Yoruban Culture Research Paper

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Yoruba of West Africa communicate their values and aesthetics through multiple ways, like art, festivals, dance, and religion. They strictly believe in ethical beauty and harmony to the people. It is found that many of the activities in the culture of Yoruba demonstrate their aesthetics with special dances and festivals for the gods, which are prescribed by the Babaloa, meaning “the father of mysteries” or spiritual priest. When this is done, people of the Efe/ Gelede cult prepare masks, songs, and prayers. These rituals included wooden masks and detailed costumes that were usually of gods like Orisha. The ceremonies last all night and consist of songs that demonstrate the main concept of the celebration. Most of the time they include examples…show more content…
They even have set guidelines on figural art. This includes the rules of creating a figure that is between something realistic and abstract, while still having great definition of form and/or line. Attention to certain detail and delicacy was important, like the major body parts. A good example would be the the big breasts on the sculptures/ masks of women that are worn for the celebration of fertility and motherhood. Of course, the exaggeration of the body parts are done in moderation and for a reason. In general, figures are to be posed upright, while still depicting nobility and calm dignity. Every representation of a person is shown in their prime age, no matter what the actual age of that person may be. Muscles are often portrayed with some clan scars, but as mentioned before, details are not over done. Of course, these rules mostly describe the external beauty of art, but the thought of internal beauty is always included in the pieces. The heads of the figures were made to be the biggest parts of the sculptures and reveal inner beauty by displaying consciousness. It is made to be seen as the “mirror to the soul”. However, figure art was not the only kind of art that was made in the culture of Yoruba. Much of the art was produced to show social status. Stools, beaded crowns, gowns, slippers and even umbrellas were created especially for the rulers. Yoruban art is connected to both religion and politics, which is why rulers get similar treatment in art as some of the

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