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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Islamic architecture and art in Sub-Saharan Africa: A problem of identity
Author:Ådahl, K.ISNI
Book title:Culture in Africa: An appeal for pluralism
Editor:Granqvist, R.
Year:1993
Pages:131-143
Language:English
City of publisher:Uppsala
Publisher:Nordiska Afrikainstitutet
Geographic terms:West Africa
Subsaharan Africa
Mali
Subjects:Islam
arts
mosques
art
Abstract:The study of Islamic architecture and art in Sub-Saharan Africa presents many problems. Since it has only recently been developed as a field of research there is still an embarrassing lack of published material. This article first deals with Sudanese mud architecture in West Africa, which until recently was considered to be not much more than shelter. Focusing on mosques, mainly from Mali, the author shows that these monuments constitute an important chapter in the history of Islamic architecture. She then deals with Islamic art in Sub-Saharan Africa. Islamic art is generally characterized by the use of decorative ornament, geometric or vegetal, in abstract forms; by the frequent use of calligraphic inscriptions; and by the absence of three-dimensional sculpture. The objects which most clearly express the aesthetics of Muslim societies in Africa are the woven textiles with geometric patterns, the embroideries often with symbolic meaning, the ornamented woodwork, and, as an exception, geometrically decorated Nupe metalwork in Nigeria. Note, ref.
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