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Visual Art Paper 1, Nov/Dec. 2009  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments
Question 6
  • Discuss three main functions of traditional West African sculpture.
  • State three media used in the production of West African sculpture and their source.


This question was least popular among candidates. The few that attempted it were confused by the word “media”. While some candidates got it right, some others laid emphasis on economic function, neglecting its decorative, utility and religious purposes.

The candidates were expected to outline the functions of traditional West African sculpture as follows:

Functions of traditional West African Sculpture

  • It serves as means of religious practice, for example, ancestral figures and deities.
  • It is used in social functions as in masks used in traditional ceremonies and burial rites; carved ceremonial staff used as paraphernalia object.
  • It serves as utility objects, for example, household objects like ceremonial stools, walking sticks, conventional stools, serving bowls etc.
  • It serves magical purposes, for example, objects used in traditional divinations.
  • It serves aesthetic purposes, for example, carved doors, panel and relief decorations.

Media used in the production of West African Arts and their source.

  • Wood- Obtained from trees.
  • Metal-  Obtained from Iron Ore.
  • Stone-  Obtained from rocks.
  • Clay-   Obtained from mud.
  • Ivory-  Obtained from elephant tusks.

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