African Decor

Africa is where historians and scientists believe, mankind originated.

Archive for April, 2011

Explore African History with African Art

Africa has an extremely rich and varied history. It is difficult to learn all there is to African history. But, an interesting way to get a glimpse into African history is through African décor items, furniture and music. If you look at African décor items, you will find them rich with African culture and history.

African Décor Items

African masks make for great décor in any room. They will animate any room and make it feel warm and comfortable. That is perhaps they are one of the most popular African art gift ideas today. Many African masks depict African natural history as they mainly depict animals that are commonly found in Africa like the buffalo, elephant and lion. The minute craftsmanship of African artists is visible in each and every mask.

African Furniture

African furniture also makes for some great African art gift ideas. Artists throughout rural areas in Africa are highly skilled in making intricate and beautiful pieces of wood furniture. They use non endangered jacaranda wood to create one-of-a kind furniture. These furniture pieces are hand crafted and hand painted to create minor pieces of art.

African Music

African décor items are not the only way to glimpse the soul of African history. Africa has many different styles of music which vary from region to region and from one ethnic group to another. These musical styles have evolved over the ages and they include parts of long lost African history that are lost to the contemporary observer. Apart from these different singing styles, Africans from different regions use different kinds of musical instruments. Many of these musical instruments are ingenious works of art created with materials easily and commonly available in the region. These African musical instruments also make for great African art gift ideas for any occasion.

Discover the Soul of Africa in African Art Gift Ideas

African art gift ideas are amongst the most popular, no matter what the occasion is. No matter how newly made an African décor item may be, it carries within itself the ancient soul of Africa. If you are looking for a gift idea, explore what Africa has to offer and you are sure to find something that will appeal to the recipient of the gift.

Unique Gift Ideas

If you are looking for unique African art gift ideas, perhaps you may want to consider African beer mugs made of pewter. The handles of these mugs is interestingly carved into the shapes of animals commonly found in Africa. Or, you can get African martini glasses where it is the stem that is exquisitely carved into an animal shape.

Raku Art

Raku art make for amazing African décor items. They are a brilliant combination of Raku beads, interesting shapes and bright colors. You can get African animals, African birds, figures and figurines of African people as well as many other uniquely designed and painted items that are made from Raku beads. These African decor items are sure to add cheer and brightness to any room you place them in.

African Fabrics

African fabrics lend themselves to very fashionable items. While we are not talking about African fashion in terms of what people wear over here, what we are talking about is using African fabrics to make fashion statements in the house. For instance, you could get an African wall hanging made out of African fabric or you could get cushion covers made out of African fabric. These African fabrics will add dollops of warmth and comfort to any room. Their colors and textures are unique and their designs are quintessentially African. These surely make for great African art gift ideas.

Bring African Fashion into your Home

There is no doubt that African art has a lot of soul. African décor items are steeped in African history and culture.  It doesn’t matter what item you get, you will find that it brings with itself a unique cultural attachment with it. So, go ahead and get some African fashion into your home. You will find that it changes the very character of your living space.

African Fabric

African fabric is the easiest way to bring African fashion into your home. African fashion fabrics are made from 100% cotton, but they are richly textured and wonderfully colored. They typically have warm tones that bring with them the feeling of warmth and coziness. Some of the best items to get in African fabrics are cushion covers and wall hangings. These are easy to incorporate into any room.

African Animals

A lot of African history comes from its natural environment. That is why a lot of African art depicts natural history in the form of animals like elephants, lions, giraffes, monkeys, etc. You can get African animals made of stone, metals, wood and Raku beads. These are all hand crafted, hand engraved and hand painted. These African décor items can make any room take on a more magical feel.

African Ornaments

Many African ornaments also make for great African décor items. Even these ornaments are shaped in the likeness of animals found in the African continent. So, you can get brightly colored African wall ornaments in the shape of elephants, buffalo, giraffe, etc.

As you can see, no matter what African item you buy for your home, you always end up taking a little bit of the African history with you. Every piece of African art has a story to tell about its history and culture.

Africa – A land of endless music and art

I always thought that African music meant just three varieties; the types of rumba, jazz and blues. But I was amazed to find that African music is something much beyond these. In fact, researchers have subdivided the genre of music into 7 categories based on their history, the style of music and ethnicity. North African music and Sub Saharan music are the most popular among these.

North African music

African history is rich in various evolving art forms including music and musical instruments. However, North African music has been deeply influenced by its close Arab neighbors and the Mediterranean culture. Some of the popular forms of music are the nomadic Tuareg and Berber African music.

Sub Saharan music

Arthur Morris Jones who has studied the development of music in African history has commented on the rhythmic uniformity in the various traditions in Sub Sahara. The music is normally created for different social contexts such as hunting, marriage or childbirth and always has an accompanying dance and rhythm to go with it. Some of the famous musical forms are of the Ewe people in West Africa known as Ewe music and the Niger Congo music from the Niger Congo region.

Musical instruments

Few music genres would have had as much effect as that of African music on contemporary western music. African history is replete with instances of musical instruments, dance and songs binding the social fabric together. Apart from the well known musical instruments, some of the lesser known ones which caught my attention were the rain stick which makes the sound of rain and Kashaka, a percussion instrument made of gourds and beans.

If you are interested in music or you want to gift something to a musically talented friend, musical instruments from Africa gives you plenty of choices. You will find these and other items like paintings, sculptures, baskets, pottery and fabric at many online gifting stores which deal with African merchandise.

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