Historical dimensions in the study of figurative wood-carving in South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Nettleton, Anitra
dc.date.accessioned 2011-04-06T08:58:17Z
dc.date.available 2011-04-06T08:58:17Z
dc.date.issued 1986-03-17
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/9377
dc.description ican Studies Seminar series. Paper presented 17 March 1986. en_US
dc.description.abstract It is a widely accepted and disseminated tenet in virtually all the literature on African art that no tradition of figurative sculpture comparable to that of West and Central Africa existed in Southern Africa. This notion has bad and continues to have such wide currency in the literature that many blacks in South Africa are entirely unaware of the existence of their own artistic heritage. The propagation and perpetuation of this myth has been predicated on the most meagre of evidence. It is significant in the light of the argument that follows, that the South African Government itself, in pamphlets issued for the information of prospective white immigrants from Europe, continues to propagate this view of black South Africans as "fine-art" less. Here I am mast concerned with the presentation of these peoples as having had no tradition of figurative free-standing sculpture as it was this form of material culture which had the widest acceptance in Europe and America as "Art". This situation, has been exacerbated by the tendency in all the general literature on African art to represent Southern Africa with photographs of utilitarian objects such as headrests, milk pails and spoons among others. What this paper will attempt, then, is to examine why this myth has gained such wide acceptance and it will be examined in relation both to the history of the study or lack thereof of woodcarving traditions in South Africa and to the actual distribution, of such traditions. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries African Studies Institute;ISS 318
dc.subject Figure sculpture, South African en_US
dc.subject Art. South Africa. Historiography en_US
dc.subject Wood-carving. South Africa en_US
dc.title Historical dimensions in the study of figurative wood-carving in South Africa en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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