African Art

Topics: Africa, Culture, Western culture Pages: 3 (997 words) Published: November 26, 2013
Circuits of African Art/ Paths of Wood: Exploring an Anthropological Trail

Before reading this article I researched Paul Stoller, in effort to get a better understanding of who he is and to also get a better understanding of the origin and nature of his works. In doing so I found out that Paul Stoller is an anthropologist was has been conducting research for about 30 years. His studies of West African immigrant in New York started in 1992, which has resulted in involving topics like the cultural dynamics of informal market economies and politics of immigration. His work has resulted in 11 publications which are widely read and recognized. ("Anthropology & Sociology)

In this article Paul Stoller investigates the effects that evolution has on African Art. He starts with a scene set at The Ney York International Tribal Antiques Show at the Seventh Regent Armory on Park Avenue. As he highlights that African Art has been altered in the way the Western World perceived the art to be, he continues to provide evidence that indeed economic and social forces of globalization has changed the world of art. “There is a vast and varied literature on the social and economic impact of the globalization. Several analysts argue that globalization has fundamentally altered the nature of cultural processes, political dynamics and social interaction.” (Stoller 209) After reflecting on this statement, I believe that the Western World interpretation of the art may have predicted the way in which people interacted with African Art. Because African Artists, in most cases, did not have the chance share their story, the true sense of the arts was lost.

The purpose of African art was not to satisfy the people themselves but it was meant to be spiritually engaging. “In West Africa religious crossroads are place stepped in religious significance… The crossroads is a metaphor that captures the complex dynamics of contemporary social worlds.” (Stoller 221) After reading this article, it...

Cited: 1. “Anthropology & Sociology - Paul Stoller - West Chester University." Anthropology & Sociology - Paul Stoller - West Chester University. 
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2. “Circuits of African Art / Paths of Wood: Exploring an Anthropological Trail”
Paul Stoller
Anthropological Quarterly 
Vol. 76, No. 2 (Spring, 2003), pp. 207-234
Published by: The George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research
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