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> why do the African people create masks, are they art, or do they have
> Dear Amanda,
> African people traditionally do not create art for arts sake.
> Everything has a function. Sometimes the rationalisation would be "my
> ancestors told me to do this'" and as such the piece would have a
> function, namely, complying with said ancestors wishes.
> In fact, traditional Africans are quite scornful of "art".
> Tracey in darkest Africa
That's a pretty sweeping generalization, isn't it? I mean, we're
talking about an entire continent here, with more than 50 different
In Nigeria alone, where I lived and taught for two years, there is a
rich diversity of cultures, traditions and attitudes, and I saw plenty of
evidence of an appreciation for aesthetics and the beauty of design for
its own sake.