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

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Traditions Rome

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Rome shows signs of African art

Over 100 works buck stereotypes and reveal thriving culture (ANSA) - Rome, March 3 - A fascinating new exhibition here seeks to give visitors a glimpse of African art and culture and buck some stereotypes in the process. The show, entitled "Segni e simboli: i linguaggi nelle tradizioni africane" (Signs and symbols: languages in African traditions), opens at the city's Biblioteca Angelica on March 6 .

found at: http://ansa.it/

It is made up of over 100 beautiful objects that are decorated with signs, symbols and gestures stemming from the continent's rich oral tradition .

"Delving into their oral tradition means knowing about how and with what symbols they wrote on objects, and how they viewed words," say organizers from the Kel Lam association .

African art forms are primarily described orally, as opposed to literary traditions in the West, and works are often created to be used in communal performances accompanied by dance and music, Kel Lam say .

These spoken arts are rich, varied and continue to evolve and flourish today .

The show features painted wooden objects, decorated masks, metal ornaments, textiles, ceramics, statues, utensils and various other pieces .

They are presented alongside a series of panels that list the cultures of origin and explain the meanings of the designs .

Organizers hope the exhibition will help combat the reductive picture of Africa that emerges from the media, which tend to portray it solely as a place of war, poverty and starvation .

Kel Lam claim that "events like this help promote these cultures" by showing they are in no way inferior. The show will run at the Biblioteca Angelica, in Piazza Sant'Agostino, until March 25 .

It will be accompanied by a series of conferences on social, cultural and religious issues .

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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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