Book summary

The Royal Arts of Africa: The Majesty of Form ebook review

In Central & W. Africa in the centuries just before & after European contact, powerful kingdoms flourished, each with distinctive art practices. The royal arts of Benin, Yoruba, Dahomey, Asante, Kongo, Kuba etc are the subject of this book. What are the court-art traditions of the African royal states? How do art & architecture define individual, dynastic, royal & national In Central & W. Africa in the centuries just before & after European contact, powerful kingdoms flourished, each with distinctive art practices. The royal arts of Benin, Yoruba, Dahomey, Asante, Kongo, Kuba etc are the subject of this book. What are the court-art traditions of the African royal states? How do art & architecture define individual, dynastic, royal & national identity? What is the impact on them of centuries of trade, colonization & religious exchange? How is this art to be understood within its cultural context? Blier draws on a vast range of individual objects-crowns & masks, thrones, regalia, palace architecture, painting, textiles, body decoration & jewelry-as well as archival photographs of art works in use in ceremonies & performances. Using detailed descriptions she offers a cultural reading of these complex arts. Her expert examination goes beyond particular visual analysis to explore vital questions of royalty, power, divine kingship, state cosmology, women's place at court, & the use of art in dynastic history, diplomacy & war.
Introduction: paradoxes of rule
The Benin kingdom: politics, religion & natural order
Yoruba & Dahomey: divine authority & the arts of royal history
The Asante kingdom: the golden ages of Ghana
Cameroon grasslands: royal art patronage in contexts of change
Kongo & Kuba: the art of rulership display
Conclusion: the continuing vitality of Africa's courtly arts
Timeline
Glossary
Bibliography
Picture Credits
Index

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Elizabeth Strout ebooks review

Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout

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