Visual Art Paper 1 ,May/June 2012  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments


Write an appreciation on any one of the following:
(a)        Stools in Ashanti;
(b)        Nok art.


For obvious reason, a majority of the candidates were attracted to the (b) part of this question (Nok art) and they performed so well in it that most of them got the maximum obtainable marks. However, it is expected that candidates have knowledge of the art of other West African societies. Therefore, candidates could have highlighted some of the following:


    (a)        -           stools in Ashanti come in different different forms namely, the
                                        Golden Stool, the Black Stool and Domestic Stool.

    -           the Golden Stool is the most sophisticated and rich in traditional art forms.

    -           the Golden Stool is made of gold and rest on another carved stool.

    -           it has an attachment of three effigies and bells in the form of human figures which represents two great Ashanti Chiefs and a British Administrator. The Ashanti Chiefs are Ntim Jakari and Kofi Adinkra, while the represented British Administrator is Sir Charles McCarthy.

    -           the attachment of these effigies is a commemoration of Ashanti freedom from British dominance (rule).

    -           the Golden Stool has another bell which is used to summon ancestral spirits during religious ceremonies.

    -           the stool has its origin in the legend that Osei Tutu was once seated beneath a Kum tree, when in an extra-ordinary way, the powers of nature were let loose. The air was suddenly filled with dust and thunder struck and a stool that was partly covered with gold and having two bells floated gently down from heaven and landed on Osei Tutu’s laps.

    -           the stool, which is so sacred must never touch the earth.

    -           it contains the sunsum, which is the soul of of the Ashanti people.

    -           the Golden stool is a symbol of power, health and riches among the A                    shanti people.

    -           the Ashatehene at his ordination (coronation) symbolically sits three times on the stool (of his ancestors) and this symbolizes uninterrupted line of royal power.

    -           other stools belong to the Omanhene and other political or religious figures who are honoured as the representatives of the ancestors.

    -           the basic features of Ashanti stools are the symbolical rectangular seat, cylindrical hollow pillar and flat base.
    -           the edges of the seats are slightly turned upwards.

    (b         -           Nok art is named after a village called Nok in the Zaria Province of Northern Nigeria.

    -           Nok art works are the oldest in West Africa dating back to between 500 BC and 300 BC.

    -           the works were discovered accidentally by tin miners and were documented by Benard Fagg; a German anthropologist.
    -           the works range in height from about 10 cm and 1.5 metres.

    -           the pupils of the eyes and nostrils are represented with holes.

    -           the figures represented both animal and human forms.

    -           they are conical, cylindrical and spherical in shape.

    -           they have a peculiar hairdo or head-dress.

    -           the animal figures are naturalistic while the human figures are stylized.

    -           emphasis is on the head, which is usually depicted larger than life size.

    -           they are all in terracotta.


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