L'Art de L'Afrique

Grade Level: 
Student Level: 
High School

Optional French language presentation on request for an additional fee.

Former French colonies in Africa have a rich and complex history. Explore the traditional arts of selected countries such as Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and The Cote d'Ivoire in this lesson suitable for any class studying African culture and/or French.

Program Format: 
  • Overview of former French colonies such as Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ivory Coast, which are home to peoples such as the Baule, Senufo and Bwa.
  • Discuss the uses and cultural significance of selected sculpture from the museum's collection.
  • Introduce idea that many African objects are meant to be seen in motion and show short video of the Bush Buffalo masquerade.
  • Introduce Baule gold ornaments as objects of portable wealth.
  • Discuss the nature of symbolism in African and American objects.
  • Students will learn and understand that the Cote d'Ivoire is just one region of the continent of Africa, and it is composed of many nations that have their own traditions and spiritual practices.
  • Students will understand that the styles, materials, techniques, and functions of the works of art these nations create also vary, even within a single region, as we discuss the people who inhabit this region, and the objects they create.
  • By studying the works of art, students will learn that even though these objects are 
    beautiful, they also have important social functions. The objects may attest to the social status of the wearer and may be used in ceremonial rituals.