Question1: The Royal Art of Benin
Americansdo not to think much about kingship art in Africa, or even about thegreat depth of the African history. The art of the kingdom of Beninin Nigeria is a good example of the ancient history of Africa, and ofthe fact that African artists were, and are capable of creatingbeautiful things for the use of Kings and Queens. Identify an objectfrom the lecture on Benin kingship art that you feel best mirrors thepolitical and military power of the kings of Benin.
King`sdress code best mirrors their political and military power in Benin.His clothes are very symbolic as each piece is artisticallymeaningful. Coral beads are used to weave his tunic and headdress.That headdress points upward a symbol of increasing regal heightstowards celestial spiritual beings. The spiritual antennae show adivine source of leadership wisdom. His arms are supported by ivoryto show his royal status.
Onthe lower side, his wrapper forms conical shapes that not only covershis legs but also portrays a larger size representing his power. Thesharp headdress, middle sized upper body and enlarged lower part ofhis body represents hierarchical composition. In this particularhierarchy, the top and most powerful has the least occupation ofcelestial spiritual beings followed by the king and his council andon the lower part of the hierarchy is the majority who are peopleled. It is a representation of King`s power that seconds spiritualpower.
Question2: Igbo art and social mobility
TheIgbo People of southern Nigeria associate status and prestige withone`s personal abilities and achievements. In your opinion, is thissimilar or different from what we do in our own culture in America?
Inmy opinion, Nigeria`s association of status and prestige with one`spersonal abilities and achievements is similar to America culture.Prestige and status are measured through the tenets of what one hasachieved as well as potential abilities. A good example is a socialstatus where upper-class members, as well as those in middle upper,have political power, financial power as well as academic power.
Middleclass mostly have jobs and their economic muscles are not strong. Onthe other hand lower class includes the poor and non-elites. Visibleachievements act as an indication of success in life. It is a freeticket of acquiring automatic social status. People`s social statusalso in America often changes with a change in achievements as wellas potential. Prestige in America also follows the same chain asthose of upper status though some years back the white Americans hadthe higher prestige that Black Americans.