National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution Open daily 10:00am - 5:30pm Address: 950 Independence Avenue SW, Washington DC 20013 The National Museum of African Art is located in the Enid Haupt Garden, alongside the Smithsonian Castle and the Sackler Gallery, near the blue and orange lines (Smithsonian) or green and yellow lines (L’Enfant Plaza) of the metro.
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Operating as usual

SCALE | Little big man. Nothing about the monumental stance, or girth, of this man appears small. Even the gesture of le...
06/17/2021

SCALE | Little big man. Nothing about the monumental stance, or girth, of this man appears small. Even the gesture of leaning back and grasping hands behind his back seems to expand his presence, perhaps even his ego. A “big man” typically has a grandiose self-image, often accompanying outsized political and economic influence.

At this size, what might the artist be suggesting about the role of such men in society?
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Bright Bimpong�b. 1960, Takoradi, Western Region, Ghana�Works in Lawrenceville, N.J.�Efo II�1993�Iron�44 x 20.6 x 20.7 cm (17 5/16 x 8 1/8 x 8 1/8 in.)�
#Smithsonian #AfricanArt #Ghana #Iron #ArtMuseum #Africa

SCALE | Little big man. Nothing about the monumental stance, or girth, of this man appears small. Even the gesture of leaning back and grasping hands behind his back seems to expand his presence, perhaps even his ego. A “big man” typically has a grandiose self-image, often accompanying outsized political and economic influence.

At this size, what might the artist be suggesting about the role of such men in society?
-
Bright Bimpong�b. 1960, Takoradi, Western Region, Ghana�Works in Lawrenceville, N.J.�Efo II�1993�Iron�44 x 20.6 x 20.7 cm (17 5/16 x 8 1/8 x 8 1/8 in.)�
#Smithsonian #AfricanArt #Ghana #Iron #ArtMuseum #Africa

EXPRESSION | Garish glare. Imagine these large, projecting eyes glaring at you from underneath the massive, furrowed bro...
06/16/2021

EXPRESSION | Garish glare. Imagine these large, projecting eyes glaring at you from underneath the massive, furrowed brow. What message is that open, gaping mouth trying to convey?
This Bété mask is deliberately unsettling. Embodying powerful spiritual forces associated with the forest, it may have appeared among Bété communities to settle disputes, or to lead battles. Its expression is one of political power won by coercion and disruption.
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Bété artist
Bas-Sassandra District, Côte d’Ivoire
Face mask (n’gre)
Late 19th century
Wood, metal, cloth, cowrie shells
33.5 x 22.8 x 17.2 cm (13 3/16 x 9 x 6 3/4 in.)

#AfricanArt #IvoryCoast #CôtedIvoire #FaceMask #AfricanMask #Smithsonian

EXPRESSION | Garish glare. Imagine these large, projecting eyes glaring at you from underneath the massive, furrowed brow. What message is that open, gaping mouth trying to convey?
This Bété mask is deliberately unsettling. Embodying powerful spiritual forces associated with the forest, it may have appeared among Bété communities to settle disputes, or to lead battles. Its expression is one of political power won by coercion and disruption.
-
Bété artist
Bas-Sassandra District, Côte d’Ivoire
Face mask (n’gre)
Late 19th century
Wood, metal, cloth, cowrie shells
33.5 x 22.8 x 17.2 cm (13 3/16 x 9 x 6 3/4 in.)

#AfricanArt #IvoryCoast #CôtedIvoire #FaceMask #AfricanMask #Smithsonian

Speculations in stone. Stone sculptures from different regions of Africa attest to the historic diversity of styles and ...
06/15/2021

Speculations in stone. Stone sculptures from different regions of Africa attest to the historic diversity of styles and artistic creativity across the continent. The origins and contexts of such figures, however, may be only partially understood today.
Despite a lack of archaeological data, the standing male figure and a related female figure in the British Museum have, since the 1950s, been linked to Great Zimbabwe, a 13th- to 15th-century religious center built by a powerful Shona kingdom. The use of stone and the suggestion of wings on this figure have led to unconvincing comparisons with the soapstone birds found at the site. Research to uncover the history of this intriguing sculpture is ongoing.
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Possibly Shona artist�
Great Zimbabwe site, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe
�Male figure�
Date unknown�
Stone
�33 x 9.5 x 9 cm (13 x 3 3/4 x 3 9/16 in.)�

#Smithsonian #AfricanArt #Zimbabwe #Stone #ArtMuseum #Africa

Speculations in stone. Stone sculptures from different regions of Africa attest to the historic diversity of styles and artistic creativity across the continent. The origins and contexts of such figures, however, may be only partially understood today.
Despite a lack of archaeological data, the standing male figure and a related female figure in the British Museum have, since the 1950s, been linked to Great Zimbabwe, a 13th- to 15th-century religious center built by a powerful Shona kingdom. The use of stone and the suggestion of wings on this figure have led to unconvincing comparisons with the soapstone birds found at the site. Research to uncover the history of this intriguing sculpture is ongoing.
-
Possibly Shona artist�
Great Zimbabwe site, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe
�Male figure�
Date unknown�
Stone
�33 x 9.5 x 9 cm (13 x 3 3/4 x 3 9/16 in.)�

#Smithsonian #AfricanArt #Zimbabwe #Stone #ArtMuseum #Africa

In the conservation lab, #NMAfAconservation is removing more prints from old mats–this time the print has been taped dow...
06/07/2021

In the conservation lab, #NMAfAconservation is removing more prints from old mats–this time the print has been taped down along all four sides. Tape adhesive can yellow, stain the paper, become brittle and fail over time. Therefore, the tape was carefully removed from the artwork using a heated spatula to soften the adhesive and a microspatula to carefully separate the tape from the paper. #PaperConservation #TapeRemoval #HeatSpatula #ArtConesevation #AfricanArt #Nigeria #BruceOnobrakpeya #Smithsonian

Bruce Onobrakpeya,The Sword of Life, 1980

06/01/2021
Tulsa Moment of Reflection

On May 31 and June 1, 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, mobs of white residents brutally attacked, ransacked, and razed the thriving African American community of Greenwood, colloquially known as "Black Wall Street." It was the deadliest racial massacre in U.S. history. Today on the centennial, we join @NMAAHC for a moment of reflection. We also celebrate and honor the resilience of an African American community, its residents, and the people who continue to fight for truth, repair, reconciliation and justice today. #Tulsa100

Africa’s history truly is a world history. Gold from West Africa was the engine that drove the movement of things, peopl...
05/28/2021

Africa’s history truly is a world history. Gold from West Africa was the engine that drove the movement of things, people, and ideas across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in an interconnected medieval world. As the incredible works in this exhibition show, it is not possible to understand the emergence of the early modern world without this West African story.

Caravans of Gold calls on what archaeologists have termed “the archaeological imagination”—the act of recapturing the past through surviving traces—to present a critical rethinking of the medieval period. Here, rare and precious archaeological fragments are seen side by side, bringing new understanding to complete works of art from the medieval period. The exhibition responds to pressing questions of our time: How can an art museum represent a past that is notable for its absences? How can museums make sense of a material legacy that exists only in fragments? What role does imagination play in resurrecting the past?
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On November 19, 2020 the museum held it’s first virtual celebration for the exhibition Caravans of Gold. You can enjoy the rebroadcast of the tour in your choice of either English, French or Arabic. Click the link in bio!

#CaravansNMAFA #AfricanArt #WestAfrica #Gold #Smithsonian

Africa’s history truly is a world history. Gold from West Africa was the engine that drove the movement of things, people, and ideas across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in an interconnected medieval world. As the incredible works in this exhibition show, it is not possible to understand the emergence of the early modern world without this West African story.

Caravans of Gold calls on what archaeologists have termed “the archaeological imagination”—the act of recapturing the past through surviving traces—to present a critical rethinking of the medieval period. Here, rare and precious archaeological fragments are seen side by side, bringing new understanding to complete works of art from the medieval period. The exhibition responds to pressing questions of our time: How can an art museum represent a past that is notable for its absences? How can museums make sense of a material legacy that exists only in fragments? What role does imagination play in resurrecting the past?
-
On November 19, 2020 the museum held it’s first virtual celebration for the exhibition Caravans of Gold. You can enjoy the rebroadcast of the tour in your choice of either English, French or Arabic. Click the link in bio!

#CaravansNMAFA #AfricanArt #WestAfrica #Gold #Smithsonian

Sun of the Soil: The Story of Mansa Musa-Screening And Q&A With Producer And DirectorThursday, June 3rd 2021 4:00 p.m.-6...
05/26/2021

Sun of the Soil: The Story of Mansa Musa-Screening And Q&A With Producer And Director
Thursday, June 3rd 2021 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

This film screening geared towards middle and high school students is a wonderful introduction to the story of Mansa Musa and the art of filmmaking. The documentary “Sun of the Soil: The Story of Mansa Musa”, a documentary short film on Malian artist Abdou Ouologuem’s immersion into the historical legend of the 14th century emperor. A screening of the film will be followed with a Q&A with the writer and producer of the film, Ladan Osman, led by educator Pier Penic. Director Joe Penney will also join us for the discussion as well. Students will learn how the power of film helps us to understand the past. This program directly connects with the exhibit Caravans of Gold

#Smithsonian #AfricanArt #MansaMusa #Filmmaking #Documentary #Africa

Sun of the Soil: The Story of Mansa Musa-Screening And Q&A With Producer And Director
Thursday, June 3rd 2021 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

This film screening geared towards middle and high school students is a wonderful introduction to the story of Mansa Musa and the art of filmmaking. The documentary “Sun of the Soil: The Story of Mansa Musa”, a documentary short film on Malian artist Abdou Ouologuem’s immersion into the historical legend of the 14th century emperor. A screening of the film will be followed with a Q&A with the writer and producer of the film, Ladan Osman, led by educator Pier Penic. Director Joe Penney will also join us for the discussion as well. Students will learn how the power of film helps us to understand the past. This program directly connects with the exhibit Caravans of Gold

#Smithsonian #AfricanArt #MansaMusa #Filmmaking #Documentary #Africa

#NMAfAconservation removed these newly acquired @YinkaAdeyemi prints from their old acidic matboards. Luckily the window...
05/24/2021

#NMAfAconservation removed these newly acquired @YinkaAdeyemi prints from their old acidic matboards. Luckily the window mat was only adhered to the back mat and not the artwork itself, so the mat could be easily removed without damaging the artwork. #ArtConservation #YinkaAdeyemi #AfricanArt #Smithsonian

Image 1 & 2: Yinka Adeyemi, Traditional Dance & Music II, 1971. Image 3: Yinka Adeyemi, Acrobatic Display, 197

Masterpiece | The style and the extraordinarily thin casting of this naturalistic figure point to its likely creation at...
05/21/2021

Masterpiece |

The style and the extraordinarily thin casting of this naturalistic figure point to its likely creation at Ife, the royal capital of a powerful kingdom. In the early 20th century C.E. the figure was part of the ritual life of Tada, a small village on the banks of the Niger River 120 miles north of Ife, where it was regularly bathed by local caretakers in the river.
During the medieval period, Tada’s location would have been of strategic importance to Ife, connecting it with long-distance trade. Analysis of the raw copper from which the statue is made suggests that the source metal might have originated in France, traveling along these very trade routes to Ife, where it was cast.
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Probably Ife artist
Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Found at Tada, Kwara State, Nigeria
Seated figure
Late 13th to 14th century C.E.
Copper with traces of arsenic, lead, and tin
National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Abuja, Nigeria, 79.R18.

#AfricanArt #Nigeria #Ife #CaravansNMAFA #Copper #Africa #ArtMuseum #Smithsonian

Masterpiece |

The style and the extraordinarily thin casting of this naturalistic figure point to its likely creation at Ife, the royal capital of a powerful kingdom. In the early 20th century C.E. the figure was part of the ritual life of Tada, a small village on the banks of the Niger River 120 miles north of Ife, where it was regularly bathed by local caretakers in the river.
During the medieval period, Tada’s location would have been of strategic importance to Ife, connecting it with long-distance trade. Analysis of the raw copper from which the statue is made suggests that the source metal might have originated in France, traveling along these very trade routes to Ife, where it was cast.
-
Probably Ife artist
Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Found at Tada, Kwara State, Nigeria
Seated figure
Late 13th to 14th century C.E.
Copper with traces of arsenic, lead, and tin
National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Abuja, Nigeria, 79.R18.

#AfricanArt #Nigeria #Ife #CaravansNMAFA #Copper #Africa #ArtMuseum #Smithsonian

Sands of time. Once a town thrived around the diamond mines of Kolmanskop, Namibia, but when its riches were exhausted, ...
05/20/2021

Sands of time.

Once a town thrived around the diamond mines of Kolmanskop, Namibia, but when its riches were exhausted, its residents abandoned their homes, hospital, offices, and shops. Slowly these structures are being returned to the earth as the surrounding sands swallow them. Namibia-based photographer Helga Kohl has returned repeatedly to this ghost town. In her own words, “I transformed myself into the past, and in so doing saw a life which somehow brought profound understanding to the present . . . One day I knew I was ready to capture the beauty once created by people and taken over by nature.”

Helga Kohl
b. 1943, Silesia, Poland
Works in Windhoek, Namibia
Family Accommodation/Portfolio Kolmanskop
1994
Digital photograph

#HelgaKohl #AfricanArt #Photography #Namibia #Africa #IAm #Smithsonian

Sands of time.

Once a town thrived around the diamond mines of Kolmanskop, Namibia, but when its riches were exhausted, its residents abandoned their homes, hospital, offices, and shops. Slowly these structures are being returned to the earth as the surrounding sands swallow them. Namibia-based photographer Helga Kohl has returned repeatedly to this ghost town. In her own words, “I transformed myself into the past, and in so doing saw a life which somehow brought profound understanding to the present . . . One day I knew I was ready to capture the beauty once created by people and taken over by nature.”

Helga Kohl
b. 1943, Silesia, Poland
Works in Windhoek, Namibia
Family Accommodation/Portfolio Kolmanskop
1994
Digital photograph

#HelgaKohl #AfricanArt #Photography #Namibia #Africa #IAm #Smithsonian

Visual piety. Susanne Wenger moved to Nigeria as an adult. She fully embraced Yoruba faith and practice, becoming fluent...
05/19/2021

Visual piety.

Susanne Wenger moved to Nigeria as an adult. She fully embraced Yoruba faith and practice, becoming fluent in the language and achieving the status of olorisha (priestess). Wenger used the sale of prints to fund the creation of monumental shrines in the sacred groves of Oshogbo. She realized that the “spirit does not reveal itself in the representation of any shape but the transformation of shapes.” The jagged, animated composition of her male and female figures in this print are meant to be “dynamic, as are human and godly inter-relationships and mystical forces.”

Susanne Wenger (Olorisha Adunni)
1915–2009, Graz, Austria
Worked in Oshogbo, Nigeria
Untitled
1960–69
Screen print on paper
Exhibition: I am

#AfricanArt #SusanneWenger #Nigeria #Yoruba #Oshogbo #IAm #Smithsonian

Visual piety.

Susanne Wenger moved to Nigeria as an adult. She fully embraced Yoruba faith and practice, becoming fluent in the language and achieving the status of olorisha (priestess). Wenger used the sale of prints to fund the creation of monumental shrines in the sacred groves of Oshogbo. She realized that the “spirit does not reveal itself in the representation of any shape but the transformation of shapes.” The jagged, animated composition of her male and female figures in this print are meant to be “dynamic, as are human and godly inter-relationships and mystical forces.”

Susanne Wenger (Olorisha Adunni)
1915–2009, Graz, Austria
Worked in Oshogbo, Nigeria
Untitled
1960–69
Screen print on paper
Exhibition: I am

#AfricanArt #SusanneWenger #Nigeria #Yoruba #Oshogbo #IAm #Smithsonian

Priests in Procession in Lalibela, Ethiopia, 2009Photograph by Anne Seurat© UNESCO-Why do people commission artworks?Ar...
05/18/2021

Priests in Procession in Lalibela, Ethiopia, 2009
Photograph by Anne Seurat
© UNESCO
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Why do people commission artworks?


Art acts.

Even the most abstract or conceptual painting, sculpture, or artistic vision works to please, impress, or confound a viewer. Sponsors, who commission and support the creation of a particular work by an artist, use objects to communicate with intended viewers—in this world, or the next. Context shapes who and how one sees a given object, and thus determines the process by which artworks act.
Art has the capacity to tell a range of stories and is limited only by human imagination…
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There is no beauty but the beauty of action.
—Moroccan proverb

#Action #AfricanArt #Africa #Ethiopia #Photography #Visionary #Smithsonian

Priests in Procession in Lalibela, Ethiopia, 2009
Photograph by Anne Seurat
© UNESCO
-
Why do people commission artworks?


Art acts.

Even the most abstract or conceptual painting, sculpture, or artistic vision works to please, impress, or confound a viewer. Sponsors, who commission and support the creation of a particular work by an artist, use objects to communicate with intended viewers—in this world, or the next. Context shapes who and how one sees a given object, and thus determines the process by which artworks act.
Art has the capacity to tell a range of stories and is limited only by human imagination…
-
There is no beauty but the beauty of action.
—Moroccan proverb

#Action #AfricanArt #Africa #Ethiopia #Photography #Visionary #Smithsonian

Address

950 Independence Avenue
Washington D.C., DC
20560

General information

Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent with its terms of use, as described at http://si.edu/Termsofuse#user-gen. For our Privacy Policy: http://www.si.edu/Privacy --------------------- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation and study of the arts of Africa. The building houses the museum’s collection, exhibition galleries, public education facilities, an art conservation laboratory, a research library and photographic archives. Collections The museum’s collection of more than 10,000 African art objects represents nearly every area of the continent of Africa and contains a variety of media and art form—textiles,Photography, sculpture, pottery, painting and jewelry and video art—dating from ancient to contemporary times. The museum has the largest publicly held collection of contemporary African art in the United States. Exhibitions The museum has nearly 22,000 square feet of exhibition space, which is reconfigured periodically to meet the requirements of the museum’s changing exhibitions. The Sylvia H. Williams Gallery, located on sub-level one, is devoted primarily to contemporary art; the Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection has a dedicated space in the museum to rotate a selection of the 525 objects from this collection; and the remaining galleries offer exhibitions on various subjects. Education and Research The National Museum of African Art offers a variety of educational programs, including lectures, films, storytelling, musical performances, young people’s workshops, teacher’s workshops, and conservation and curatorial clinics. The museum also has programs and activities at Washington, D.C., area schools and embassies. The Warren M. Robbins Library, named for the museum’s founder, is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries system and supports research, exhibitions and public programs of the museum. It is the major resource center in the world for the research and study of the visual arts of Africa, and houses more than 32,000 volumes on African art, history and culture. It is open to scholars and the general public by appointment Monday through Friday. The museum also houses the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, named for the famed Life magazine photographer. Elisofon’s association with the National Museum of African Art began as a founding trustee in 1964. Upon his death in 1973, he donated his African related materials to the museum, including more than 50,000 black-and-white negatives and photographs, 30,000 color slides and 120,000 feet of motion picture film and sound materials. The bequest became the foundation for the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives.

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 17:30
Tuesday 10:00 - 17:30
Wednesday 10:00 - 17:30
Thursday 10:00 - 17:30
Friday 10:00 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 17:30
Sunday 10:00 - 17:30

Telephone

(202) 633-4600

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[email protected]_art_gallery ceciade_art_gallery Re-purposing the use of mopping wool as a sign of women's domesticity into objects of aesthetic and beauty. Medium: mopping wool, oil, and Acrylic on Canvas @ Nubuke foundation @afrostylemagz #art #africanart#contemporaryart#africancontemporaryart#artcollectors#africanartcollectors #africanclassicalart#africantribalart#gallery1957#ghanaart#cecilialamptey#femaleart#artcapitalghana#formefemineart#womenartists#ceciadeartgallery#femaleartist #womanartist #contemporaryart #rosskramergallery #supportblackart #blackvoices #blackvoicesexhibition #blackcurator #contemporaryartcurator #artadvisor #artistmanagement #destineeross #destineerosssutton#larryossei#rosskramergallery #supportblackart #blackvoices
Travelogue Is America God's Own Country? (2) IN many ways, to this writer’s delight, the present itinerary couldn’t have kicked off at a more opportune moment. For several reasons, some of which are quite sentimental while some are not, the timing could only have been preordained by an unseen hand to make for a full catalog of events for an admirer of a society that seems an epitome of what a modern society could look like. As a visitor, it is not only important that the fulfillingness of being able to savour of both the sweet and the peculiar can be enriching but that one’s horizon is broadened the more thus that one could write with a direct punch of personal experience. Surely, there is the apprehension that America is the most expensive place on earth to make babies. Perhaps also there is a plethora of unedifying factors as the now rampant mass shootings of innocent citizens by gun-crazy citizens or the shocking revelation that Internet accessibility up to the present decade in the millennium remains a luxury to a significant fraction of rural folks. Interestingly, America, ostensibly God's country, is still far behind Europe and parts of Asia, what with the rather uncivilised surface rail system unlike the fast-coasting tubes in those places. Even then, a society that gave inspiration to one of Africa’s most notable civil rights activists, the musical genius, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, to draw world attention to the plight of his countrymen with such discs as, Everything Is Upside down, calls for celebration. A society where uninterrupted electricity supply is at the disposal of the entire citizenry and drinking water running in the pipes, of the availability of cooking gas without the bother of carrying gas cylinders back and forth, a network of good roads, functional healthcare delivery and education proactively at all levels in spite of the inexcusable strain on low-income class, could only continue to attract a large pool of the best in every area of human endeavour from across the globe. To the casual observer, this is what makes America a calming relief from a lifetime burden of oppressive culture of gross mismanagement, executive recklessness and pervasive graft characteristic of the prototype African sovereign state . If indeed ancient Greece was the cradle of democracy, there is America, the showpiece of democracy and bastion of capitalism. Yet, in spite of the bright neon lights and the sheer beauty to be abroad without the hassles and drudgery of everyday life, not minding that the cold hands of winter invariably encircles the night, there is the gnawing temptation to ask, is America really God’s own country? Like happenstance, suddenly breaks the news of the Grand Jury's readiness to deliver the much-awaited verdict in the Michael Brown case. For whatever reason, even with the air of trepidation that was palpable much as the wintry cold that persisted all day, the announcement did not come until much later in the evening. As many had foreseen, the killer cop, Darren Wilson, was not indicted. Alas, if the authority concerned anticipated the possibility, there was little in place that evening to deter the extent of the destruction to properties, cars and houses belonging to innocent citizens. It served no useful purpose either that the largely black crowd wreaked untold havoc that night descending with no restraint on the community and the very store where the dead teenager reportedly stole ci******es. It is far from certain that the wantonness did not stem from the fact that the community was predominantly black. In any case, the strategy did not help matters that the public prosecutor for whatever reasons only thought it wise to make the findings known to the American people and the listening world not until the evening was far spent. As an analyst noted, the design to release the findings by that hour of the night merely played into the hands of the would-be anarchists many of who merely came to swell the crowd of concerned citizens and were responsible for much of the mayhem and looting that occurred at Ferguson on that memorable day. The next day was not unlike the previous night. Heavily attended demonstrations persisted through several American cities in protest of what was perceived as the traditional white cop unfair treatment of the people of colour. It is a plus to the American spirit that demonstrations took place in no less than 170 urban centres across the country. If all this was done to the memory of the slain 18-year-old youth who in a couple of months would have proceeded to the university, it was truly monumental in dimension. Copyright © 2018 Otunba Ade Dandy | All rights reserved.
Searchlight On Our Own Story of Creation by Otunba Ade Dandy IF there is any African on the continent or the Diaspora that loves to wear a chip on his shoulder whenever the discussion revolves around the place of the Black man in the present world order, you need not look far but that the Nigerian has always chosen freely to educate with fondness whoever cares to listen that he comes from a country blessed beyond ordinary human comprehension. Nigeria, he boastfully submits, is a land flowing with the proverbial milk and honey. What with the abundance of oil reserves and largely untapped mineral deposits to buttress such a claim of paradise on earth, the Nigerian views through rose-tinted glasses his country as the giant of Africa. He extols the inherent virtues in his land of origin, her prime position not only as number one in terms of population density but relatively as the pride of a region where the weather is perfect all year round. Notwithstanding that in his breast pocket is a BA/Aero Contractor ticket for the next flight to join the rush for solace and maybe fix up his ward in a school in one of the less endowed neighbouring countries, he wants you to imbibe the dogma hook, line and sinker that Nigeria is the hope of the Blackman and not merely the last fortress against Arabo and lately Chinese unbridled adventurism through sub-Saharan Africa. The Nigerian would tell you how his country takes the place of preeminence ahead of every other indigenous group as the cradle of mankind. It is where God infused homo sapiens with the breath of life. The Yoruba account of creation may fail the test that Obatala Obatasa it is that descended at the end of a chain from heavenward onto the small patch of sand that the eagle strewed on a tiny portion of the vast expanse of water that originally filled the void now referred to as the planet earth. It is not a laughable matter that our own Nobel laureate was quoted as saying inter alia, “The Ooni of Ife is above all" and "Ife is the cradle of humanity.” Yet, with the Igbo account that is replete with the juicy claim of being blood relations to the Biblical Jews in spite of repeated repudiation by the latter, the confusion becomes total in the Nigerian story of creation. Of the rather ludicrous chest-thumping by the ethnic nationality that its precursor alighted on the earth straight from the sky like element of raindrop to populate the earth, the Igbo version could as well equally qualify for the orbit of mythologies and of tales told and retold by moonlight. Appreciatively, for the authentic version of the story of the beginning of the itinerary of the animal man, there is dissent among no less the top hierarchy of scholars against the possibility of the Biblical Eden fitting categorically into the picture of the cradle of man. It is thus not easy to dismiss with the ordinary wave of the hand the African (Nigerian) claim, the more so that ostensibly documented efforts of some of these great world scholar-researchers in circulation accord credence to Mother Africa, and Ile Ife, for instance, as a likely contender for the position of the garden of creation. It is only important if the Nigerian version of creation is not to pass as mere farce that more research work be carried out in order to accord authenticity to the indigenous version of the story of creation. For now, not in the face of recent findings in the land of the rainbow where there are quite tangible evidences that attempt to substantiate possible evolutionary trend between the primate and the human race is there any archaeological reliability in support of the long disputed honour accorded the Mideast as the spot where Adam actually set out on his initial heaven or self-appointed journey to replenish and populate the earth. (Image/Isola Ade Courtesy Rainforest Café MN)
In the footage on display, priests of African Traditional Religion (ATR) take the stage to offer prayers as Ghana marks her Independence Anniversary. It is instructive that not all African nations accord the traditionalists a place in the scheme of national events/celebrations. In the South West of Nigeria, it is a common practice for especially radio channels to open for business in the new day and also round off the day's activities with prayers offered by all the faiths, including Ifa priests of the traditional Orunmila religious sect.
THE SURVIVAL OF THE AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS PRACTICE The survival of vintage African traditional approach to the spiritual thresholds of an invisible all-powerful God Eledumare up to the present millennium in the face of the deluge of alien faiths and modes of worship calls for scrutiny. Whatever may be the attraction, it is bewildering that long after the advanced countries of the world have put finishing touches to the demarcation of boundaries on the moon and commenced space-lifting of the human species onto other planets hitherto considered no-go areas, there is continuing veneration of deities of different grades known by various names across language and racial barriers. One of such is Sango, the god of thunder that metes out instant justice to the evil-doer. A feat that lends credence to such perception that tradition dies hard if homo sapiens still kowtow to inanimate objects and pour libation at the feet of lesser gods and goddesses, to such people that swear by the Bible or the Koran prior to taking public office only to renege on their oath, it runs counter to the understanding that the God of the living neither accommodates heathen intermediary nor brooks a rival. Image/Sango Worshippers/Isola Ade