.