african masksLinden Museum
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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Linden Museum

Linden-Museum Stuttgart State Museum of Ethnology

Hegelplatz 1
D-70174 Stuttgart / Germany

Curator Dr Hermann Forkl
phone: ++49-(0)711-2022-406

Africa nagel figur linden museumNailed figure, Yombe (Angola), late 19th century.
Nailed figure; wood, partly blackened and painted in red and white, iron, resin, cowrie shells, vegetable fibre, porcelain; Yombe (Angola), late 19th century; h 109 cm. 29623.
Photo: A. Dreyer

A look around the African section makes it obvious that the "Black Continent" is not homogenous, but is composed of different culture areas. Ethiopia, with its old Christian tradition, the Cameroon Grassfields with their divine kingdoms, and many other areas are presented. The reconstruction of a market scene in the Nigerian Sahil shows modern daily life with both its traditional and Western influences. In addition, there are collections made many years ago that illustrate the arts and crafts of traditional kingdoms, as does the antique metalwork from Benin in southern Nigeria.

Even today, traditional structures often underlie the daily life and politics of African states. An understanding of such structures leads to a better comprehension of present-day events in Africa.

Curator: Dr. Hermann Forkl

Linden Museum AfricaFace mask of the Badunga league, Vili, kingdom of Loango (Congo-Brazzaville), 19th century.

In Kikongo, badunga means ‘masked people’ and is the name of a society of men who were given police powers by the king to fight sorcery and uphold morals. The mask, in which the spirit of a powerful Loango king took up residence, was combined with a coat of duck feathers or banana leaves. The decoration of mirror glass was presumably meant as protection against witches and witch doctors, who on seeing themselves in the mirrors would have fled in fright. The use of mirror glass here again was probably a formal borrowing of European reliquary busts possibly introduced by Catholic missionaries in the Lower Congo from the late fifteenth century onwards.

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African art books

The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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