Easy Blogging – Carnival and Tribal Art

I often wondered about the viability of blogging about African Art, or African Tribal Art for that matter. The content seemed limited, supposedly having no direct relation to everyday life past a colorful, temporary fancy, or at best a brief insight into a particularly abstract, or hideous item. But I have to admit that I was wrong because I was effectively limiting myself to what others saw and trying to provide another view of existing perspectives.

Puno Tribal Mask : Ritual mask now used for festivals and entertainment

Let me provide an example. I grew up thinking that the etymology of Carnival was French or Spanish, being translated loosely as a combination of Carne – meat (Sp) and Val (from the Sp verb ir, to go). So I came up with “farewell to meat” as the underlying thought. Coincidently the Trinidad and Tobago and Rio  Carnivals end on the night before  Ash Wednesday; the day of the beginning of the Roman Catholic Lenten season. “Carnival”  is actually Italian in origin, being derived from Carnivale – but this is where it gets interesting. The TnT Carnival was started by African slaves  joyfully (I speculate on their emotional state here) celebrating the Emancipation of Slavery. It is commemorative. The music, masks, and masquerades were cultural tribal icons and cultural tribal traditions that  we take with us today. So in effect what is left is a distinctive European veneer on what in essence remains an African tribal motif.

Guro Tribal Mask : Dancing mask - Click for video

I have taken some time to come to a conclusion which may have been obvious to the more astute reader. When you live, or love something, the possibilities are infinite since every convergence or divergence offers opportunities for analysis or understanding. Very much like music which continually evolves and develops, or even marriage, which requires continuous change around a ‘constant’ of commitment.

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