Contemporary African Crafts

Previously, we have published extensively researched articles based on southeast and central Asian crafts, east Asian crafts and European arts and crafts but what makes the Art of Africa so different? For the longest time African art was not considered as art by the westerners. For them art was something based upon paintings and representational art, African on the other hand used textured decorative surfaces like hides, rock faces., huts, human bodies, mud, pottery, and sculptures in their art.

Now one of the many challenges facing Africa today is how to keep its indigenous crafts alive while embracing the techno logicalities of the First World in a way that serves the communities best and keeps their traditions alive. Africans crafts are known to be functional and utilitarian alongside with its idols, textiles, fetishes, and cultural artifacts. They are known to be symbolic, spiritual, decorative and have multiple aesthetic qualities. And because of all these they are of great value to the locals. The master craftsmen and women have special status allotted by the communities and are greatly respected.

Different areas and tribes produced diverse crafts according to their own traditions, historical influences, and availability of material. Pottery, ceramics, basketry, beadwork, metalwork, and dolls are the major forms of crafts in Arica.

Pottery traces the very thread of existence of Africa’s inhabitants. They represent conceptual ideas and have been endured for centuries. There is a special Ceramics studio in Africa known as the Ardmore Ceramic Studio that was formed in the 1980’s and is recognized worldwide for its contribution in art.

Basketry is an ancient skill in African that has survived to this day. It is a dynamic craft traditionally determined by its shapes and weaves for usage. It consists of decorative patterns of flowers, geometric shapes, stars, swirls or even chequerboard motifs.

Beadwork in Africa is exceptional due to its colorful façade and tight weaving. It is a craft practiced by women of the indigenous southeast Africa. Seeds, shells, bones, claws, horns, and teeth of animals were initially used to craft bags and other accessories. After the introduction of glass beads from the 16th to 18th century.

A didactic bird dedicated to the discovery of art around the world.

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