Posts Tagged ‘african tribal art’

Know the Different Materials Used for Tribal Masks

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

The fascinating tribal masks are an indication of rich and diverse African tribal art. The masks of each tribal group have some unique characteristics which helpd in establishing its own identity. Each tribal community uses different type of material to make their masks.

Usually wood is the primary material used to make tribal masks. The people of Nkambe tribe always use a wooden mask called “Mabu”. Dogon people of west Africa too use simple wooden masks.

Apart from wood other materials are also used such as bark, resin and varnished antelope skin. The Chokwe tribe in Zaire always used resin, fibres and branches to craft their “Cikunza” masks for ceremonies. Certain tribes in South Africa, create masks of grass and then those masks are decorated with beads.

Some masks are also made of bamboo and raffia. These bamboo masks are mainly found in the Songye tribe.

The Fang tribe which originated in Gabon have very unusual masks. They used to carry "passport masks" made of metal wherever they travelled.

The Ashante tribal community of Ghana build masks of gold and bronze in remembrance of the kings who were killed during wars.

Tribal masks are quite often bought as souvenirs to be given to friends and family. If you are interested in decorating your home with fascinating tribal masks, you don’t need to travel all across to the African continent. All you have to do is check out our online tribal art gallery. We have a huge collection of tribal masks, original tribal art forms and other forms of African art.

African Paintings Highlight the Essence of African Culture

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Amongst all the African tribal art forms, painting is an integral part of the diverse African tribal art. In fact the paintings done by the tribal artists represent the most colourful forms of artwork which are hard to find anywhere else in the world.

Basically the themes chosen by the artists centre around the day to day happenings in the tribal villages, the tragic events, the calamities, the local festivals and particularly the wildlife.

Examples of African paintings in the pre-historic time period can be noticed on rocks that formed the ancient caves. Here the rock paintings are mostly of human and animal figures that used to act like a source to link the realistic world with that of the spirits.

From these ancient rock paintings, one can get an idea of the primitive life style of the ancient prehistoric African people. However, during the pre-colonial period, a drastic change was noticed in the style of African paintings as the focus changed to abstract themes.

Apart from being a medium for expressing the artistic and creative side of the tribal artists, paintings were also used as a form of tribal communication of secret codes. For example, the Ndebele people of the eighteenth century used to paint symbols of different patterns on the walls of their homes which could be understood by the people of their group only.

Since then a lot of changes can be noticed in the style of the African paintings. Different tribes residing in different parts of Africa have come up with their own unique style of painting.

Today, as a result of many foreign influences contemporary African paintings have taken on a form and genre of their own. Now the painters use this creative medium to vividly portray their viewpoints regarding the society as a whole. African art paintings now have a much deeper meaning than what common people can understand with just one glance.

The African artists in due course of time have come up with some of the most stirring masterpieces of the world. These masterpieces can be seen at our site We deal with the contemporary artists of Africa who are taking this tradition of art to new heights. In our online art gallery, you can look for wildlife paintings, original oil paintings, masks and a lot more.

Introduce Beauty to Your Home with African Tribal Art

Monday, September 29th, 2008

African Tribal art is priceless as its unique style is hard to find anywhere else in the world. The timeless beauty of African art is fast gaining popularity in various other countries too. Adding African art to your home is a wonderful way to bring the beauty of the continent right inside your own home.

Here are some points to know how African tribal art can become the centre of attraction in your home.

  • To ensure that your art collection remains cutting edge give importance on buying only the original African art pieces.
  • If space permits, dedicate an area of a room devoted exclusively to African art pieces. It would give a unique touch to your home décor.
  • Highlight the African tribal art piece with additional sound and visual elements. You can add some visual effects that coordinate with the type of art pieces you have in your collection.
  • Africa is a large continent and each of its tribal ethnic group has its own distinct cultural beliefs and practices. Hence, if you are purchasing more than one art work, be sure that it gels with the others. If the selected African art pieces complement each other, their beauty will be enhanced many times over.
  • Give importance to the proper maintenance of the original African art pieces you buy. If you have an original oil painting, make sure it is not hung in a room which has fluctuating temperature. For masks and sculptures, proper dusting on a regular basis is a must to maintain them well.