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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African verbal arts and the study of African visual aesthetics
Author:Van Damme, WilfriedISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:oral literature
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v031/31.4van_damme.pdf
Abstract:In this paper the author explores the possibilities that analyses of African verbal arts present for an understanding of 'aesthetics' in African cultures. Emphasis is on what the opinions that are expressed in various literary types reveal about the aesthetics informing the creation and evaluation of the visual arts in African cultures. Of all the forms of oral tradition in Africa, it is particularly proverbs and sayings that are commonly held to express African views on beauty. The author first refers to a study by Bwenge Kule Mate on Nande (Kivu region, Congo) proverbs and sayings pertaining to beauty and a study by Kate Ezra on the aesthetics of the 'nyeleni' statues among the Bamana of Mali in which she corroborates her findings with references to a form of verbal art. Then he turns to scholars who combine research into visual aesthetics with references to the verbal arts, in particular Yoruba 'ork' or praise poems and If divination orature. Bibliogr., notes, ref.