Unknown protagonists silenced by official sources, the Berbers (or Imazighen, as they prefer to be known) are the group of peoples who since ancient times occupied almost all of North Africa, from the Siwa oasis (west of Egypt) to the Atlantic Ocean, including the Canary Islands, and from the Mediterranean to the south border of the Sahara.
Throughout history they have gone by many other names (Mauri, Libu, Numidians, Gaetuli, Garamantes…) reflecting their internal, geographical, and cultural plurality.
The Imazighen have witnessed numerous migrations, colonisations, and invasions. All have enriched their identity, while reducing their population through assimilationist policies.
However, the Berbers survive. It is calculated that there are currently over 35 million Berber, 20 million in Morocco, while the European and American diaspora account for several million
The Amazigh identity or identities are today reflected above all in their language, TAMAZIGHT, in its different variations (Tarifit. Tashelhit, Tamahaq…). It is also reflected in their awareness of sharing a common legacy of traditions, celebrations, and customs, and finally in their willingness to accept this legacy as their own.
From the late 11th century, major dynasties from North Africa such as the Almoravid (lamțūna) and then the Almohad (masmuda) tried to reunify the Islamic West, reinterpreting Is lam and homogenising and highlighting the Amazigh language ge and culture which became driving forces for Islamisation. However, the influence of the Imazighen did not end there.
At the height of the hegemony of the feudal kingdoms, from the 13th century, a new power came into play, the Marinids. The ties between this emirate with its seat in Fez and that of the Nasrid in Granada were solid, with mutual influences and extensive exchanges. This can be observed in the Alhambra and the major institutional constructions (madrasa, maristan, gates…) but also in everyday ceramic goods. It has even been argued that a Maghrebisation took place in Granada.
Before the Second World War, black intellectuals who studied in Paris saw how European colonial powers suppressed African culture. Central to their thinking was a feasible, collective African identity, Négritude. In using this name, they changed a term with negative connotations, nègre, into a word that can express the value of black culture and history. The Négritude movement formed the basis of the magazine Présence Africaine and the “First Congress of Black Writers and Artists”, held in 1956 in Paris. Leading roles were played by the intellectuals Aimé Césaire, Alioune Diop, and Léopold Senghor. They placed great value on precolonial African traditions and art, while also applying modernist strategies in their work, such as alienation, fragmentation, and experimentation.
For black artists in Paris, it was shocking to see important African objects in museums which could scarcely still be found in African countries, a cynical consequence of colonial history. Présence Africaine, which is active to this day, offered a platform to intellectuals who wanted to give shape to a black self-awareness in the modern world, Or as its founder Diop put it, “Présence Africaine is open to the good will of all men (white, yellow, or black) who can help to define African originality and hasten its insertion into the modern world”.
Mask made by the Fang, given in 1905 to Maurice Vlaminck whom sold it to Andre Derain. It w aseen also by Picasso and Matisse. This was not the first African sculpture to attract Valminck, but it appears to be the only one from this time wich is still certainly identificable.
Figure from northern Nigeria have been made by a Mumuye. A remarkable feature of the style is teh way in wich the arms and even the abdomen of one piece are used to enclose space within the sculpture.
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Fanti doll, clearly related in form ton the Ashanti akua ba. It has been claimed that both types of doll are Ashanti, and that the round-headed type is worn when girls is desired and the rectangular-headed type when a boy is wanted, but in fact they are the work of diferent peoples.
Wooden figures covered with brass or copper sheeting are placed by the BaKota over a package containing simple bones of outstanding ancestors. The form was developed to display as much of the valuable metal as possible. (Juan Gris made a copy of one in cardboard in 1922)
Figure from northern Nigeria have been made by a Mumuye. A remarkable feature of the style is the way in wich the arms and even the abdomen of one piece are used to enclose space within the sculpture.
White faced mask of type used by the BaKota, BaLumbo, BaPunu, Mpongwe and several other tribes. Documented pieces have been collected among all these peoples. Among th BaPunu the wearer dances on sitis
Mask made by the Fang, given in 1905 to Maurice Vlaminck whom sold it to Andre Derain. It was seen also by Picasso and Matisse. This was not the first African sculpture to attract Valminck, but it appears to be the only one from this time wich is still certainly identificable.
Jujus are a fetish piece of art for most interior designers around the globe and one of the best kept secrets and they are used as a visual attraction. Due to this fact, jujus have achieved great popularity.
Designs with juju hats provide texture to walls with an exceptional touch of glamour due to the natural feathers of birds.
Depending on the season, you can combine jujus in different areas of your house. If you wish to use them for a wall composition, you can use vivid and bright colours in summer. In winder choose neutral tones and jujus with natural feathers at any time.
You can also try with a sequence of progressive colours and include bicolour or multicoloured jujus.
The main colour of juju has to match with the colour of some decorative element found in the area. On the walls painted with dark colours you can use light and white jujus.
You can decorate the living room, entrance hall, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchen or bathroom. They can also be placed outdoors (if you avoid exposure to high temperatures).