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9 - Sculpture as Archive

from Part III - Visual Cultures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2022

Toyin Falola
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
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Summary

This chapter beams the light on the artistry achievements of Africans and signifies their “flourishing culture.” The major aspect of artistry being celebrated is sculptures. From this chapter, one is able to deduce that the carvings are such that “Yoruba history and culture can be perceived, interpreted and understood” through them. They manifest in many forms (materially), such as bronze, clay, stone, and wood, all of whom were discussed to fully understand and appreciate the creativity inherent in the African culture before and after colonialism. With several references to specific sculptural works and pictorial evidence, mostly from his personal collection, the author describes how Yoruba sculptors (Gbenagbena or Gbegilere) translate and manipulate natural elements and past-but-relevant happenings into artistic objects. Also discussed is the measure of a sculptor’s worth, which cannot be defined by Western currency but by the level of creativity and beauty apparent in his artwork, some of which depict African cultural ideas, principles, and attributes, such as Omoluabi, Iwapele, Didan, and Idogba. The chapter extensively discusses the importance sculptors place on the head, and also defends African sculptures against Western criticism.

Type
Chapter
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Decolonizing African Knowledge
Autoethnography and African Epistemologies
, pp. 205 - 281
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Sculpture as Archive
  • Toyin Falola, University of Texas, Austin
  • Book: Decolonizing African Knowledge
  • Online publication: 23 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009049634.010
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  • Sculpture as Archive
  • Toyin Falola, University of Texas, Austin
  • Book: Decolonizing African Knowledge
  • Online publication: 23 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009049634.010
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Sculpture as Archive
  • Toyin Falola, University of Texas, Austin
  • Book: Decolonizing African Knowledge
  • Online publication: 23 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009049634.010
Available formats
×