African Arts and Crafts

Traditions of African arts and crafts are stunning in their appearance and goals. Once regarded as unpopular, people around the globe are coming to terms with how beautiful this art is, as evident by the rising number of people interested in unique art pieces that display the distinct value of the different African regions.

It is appropriate to say that, at times, art speaks to the culture, and art aids us to understand a specific culture, no matter what shape it takes. Westerners viewed traditional African arts and crafts as primitive and insignificant and regarded as beautiful and meaningful. A large part of this shift in the perception of art can be attributed to the work of modern African artists and diaspora who have attempted to mix the traditional with the contemporary, using innovative ways to communicate the ideas of these old artefacts.

The 5 Elements of African Arts and crafts

African art is simple and intricate. It is founded on 5 fundamental elements like the common threads found in various works of art across the various areas of the continent. It represented various African communities’ beliefs, ideas, values, and ideas and encouraged younger generations to embrace these ideas through various forms of art. These are the elements listed below.

The Use of Human Figure

African arts and crafts is a work of art that was created not only to impress the eyes but also to promote the values of religion, which is why the human persona’ is given utmost importance. This art is concerned with the moral and spiritual aspects of human life. African artists believed that the human form was highly aesthetic and religious value. They believed that it was beautiful. Human figures were the basis for their work. Artists weren’t looking to depict an exclusive group of people. They were more interested in conveying thoughts about the reality of living. 

Lustre or Luminosity

African figure sculptures are polished, glossy, attractive, polished appearances. According to African tradition, a rough or uneven surface signifies unattractive, unpopular or ugly images. Therefore artists made sure that their work was cleaned well and had no flaws on the surface so that they would shine. Human figures are loaded with jewellery to add to their appeal. Sometimes intricate designs are created on the art pieces. 

Composed Demeanor

The African sculptures typically appear calm, cool and composed appearance. They are constructed so that they appear at ease with their own. Elegance, self-respect, dignity and self-esteem emanate from these models. These traits indicate that the artists desired their art to be professional, rational, and logical with straight postures. Expressions that were emotional and outbursts of emotion were not a part of the art.


The youth years were thought to be the most important time of life. Therefore, artists incorporated this element into their work. Because youth is a symbol of vitality, strength, energy, fertility, and incredible vigour, artists were able to incorporate these characteristics into their artworks. They didn’t want to convey negative feelings and only wanted to portray positive qualities and attitudes.

Symmetry and Balance

The only element in this category has a certain resemblance to Western or other types of art. This refers to the materials used in balance and proportion to do artistic works, and the previous components focused on morals, religion, culture, and aesthetics.