African Artists and Aesthetics


Case Study:  The Yoruba Artist and Yoruba Aesthetic Principles
Different Stages of the Carving Process

         "Jijora" = Mimesis or relative likeness

Which of these two sculptures would you consider to be an example of "jijora"? 

Would you consider these to be actual portraits or idealistic representation of people?

Ife bronze bust
Ife terracotta 

          "Odo" = Relative youthfulness

How does the texture of this object convey the impression of youthfulness? 

What are the social qualities associated with youthfulness? 

Ife terracotta

     "Pipe" = Completeness

Why would an artist choose to create a complete figure as opposed to a partial figure? 

Can you identify the distinguishing features that convey status on both figures?

Bronze figure of an Oni
Ibeji wooden figure

     "Gigun" = Relative staightness

Would you consider these figures relatively straight?

Do the lines of these figures convey a feeling of balance?

Ibeji wooden figures

           "Wiwulo" = Functionality

Consider how these shrine sculptures intensify worship? 
Wooden figure of Shango
Yoruba shrine sculpture


Click to return to main menu.

This website was last modified September 5th, 2009. It was created and modified by Cynthia Becker, Bolaji Campbell and Janine Sytsma with Professor Henry Drewal.
Additional services donated by the Chicago web design and Denver web design agency NewMedia!