Tuesday, 3 June 2014

African Art in Brittany

Just a few km south of our gite was a rather sad abbey, it used to have several hundred brothers many of whom worked in Africa, today this vast complex has 18! However it does house a very interesting museum of African artefacts brought back by the brothers. Here are a few of the masks and idols used in the traditional tribal rites.

The crucifix is interesting; Christ is shown, as usual, nailed to the cross. Look carefully at the other two, they are bound to their cross at the wrist, ankles and waist which is the way most sectarian art from roman times shows a crucifixion. Nailing just did not work; a nail in the palm of the hand could not support the weight of a body hanging forward. Interesting that the Africans conform to the incorrect method portrayed by all Christian sects since medieval times for Christ yet use the correct method for the other two. I have my own religious conclusions from this observation but leave you to make your own. 

Tony Middleton

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