Discover the changes in African art
Change ~ Art ~ Quality
Africa is a truly unique continent. With over 53 countries, and about a thousand different languages; this is a land where diversity is normal. While in Africa, one finds different ethnic living styles within ten miles of each other to be the norm. Even though group loyalties run very deep, people still have long-standing relationships with each other.
Africa today is changing at a pace faster than has ever been seen in the history of civilization. Changes that took many centuries to complete in Western Europe and North America have taken place in just a few short decades in Africa.
Where else in all of history have we ever seen people moving so quickly from tribal societies to modern nations? Progress in African nations has been happening at a rate, and in a manner not experienced anywhere else on the globe.
The goals of independence and nationalism among many of Africa's people, has sped up the process of breaking down barriers between tribal groups. This merging of tribal cultures has further weakened the traditions already made weak from contact with western civilization.
Art is one of the most important parts of any culture.
In Africa traditional art is becoming a thing of the past as quickly as the continent changes. With the disappearance of traditions and other aspects of African culture, works of traditional African art are becoming more and more scarce. The art of previous generations was produced to meet religious and social needs that no longer exist within most groups of Africans today.
"Quality works of ancient African art are harder to find.
The value of African art has gone up accordingly; and much of the traditional artwork has left the continent for private collections overseas. People living in poverty will often give up family heirlooms; some passed down through generations; in order to survive.
Artisans who create African art are also adopting new world views. This makes traditional work of modern vintage somewhat less meaningful and true to the original heritage. Just as the culture of Africa is changing fast, in the same way its art, as a reflection of that culture, also changes quickly.
New African art is not by any means inferior however, just different. Just as modern Western art has taken prominence over older forms, so too, modern African art is replacing the traditional. This brings with it its own new meaning and aesthetic significance. African culture is shown through art in paintings and sculpture, as well as in jewelry and other items of everyday life.
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