Monday, October 25, 2010
had started tincturing the lime leaves and broadleaf thyme from my garden back in May, and then I tinctured some cocoa beans from Grenada in early August.As you may recall, I
Monday, October 4, 2010
Ife’s artists made remarkable works of art in copper, brass, terracotta and stone. The refined and highly naturalistic sculptures they produced were of such exquisite beauty that Ife’s place in the history of world art was assured.
By the 1100’s Ife had developed as a powerful urban trading centre. Trade operated across local, regional and long distance routes.
Trade routes ran across the Sahara desert linking North Africa and the Mediterranean to West Africa. A wide range of commodities was imported into the region including glass and carnelian beads, copper and brass. These were exchanged for locally-made glass beads, ivory and forest products such as kola nuts.
The superb sculpted heads in the exhibition featured statues of sick people, monuments to warriors, royal heads whose intriguing vertical scars tell of the ceremonies of the court. This brass head with crown, possibly representing a queen of Ife, comes from Wunmonjie Compound, Ife, 1300s - early 1400s:
Here, curators set up a seated figure cast in almost pure copper, from the village of Tada on the river Niger, late 1200s - early 1300s:
Sculptors in Ife imitated the human face with extreme detail, accuracy and sensitivity - achieving in each sculpture - like this 14th - 15th century mask - a sense of harmony, balance and proportion:
This terracotta head (below), wearing an elaborate tiered headdress or crown, was discovered from the pavement site of Ita Yemoo, Ife, 1100's - 1400s.