Thursday, May 27, 2010

Art Of The Azawakh

Here are a few samples of the beautiful art from where these dogs originate.
The Aidi Kel Tamasheq, or dogs from the Tamasheq speaking people (commonly called the Azawakh by Westerners)

are from the Sahelian desert of West Africa. A diminishing population can still be found in Mali, Burkino Faso, Niger, the southern part of Algeria and possibly the SW corner of Libya.
The first image is a traditional Tuareg coffer, followed by an intricately designed Tuareg leather sack used to carry stuff on the camel.
Next are 3 pieces from the Dogon tribe of Mali: first a Satimbe mask which is surmounted by a female figure representing the elder sister of the mask. Then a rare Dogon horseman forged in iron, expressing status, prestige and power. He depicts a hogon, the supreme officeholder, a semi-divine leader of great wisdom, or even a mythological emissary from a distant land.
The 3rd Dogon piece is a 'Tellum style' figure (Tellum were the people living in this area before the Dogon), showing the old gesture of upraised arms or "Tellem style." Next is a close-up of a Bamana Chi Wara female headdress from Mali, honoring the mythological half man, half antelope hero who taught man how to cultivate the soil.
Next is a wood carved chameleon, which is abundantly represented in the art of Burkina Faso peoples (Bwa, Bobo, Lobi and Nuna). It is considered one of the original primordial creatures created by God. Now back to Mali: the Kanaga mask has become an emblem of the Dogon, so well known that it is often used as an emblem of the Mali Republic. It has been identified as a bird of prey with outspread wings. Last but not least is something different: my favorite wood carving of a Baga bird from Guinea.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not spécialist of Africa but what is shown as "Art Of The Azawakh" belong to different areas of the Sahara desert. All handicrafts with leather are typical of nomades "blue men of desert" "touaregs" but the wood and metal belong to sedentary tribes living Mali, Burkina, they all developped their own style ....and you have differences from sub-sahara to rainforest. All along Niger river you can find terracota too, they are of course the places where Touaregs trade.


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