An interview with artist Kerry James Marshall at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Kerry James Marshall is one of the leading contemporary painters of his generation. Over the past twenty-five years, he has become internationally known for monumental images of African American history and culture.
The oldest pieces of jewellery made by modern humans have emerged in Africa.
Shell beads found in Blombos Cave on the southern tip of the continent are 75,000 years old, scientists say.
The pea-sized items all have similar holes which would have allowed them to be strung together into a necklace or bracelet, the researchers believe.
Christopher Henshilwood and his team have told Science magazine the find is probably one of the first examples of abstract thought seen in our ancestors.
"The beads carry a symbolic message. Symbolism is the basis for all that comes afterwards including cave art, personal ornaments and other sophisticated behaviours," Professor Henshilwood, of the University of Bergen, Norway, told BBC News Online.
"Even in today's world, where you're talking about computers - it's about storing information outside of the human brain. The evidence from Blombos Cave is that humans were using symbolism 75,000 years ago."
For centuries, Zulus in South Africa used subtly configured patterns and colors of beads to exchange love “letters”. Beads were also symbol of social status, and extensively used in art and sacred ceremonies to appeal to the spirits.
In Togo, Ghana, and Benin when a woman wants to send her “availability” status to male candidates, she will wear highly colorful waist beads, make them well visible, and slightly touch them when engaging in social interactions and activities.
Women in couple after their period of menstruation would attach small bells to the strings of their waist beads, which was a signal to let a partner know that the woman was clean, meaning she is at the proper stage where sexual intercourse is allowed.
In Nigeria Yoruba men find women more appealing if they wear waist beads, while in Kenya, Somalia neck beads are symbol of affluence and attractiveness.
Nowadays, you don’t see much of the young african generation wearing beads accessories, tough the most ancient evidences of bead production and use has been found in Africa dating back to the Stone Age (280,000 to 45,000 years ago).
African architecture uses a wide range of materials. One finds structures in thatch, stick/wood, mud, mudbrick, rammed earth, and stone, with the preference for materials varying by region: North Africa for stone and rammed earth, Horn of Africa for drystone and mortar, West Africa for mud/adobe, Central Africa for thatch/wood and more perishable materials, Southeast and Southern Africa for stone and thatch/wood.
Source: Mansa Wilbert Square Musa
The oldest surviving” image that depicts Saint Maurice as a Black African was carved in the 1240s for the Cathedral of Magdeburg. St. Maurice was an Egyptian from Thebes in Upper Egypt. His Egyptian origin is stressed by the Coptic Greek name "Maurikios", which appears in the papyri, and is identical with the later Roman name "Mauritius", according to G. Heuser in his Personennamen der Kopten.
NollywoodWeek Paris is an annual film festival that showcases the top films by Nigerian filmmakers in Paris, France.
The third edition will take place from Thursday June 4th to Sunday June 7th 2015 in Paris at l’Arlequin Theatre, between the Latin Quarter and Montparnarsse.
Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan, that represent concepts or aphorisms. Adinkra are used extensively in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising. They are incorporated into walls and other architectural features. Fabric adinkra are often made by woodcut sign writing as well as screen printing. Adinkra symbols appear on some traditional akan gold weights.
The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment. There are many different symbols with distinct meanings, often linked with proverbs.
Akan oral tradition dates the arrival of adinkra among the Akan to the end of the 1818 Asante–Gyaman War. However, the Englishman Thomas Edward Bowdich collected a piece of adinkra cloth in 1817, which demonstrates that adinkra art existed before the traditional starting date