raditional African art is often unusual and abstract. Statues of human figures may have come out of proportion to elements such as head size coupled with petite body shape.
To understand the art, it should be remembered that the majority were made for religious purposes. the artist was not interested in the beauty of the subject in the sense of Western Europe but instead the work will have a deeper meaning that is based on religious beliefs.
Most African traditional tribal religions based on one all-powerful god and ancestor worship became a major part of the belief. As God can not be represented in art form that's why statues and carvings are made of ancestors. Realism was not an important factor or even a consideration.
There are many renowned African art galleries where you can get to these beautiful sculptures and masks. You can find the top african art galleries via the web.
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The most important aspect of the work will be the ability of artists to bring life-force into the sculpture that comes directly from God. In this way the ancestors may occupy statues and only then will the artist have created a sculpture that succeeds.
Besides figurines, ancestral forms another important African art is a mask. The mask was carved for religious purposes and is usually destroyed after use. This is one reason why so few African ancient art has survived. Of course, other reasons are because of the nature of the materials used in sculpture. Clay and wood are the most common and likely to survive for a long period of time.