African American Figurines
Growing prosperity in the African American population across the country has generated a lucrative trade in the arts relating to and associated with Africa and the history of the African American in this country.
Collection of African American figurines is one such example of this interest in art and artifacts relating to Africa. These small sculptures reflect life in the United States as it pertains to the black population and they are often influenced by traditional design and style derived from historical African artifacts.
Because African American figurines represent miniature sculptures done in an African fashion, they represent different styles of sculpture as found in Africa. A continent as large as Africa, with geographic regions and climates that cover the entire spectrum, has art forms as varied as the country and the people that inhabit it.
Elongated, angular body shapes and facial features define the sculptural influence from western Africa. In this part of Africa, the art forms represent an idea as opposed to a more lifelike depiction of a person.
African American figurines influenced by central Africa are more varied and diverse although specific tribal influences within the region are distinctly identifiable. The inward curve to a heart-shaped face and patterns made using dots and circles represent central African influence.
Sculptures throughout Africa employ many materials, including wood, bone, ivory, clay, stone, and metal. The artisans of eastern Africa, however, most often carve poles instead of more traditional sculpting materials. These intricately carved poles represent the human form and are often topped with decorative animals or other objects.
Many African American figurines representing southern African art are made of clay. The oldest clay figures known to man were found in southern Africa and they were made around 500 AD. These figures often have cylindrical heads featuring a mix of human and animal features.
African American artifacts and collectibles are enjoying immense popularity today in America. They are being purchased, admired, and collected by people of all races.