Criticism

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By Ladislas Segy

163 full-page plates Illustrating mask, fertility figures, ceremonial items, etc., of fifty West and vital African tribes—95% by no means ahead of illustrated. 34-page creation to African sculpture.
«Mr. Segy is one among its most sensible authorities,» New Yorker.
164 full-page photographic plates.

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These mirrors appear to have been they reflect the sun in a blinding ray, and drive away the malevolent spirits that cause sickness and misfortune. ) to the statue, while cowry shells, from their resemblance to female genitalia, were fertility symbols. They added power to the statue, and fostered fertility. These cowry shells, surprisingly enough, were not found in West Africa, but were imported from the East Coast and the Indian Ocean. At a later date they were used as money in Central Africa.

Customs, — folklore must be studied before the meaning Again, the ethnology of the individual tribe its myths, its its of these features can be fathomed. In general, however, it is safe to say that animal features have a mythological origin. A widely prevalent myth tells that the founding father of a was helped by an animal when he first came to the territory where the tribe now lives. The animal, in turn, became tribe the protective animal of the tribe, and could not be killed or eaten. This classical is not exactly classical totemism, however, since totemism demands that the tribe be descended from the sacred animal, and that clan members may not intermarry.

He started his apprenticeship with a master when a child, and he learned the tribal styles and the use of tools and the nature of woods so thoroughly that his carving became what Boas calls "motor action". He was a highly trained carved automatically and instinctively. The African carver followed his rules without thinking seem have been formulated in words. But such rules existed, for accident and coincidence can not explain the common plastic language of African sculpture. There is too great a consistency from one work to another.

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African Sculpture by Ladislas Segy


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