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

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Double Headed Serpent

We just learned about the Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue jewelry worn by Aztec people in their lip.

Another sculpture from ancient America is the Double Headed Serpent, made around 1500 AD in what is now Mexico.

The sculpture is a wavy snake with a head on either end.
It is made out of wood, turquoise, pine resin, shells and other things.
On the inside it is a wooden snake sculpture, and then turquoise stones were broken into tiny pieces and glued to the wooden body using pine resin.
It has holes for eyes, and some sticky beeswax in it so people think there might have been jewels for eyes before they fell out.
This was a sculpture made by the ancient Aztecs.

(from: wikipedia - double-headed serpent)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue

We just learned about the Olmec Colossal Heads.

Another ancient art from the ancient Americas is the Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue.

This is a type of jewelry that was worn in someone's pierced lower lip.
The snake would stick out, and the tongue would even move when they moved their head.
In the place now known as Mexico there were people called the Aztecs that would sometimes pierce their lips and wear things in their mouth like that.

It's made of gold, copper and silver, and was made long ago, some time around 1400 AD.

(from: wikipedia - serpent labret with articulated tongue)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Nestorian Stele

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Olmec Colossal Heads

We just learned about the Nubian Pyramids in Africa.

Another group of ancient sculptures are the Olmec Colossal Heads.

These are in the states of Veracruz and Tabasco, in Mexico.
They were made thousands of years ago, by the Olmec people who lived in that area long ago.

Archeologists have found 17 different heads built in the area, and all of them, from 4 feet to 11 feet tall.
Because they are so big and heavy, people think that these heads must have been made to honor rulers like kings or queens from those days.

(from: wikipedia - olmec colossal heads)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: He Zun

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

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Pisa Griffin

We just learned about the Trà Kiệu Pedestal from the ancient Champa kingdom.

Another famous sculpture is the Pisa Griffin, made around 1000 AD somewhere in Spain.

It is about 3 feet tall, and is the largest Islamic metal sculpture ever found.
It has carvings on it, and some holes.
Some people think the holes were used to make it into a fountain, and others think maybe the holes were to make sounds like a horn.

The sculpture is in Pisa, Italy now, and people think it was taken as a treasure from war long ago when some people from Italy battled some Islamic people in Spain.

(from: wikipedia - pisa griffin)

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

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Trà Kiệu Pedestal

We just learned about the ancient temple Borobudur in Indonesia.

Another famous sculpture is the Trà Kiệu Pedestal, built around 250 BC in Southeast Asia.

Long ago there was a kingdom known as the Champa in the countries of Malaysia and Thailand.
The kingdom and most of the temples were destroyed by other kingdoms, but there was a big temple that had pedestals to hold it up, and one of those was saved.

The Trà Kiệu Pedestal has a bunch of people dancing and playing music on it.
It shows some of the history from that time that is now lost because other artwork was destroyed.

(from: wikipedia - trà kiệu)

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

Saturday, May 11, 2019


We just learned about the Bantey Srei Sculptures made of sandstone in Cambodia.

Another ancient sculpture in Southeast Asia is the Borobudur temple in Java, Indonesia built some time before 900 AD.

It is the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, with over 500 statues, and over 2,600 relief sculptures carved into the walls.
Remember we learned that a relief is where the sculpture sticks out from the background kind of like a 3D painting.

This big temple has a pathway that goes around and up the building.
Each level of the building is supposed to help guide people through knowledge and wisdom about the world.

(from: wikipedia - borobudur)

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

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Banteay Srei Sculptures

We just learned about the Taj Mahal.

Anther place with a lot of history in sculpture is the country of Cambodia.
This is in southeast Asia, and long ago was part of a land called the Khmer empire.

In the 10th century, there was a temple called the Banteay Srei built in the city of Angkor.
It has many stone cut sculptures all over it, made mostly from red sandstone that was very easy to cut.

(from: wikipedia - banteay srei)

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

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Taj Mahal

We just learned about the Jama Masjid.

Another famous Indian work of art is the Taj Mahal, built in 1632 AD in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The building is 240 feet tall, and the area where the building is covers 42 acres of land.
There is a mosque and a guest house, and fancy gardens.

It was made as a tomb for the wife of the emperor Shah Jahan.
He was so sad when his wife Mumtaz Mahal died that he wanted to make a very fancy place for her body to be put to rest.
The name Taj Mahal means "Crown of the Palaces".
It took about 20,000 people to make all the artwork, the buildings, gardens and towers to get it done.

(from: wikipedia - taj mahal)

Kid Facts - Blast from the past: Houmuwu Ding