Journal - Tonga Baskets | Senufo Stools | Kuba Cloth | Makenge Baskets – Tagged "african history" – Paulski Art

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A Seat at the Cultural Table: The Maasai Stool

The Maasai… one of the most popular indigenous tribes in Africa and in the world. Guardians of the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti plains. They bring us, the legendary Maasai stool. You might not think of a simple wooden stool as a work of art, but the Maasai stools of East Africa certainly qualify. For the Maasai people, these stools represent an integral part of their cultural heritage and a long tradition of skilled woodcarving. When you see an antique Maasai stool, you're looking at a functional sculpture that has supported generations of people over decades, even centuries, of daily use. Source The stools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share certain characteristics that make...

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The Rich Symbolism of the Congolese Lega Kisumbi Stool

Have you ever seen those intricately carved wooden stools from Central Africa and wondered about their significance? The Lega Kisumbi stool from the Congo region is a prime example. As you run your hands over the smooth curves and ridges of this cultural artifact, you begin to realize it represents so much more than just a place to rest your weary legs. These stools are imbued with layers of meaning through their craftsmanship, symbolism, and the rituals surrounding their creation and use. The Lega stool is a masterpiece of artistry and symbolism. Crafted from a single piece of wood, the stool’s circular seat represents unity and eternity in Lega culture. The stool is carved with geometric patterns and shapes that...

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Rattan Headboards: A Portal Into Egypt's Captivating Past

Ever wonder what it was like to live like an ancient Egyptian? Their world was filled with intricate art, grand architecture, and lavish furnishings that give us a glimpse into a captivating history. One decorative piece that has stood the test of time is the rattan headboard. Woven from natural fibers, rattan headboards were all the rage in ancient Egypt and today make a stylish comeback in modern bedrooms.  When you choose a rattan headboard, you're not just picking out a new piece of furniture. You're opening a portal into the past and surrounding yourself with an alluring relic of a mysterious civilization. Let the beauty and intrigue of rattan transport you down the Nile without ever leaving your room....

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Cowrie Shells: A Window Into the Soul of African Arts

Ever find beautiful cowrie shells on a beach and wonder about their significance? In many African cultures, cowrie shells represent much more than a pretty seashell. They offer a glimpse into the soul of traditional arts and hold deep symbolic meaning. For centuries, cowrie shells served as currency in trade networks across Africa and beyond. But their role went far beyond just buying and selling goods. Cowrie shells conveyed spiritual, social and cultural beliefs through their use in ritual, religion, music, dance, and art. Source Cowrie shells have been integral to African culture for centuries. Not only were they used as a form of currency but they were also seen as a symbol of wealth and power. The simple cowrie...

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Yoruba Bronze Torque: The Emblem of Wealth and Social Prestige

What is the symbol of wealth where you come from? Do you know your roots?  For centuries over, artists all over Africa have been shaping knowledge and material into works of unique historical significance. The artists of ancient Ife, the ancestral home of the Yoruba and the mythical birthplace of gods and men, were clearly interested in creating works that could be read and deciphered by their people. The Yoruba people, who are indigenous to Nigeria and parts of Benin and Togo, have a rich history of bronze casting. One of their most iconic forms of bronze artwork is the torque, a type of necklace or collar that is worn around the neck. A Yoruba bronze torque is a type...

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