Visual Art Paper 2, Nov/Dec. 2014  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments



  1. Highlight three positive and two negative impacts of religion on the art of West Africa.
    This question was fairly popular among the candidates, who mostly did not seem to have a proper understanding of the negative impacts of religion on West African art. These inadequate responses made the candidates to score poorly in the question. They should have responded to the question in the following manner:
    Positive impacts of religion on the art of West Africa

    -           through patronage, religion played a significant role in the promotion and sustenance of art in traditional West African societies.                 

    -           masks and ancestral figures were created to maintain the links with the ancestors and other supernatural entities in traditional West Africa.

    -           elaborate costumes were integral to traditional beliefs and practices, especially the masquerade tradition which provided a sustained motivation for cloth weaving.

    -           shrines in traditional West African societies were often elaborately painted and decorated.

    •       Christianity also impacted the arts positively through the

    commissioning and decoration of churches with murals, stained glass, carved and decorated doors based on biblical subject matter.

    Negative impacts of religion on the art of West Africa

    -           the advent of Christianity in West Africa caused the destruction of a large number of traditional art works, especially wood carvings.

    -           the advent of foreign religions established the belief that traditional art works are fetish and were destroyed.

    -           the religion of Islam forbids the representation of human images in any form.

    -           lack of patronage by the converts of the foreign religions resulted in the decline in production of traditional art works.       


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