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Africa a continent of historical violent confrontations and contrasts yet always manages to be beautiful, mystifying and absolutely engrossing. Topography ranging from tropical rainforest to arid desert and in between park such as The Savanna and temperate Mediterranean coastlines. Permanent settlement was not possible in vast areas of the continent and the one controlling factor as far as human settlement was concerned was water. The areas of assured rainfall such as the Congo and Niger river systems resulted in the development of African Art and thus the respect of artists and collectors throughout the colonised world.

Art in Africa – Where does it begin and why is it so different?

Good quality stone was rare in Africa and only in Zimbabwe was there any real use made of it using local granite. Softer stone was generally used for carving in countries such as the Sierra-Leone Liberian borders, Yorubaland and the Lower Congo.

Wood was ubiquitous and all-important both the hardwoods of the forests and soft lighter woods of the open parklands. Rough planks and poles were used in buildings, logs carved into milk pots, food vessels, stools and headrests. Hollowed out trunks were made into canoes, and doors for huts. Wood was carved into ritual figures, animal figures and masks used for religious and ritual ceremonies. Hides, plants and clay are generally used for practical purposes and crafts.

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Pam’s African Animals World of Miniatures
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