James, author of the book, Stolen Legacy," the authors of Greek philosophy were not the Greeks but the people of North Africa, commonly called the Egyptians; and the praise and honor falsely given to the Greeks for centuries belong to the people of North Africa, and therefore to the African continent. This article, therefore, is an overview of Africa's contributions to Western Civilization. As such, it will briefly trace the history of Africa beginning with the empire of ancient Egypt and continues on to other African empires that developed thereafter. It will also review some aspect of African Civilization and the impact it had on the development of Western Civilization.
In Western African art in particular, there is a widespread emphasis on expressive individualism while simultaneously being influenced by the work of predecessors.
An example would be Dan artistry as well as its presence in the Western African diaspora. The human figure has always been the primary subject matter for most African art, and this emphasis even influenced certain European traditions.
The human figure may symbolize the living or the dead, may reference chiefs, dancers, or various trades such as drummers or hunters, or even may be an anthropomorphic representation of a god or have other votive function.
Another common theme is the inter-morphosis of human and animal. African artworks tend to favor visual abstraction over naturalistic representation. This is because many African artworks generalize stylistic norms. African artists tend to favor three-dimensional artworks over two-dimensional works.
Even many African paintings or cloth works were meant to be experienced three-dimensionally. House paintings are often seen as a continuous design wrapped around a house, forcing the viewer to walk around the work to experience it fully; while decorated cloths are worn as decorative or ceremonial garments, transforming the wearer into a living sculpture.
Distinct from the static form of traditional Western sculpture African art displays animation, a readiness to move.
An extension of the utilitarianism and three-dimensionality of traditional African art is the fact that much of it is crafted for use in performance contexts, rather than in static ones.
For example, traditional African masks and costumes very often are used in communal, ceremonial contexts, where they are "danced. In African thought, the three cannot be differentiated.
Often a small part of an African design will look similar to a larger part, such as the diamonds at different scales in the Kasai pattern at right. Louis Senghor, Senegal's first president, referred to this as "dynamic symmetry. More recently it has been described in terms of fractal geometry.
Recently, however, there has been a movement among African art historians and other scholars to include the visual culture of other regions and time periods. The notion is that by including all African cultures and their visual culture over time in African art, there will be a greater understanding of the continent's visual aesthetics across time.
Finally, the arts of the people of the African diasporain Brazilthe Caribbean and the southeastern United Stateshave also begun to be included in the study of African art.
In this Nok work, the head is dramatically larger than the body supoorting it, yet the figure possesses elegant details and a powerful focus.
The neat protrusion from the chin represents a beard. Necklaces from a cone around the neck and keep the focus on the face.
Sudanese basket-tray, tabar of weaved natural plant fibre, coloured in different colours African art takes many forms and is made from many different materials.
Most African artworks are wood sculptures, probably because wood is a very widespread material. Jewellery is a popular art form and is used to indicate rank, affiliation with a group, or purely for aesthetics.
Sculptures can be wooden, ceramic or carved out of stone like the famous Shona sculptures,  and decorated or sculpted pottery comes from many regions.
Various forms of textiles are made including chitenge, mud cloth and kente cloth. Mosaics made of butterfly wings or colored sand are popular in west Africa. Traditional African religions[ edit ] You can help by adding to it.
July Main article:An essay on the inlfuence the western has had and has on Africa. The latter represents an art form prevalent among the Sea Islands bordering South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, particularly among communities like the Gullah whose unique culture continues to bear strong traces of African roots.
The Influence of Africa on U.S. Culture. Site Map;. The three main key sources of influence on the development of African American religion were the influences from the African past, borrowings from the patterns of European American culture, and religious responses of African Americans to their subordinate status in a /5(17).
However, seamlessly uniting diverse African artists under the untrained Western gaze for the commercialism of the international art circuit – notwithstanding their different cultural contexts and the medium in which they work – is bound to create problems.
To most Africans, religion and art are the foundations of life. Religion and art are a collective expression in which all the people participate. As I mentioned earlier, Africa's contribution to Western Civilization cannot be overemphasized.
During the early s, the aesthetics of traditional African sculpture became a powerful influence among European artists who formed an avant-garde in the development of modern art. In France, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and their School of Paris friends blended the highly stylized treatment of.