African art and crafts
African art and crafts influenced the modern art of the Western world during the discovery of black art in the early 20th century. There are a lot of local arts on the African continent that reflect a wide variety of cultures. Each is different because of its traditions, which are constantly evolving over time in the different regions of Africa. These creations were considered as art objects in their own right in the early twentieth century under the influence of Cubist painters.
African art is found in sculpture, architecture, ceramics, fabrics, paintings and jewellery. It is synonymous with great events, whether political, religious or family, such as: the veneration of the gods, marriages, births, etc. The materials used are of great importance, such as wood, animal skin, iron and gold; or ivory, clay, earth and stone. African art is characterized by respect for traditional forms. The knowledge of artisans is transmitted by their ancestors from generation to generation. We can’t talk about African art without naming voodoo.
What is African voodoo?
The word “voodoo” would come from Yoruba to designate a god.
Voodoo is made up of all the spirits and powers of the invisible world, and all the ceremonies, all the rituals that allow it to come into contact and live in peace with this world of the afterlife.
Voodoo was used as a state religion by Dahomey’s fon kings since the 17th century to unify neighboring ethnic groups, mainly The Yorubas of Nigeria, in their empire.
Throughout the period of the slave trade, the descendants of the ancient “slave coast” carried with them the voodoo religion, which blends with Catholicism in Haiti, Jamaica and Brazil, and in Louisiana.
Today, voodoo religion remains very active in the Benin and Togo region: protective fetishes are clearly visible in the center of the village, and the markets of the region, including the famous Lomé fetish market (Togo), all have voodoo worship posts ritual plates, bells, animal bones, seeds and multiple powders.