When one hears the word “African craft,” one is immediately drawn into the debate over “what defines art” and “what comprises craft skills.” Read the post to find out more.
The craft primarily makes anything that requires a high degree of skill to do. Since this is so prevalent in our society, the vast majority of ‘art’ has become a craft. May we conclude from this that a “craft” can be called an “art form”? One that will, I doubt, be debated incessantly for the rest of time!
The Westerners’ notion that Africa lacked ‘art,’ as they regarded it as primarily concentrated on painting and other types of figurative art, is at the root of most of the discussion. Instead of constructing works of art, African art consisted more of embellishing surfaces such as rock faces and hides, clay vessels and mud houses, and the skins of animals and humans.
In addition to textiles, fetishises, idols, and other cultural things found throughout Africa’s continent, there was a wide range of functional and practical crafts. Aside from its physical appeal, African craftsmen and women were revered in their communities for the symbolic and spiritual significance of their work, as well as the purely aesthetic appeal they brought to the table. Masters of their trade have had a special place in history and have long admired their peers. Traditional talents and expertise were prized and sought for. If they were not recorded when they originally collected and kept their creativity, as was often the case, then the identity of the artists are often unknown.
Common African Craft types
African crafts are affected by tradition, raw material availability, and historical influences from different locations and tribes. Decorative beads on headdresses, dolls, and textiles show the movement of tribes and the trade they participated in.
The following is a list of the most common types of African craftwork –
- Handcrafts out of wood
Patterns and sculptural forms on pottery reveal how new influences and the arrival of new civilizations altered previously peaceful tribal places.
African craft is a popular source of income in modern rural areas.
One of the many difficulties Africa is dealing with today is how to preserve its indigenous crafts while also embracing the logic of the First World’s technology. What matters most is making sure the communities benefit while keeping their African Culture simultaneously.
He persuaded the then governors of Lagos, West Africa, to create the Institute of West African Arts, Industries and Social Sciences, which he envisioned as a “marriage of creative skill and power with modern technique.” Meyerowitz was an artist and teacher. The project aimed to investigate local arts and crafts, educate certain African traditions in the context of European experience, and establish local craft companies. Among other things, it would examine the area’s history, tribal customs, religion, and economic conditions. As a whole, it was a great idea with good intentions and an appreciation for the need for a social framework that blended and fused the two cultures.
The statement ‘in the light of European experience’ may have contributed to its downfall. The next ceramic studio, first by Meyerowitz and subsequently Michael Cardew, was a massive failure due to a lack of focus on encouraging skilled African employees. Even the simplest of goods had two purposes: functional and conveying a spiritual message. They didn’t see the value in making things merely for the sake of selling them.
There are just too many successful operators in Africa today to begin to construct a meaningful summary of their achievements.
Although various sources influence them outside of Africa’s beautiful grounds, the artists create according to their instincts and feelings. It doesn’t matter your hobbies or requirements; in this highly stimulating location, you can find something to suit them. In several ways, African craftworks may educate students about responsibility and creativity.