Showing posts with label African Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label African Art. Show all posts

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Nubian Pyramids

We just learned about the Musawwarat Es Sufra temple in Sudan.

Another group of ancient African sculptures are the Nubian Pyramids in Sudan.

These pyramids were built a few at a time over thousands of years, from 2000 BC to 300 AD.
They are made of granite and sandstone, and some of them are about 100 feet tall and 26 feet wide.

Over 350 pyramids have been found so far, over hundreds of miles.
The pyramids are all tombs for ancient kings and queens.

Sadly some people that were greedy and hunting for treasure came to these pyramids and destroyed over 40 pyramids looking for treasure, even sometimes using dynamite to blow them up.

Many of the pyramids have still not been fully explored, because they are flooded and the walls collapse.

(from: wikipedia - nubian pyramids)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Phoenix Crown of Empress Xiaoduanxian

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Musawwarat es-Sufra

We just learned about the Lalibela Cross.

Another African sculpture is the Musawwarat es-Sufra temple in Sudan, built some time before the year 300 BC.

This temple has a large sculpture of an elephant, and a room with some very tall columns.
It also has a relief sculpture of some of the ancient gods from the people who lived back then.

(from: wikipedia - musawwarat es-sufra)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Shi Qiang Pan

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Lalibela Cross

We just learned about the Church of Saint George in Lalibela that is built down into the ground.

Another ancient work of African art is the Lalibela Cross, made in Ethiopia some time before 1200 AD.

This is about two feet long, and weighs about 15 pounds.
It is made gold and bronze.

The priests of the churches in Lalibela would bring out this cross, and touch it to people to bless them.

(from: wikipedia - lalibela cross)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Qin Bronze Chariot

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Church of Saint George, Lalibela

We just learned about the Obelisk of Axum in Ethiopia.

Another ancient African sculpture is the Church of Saint George, Lalibela.

This church was made around 1200 AD in the town of Lalibela, Ethiopia.
It was carved down into the ground out of the rock 100 feet deep.

The church was built when the King of Ethiopia had a vision of Saint George and God that told him to make the church.

(from: wikipedia - church of saint george, lalibela)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Gouji Zibai Pan

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Obelisk of Axum

We just learned about the Akan Goldweights used as measurements for gold, and to tell stories.

Another ancient African sculpture is the Obelisk of Axum, made some time around 300 AD in Ethiopia.

A very long time ago in Ethiopia when important people died, they would build towers above where they were buried.
The town of Axum where this tower was built has earthquakes sometimes, so most of the towers like this fell down and broke.

During a war, people from another country took this giant obelisk as a war trophy, and then about 50 years later it was finally brought back to Ethiopia and put back together.

The obelisk has carvings of doors and windows on it, and it is also sometimes called a stele or hawelt/hawelti.

(from: wikipedia - obelisk of axum)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Li Gui

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Akan Goldweights

We just learned about the Burkina Faso Masks.

Another work of African sculpture is the Akan Goldweights, made around 1400 AD in West Africa.

These are sculptures that were used as weights to measure how much gold someone was trading.
Each sculpture had a different weight, so if someone had found some gold and wanted to trade it in, they would use different weights to figure out how much money it was all worth.

The weights were made as different shapes to tell stories about the Akan people of West Africa.
Each shape had different meanings, like a shield might tell a story about bravery, or swords with two sharp edges might mean that two people were working together for peace.

There are many of these old gold weights in the world in museums, and people even today make them as souvenirs or gifts to keep as a reminder of the past.

(from: wikipedia - akan goldweights)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Flying Horse of Gansu

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Burkina Faso Masks

We just learned about the Gabon Mask worn by people to tell stories.

Another type of mask the one worn by people in Burkina Faso.

There are many different people living in this country, like the Mossi, Bwa, Winiama, Lobi and Bobo.

All of these people make different masks, and they wear them for special things like funerals to talk to the spirits of nature that they believe in.

(from: wikipedia - art of burkina faso)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Mao Gong Ding

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Gabon Mask

We just learned about the Chiwara antelope sculptures.

Another part of African art is the Gabon Mask.

In the African country called Gabon or the Gabonese Republic, the people there for many years made masks to help tell stories about their history.

This was long before they had ways to write down their history and print books like we do today.

(from: wikipedia - gabon)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Da Ke Ding

Saturday, June 22, 2019


We just learned about the Benin Bronzes from Nigeria.

Another part of African sculpture is the Chiwara.

These are sculptures of antelopes that the Bambara people of the country of Mali used to teach their children about life and about farming.

(from: wikipedia - chiwara)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Da Yu ding

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Benin Bronzes

We just learned about the Mask for King Obalufon II in Africa.

Another famous set of sculptures are the Benin Bronzes, from an old kingdom called Benin that is now part of Nigeria.

In the years of the 1700s, the people from Europe who were taking over parts of Africa did not think the art in all parts of Africa was very good.

Then in 1897 people from another country came to Benin and saw thousands of very good bronze and ivory sculptures that had been made over hundreds of years.

(from: wikipedia - benin bronzes)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Yixian Glazed Pottery Luohans

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Mask for King Obalufon II

We just learned about the Nok Terracotta ancient sculptures from Nigeria.

Another ancient African sculpture is the Mask for King Obalufon II, made some time around 1300 AD.

This was a mask made out of copper for one of the kings of the Yoruba people.

The Yoruba are mostly from the west part of the African continent, in countries like Benin, Nigeria and Togo.

Many of the royal people in the history of the Yoruba people would wear masks for some of their celebrations, like this one that was made for King Obalufon II.

One other interesting thing about the Yoruba people is that there are more twins born in this area than any other part of the world!
No one is really sure why it happens, but some people believe that there is a kind of plant that grows there that makes it happen more often.

(from: wikipedia - yoruba art)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Zhang

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Nok Terracotta

We just learned about the Pisa Griffin in Spain.

Another famous type of sculpture is the Nok Terracotta.

Thousands of years ago in an area called Nok in the country of Nigeria, people made sculptures out of a type of clay that hardened to be like ceramic, called terracotta.

These terracotta statues were usually small sculptures of people with very detailed heads and hairstyles, lots of jewelry, and all kinds of different shapes.

Since these were made thousands of years ago, it's hard to figure out why they were made or a lot about them, but people have dug up the ground and found many of these sculptures over the years.

(from: wikipedia - nok culture)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Six Ritual Jades - Gui