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Yaka  

A. P. Bourgeois

Bantu-speaking people inhabiting Popokabaka, Kenge and Kasongo Lunda sectors of Bandundu Province, south-western Zaïre, and Uige Province of northern Angola; they number c. 245,000. The Yaka are bordered to the west by various groups of the Kongo ethnic complex, to the north by the Teke-Mfinu and Mbala peoples, to the east by the Suku and to the south by the Holo, Southern Suku and Chokwe. Reference to Suku art in particular is made here. Yaka ethnicity is complex. They are ruled by Luwa lords of Lunda origin and encompass enclaves of Tsaamba and Suku as well as such political splinter groups as the Pelende. European penetration of the region began in the 1880s, since when there has been a gradual decline in the demand for art objects and in standards of craftsmanship. Some traditions of masking and figure carving persisted into the late 20th century. Yaka masks function as personalized extensions of charm specialists, protecting the fertility of the young against harmful influences. The ...

Article

[ Zerihun ]

(b Addis Ababa 1941).

Ethiopian sculptor and painter. He first studied at Empress Manan Handicraft School and later attended the Fine Arts School, Addis Ababa (1963–8), where Gebre Krestos Desta, Skunder and Hansen-Bahia (b 1915; see Ethiopia and Eritrea §II 2., (iv) ), a German wood-engraver who taught graphic arts (1963–6), were among his teachers. He is a talented wood-engraver but worked mainly with mixed media after 1970, using carved and painted wood as a frame and as part of the painting itself, along with bamboo strips, looms, parchment and canvas. Initially strongly influenced by Skunder, he uses magic scrolls as central motifs in many of his works, as seen in Research from the Art of Magic (mixed media on bamboo strips, 1105 x 640 mm, 1988; Zurich, U. Zurich, Vlkerkndmus). Along with Orthodox symbols, Biblical images and African masks populate his compositions as vehicles through which he explores social issues, for example his concern with African unity and Ethiopia’s links to the rest of the continent. He was the grand prize winner at Dak’Art ’92. Since the 1970s he has taught graphic arts at the Addis Ababa Fine Arts School while continuing to exhibit his work in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Cuba, the US and Switzerland....

Article

Yoruba  

H. J. Drewal

Term of 19th-century European invention designating various Yoruba-speaking peoples who often claim a common origin at the city of Ife in modern Nigeria and who share, in varying degrees, language, art forms, socio-political institutions, and religious beliefs and practices. Yoruba artistic traditions may be counted among the richest in Africa. Major collections of Yoruba art are preserved in Nigeria (Lagos, N. Mus.), Europe (London, BM; Paris, Mus. Homme; Berlin, Mus. Vlkerknd.; Frankfurt am Main, Mus. Vlkerknd; Munich, Staatl. Mus. Vlkerknd.; Leipzig, Mus. Vlkerknd.; and Dresden, Mus. Vlkerknd), and the USA (Los Angeles, UCLA, Fowler Mus. Cult. Hist.; New York, Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.; Seattle, WA, A. Mus.). Smaller numbers of Yoruba art works are held by virtually every museum with a collection of African art. Yoruba art has also been widely illustrated (see bibliography).

The Yoruba people number more than 25 million in their homeland in south-western Nigeria and south-eastern ...

Article

J. H. Taylor

Small, undecorated tomb of an Egyptian noble and his wife. It was discovered in the Valley of Kings (KV 46) at Thebes in 1905. The tomb had suffered superficial plundering but most of the contents were recovered intact (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and New York, Met.). The collection is important for the light it throws on the funerary equipment of the nobility at the height of the New Kingdom (c. 1540–c. 1075 bc) and the styles of furniture and decorative art current at that time.

Yuya and Tuya were the parents of Queen Tiye, the wife of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc). Yuya, perhaps of Asiatic extraction, came from Akhmim in Upper Egypt, where he held important religious offices. He was also God’s Father (i.e. father-in-law of the pharaoh), Master of the Horse and King’s Lieutenant of Chariotry. His wife Tuya was in charge of the female personnel of the temples of Amun and Min....

Article

J.-A. Cornet and Lema Gwete

[République du Zaïre ; formerly Congo Free State, Belgian Congo]

Central African country, with a short Atlantic coastline to the west, bordered by the Central African Republic and Sudan to the north; by Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania to the east; by Zambia and Angola to the south; and by the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. Zaïre is the third largest country in Africa, with a total area of 2,345,409 sq. km. It is dominated topographically by the Zaïre River and is extremely rich in natural resources, including minerals. Its population totals 34,491,000 (UN estimate, 1989) and consists of c. 250 different ethnic groups, nearly all of which are Bantu-speaking. French is the language of administration. The capital is Kinshasa (formerly Léopoldville).

Although what is now Zaïre was politically decentralized until colonial times, a number of kingdoms developed in the southern savannah region from c. ad 1500, and one of these, the Kongo kingdom, established and maintained diplomatic relations with the Portuguese between the 16th and 18th centuries. Such kingdoms as the Kuba, Lunda and Luba engaged in long-distance trade. In the 19th century the area was subject to more thorough European explorations, and by ...

Article

David Simpson

[formerly Northern Rhodesia]

Country in Southern Africa. Covering 752,614 sq. km, it is bordered by Zaïre to the north, by Malawi and Mozambique to the east, by Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south and by Angola to the west. The capital is Lusaka. Zambia gained independence in 1964. Most of the country is more than 1000 m above sea-level, with moderate temperatures and a natural vegetation of open woodland. National languages include English, Bemba, Tonga, Nyanja and Lozi. Most of the population practised subsistence agriculture until the 1950s, when commercial farming was encouraged. Zambia is comparatively industrialized and urbanized, with 40% of the population (7,804,000; UN estimate, 1989) living in urban areas; the economy went into depression in the mid-1970s following a decline in world copper prices, rising oil prices and a reduction of trade, the result of Zambia’s opposition to white minority rule in what was then Rhodesia. This entry covers the art produced in Zambia since colonial times. For art of the region in earlier periods, including rock art, ...

Article

Zande  

John Mack

[Azande]

Central Sudanic-speaking people, about one million in number, occupying the borderlands of Zaïre, the southern Sudan and the Central African Republic. Essentially agriculturalists, they formerly relied heavily on hunting and fishing for subsistence. The highly mixed ancestry of the Zande partly explains the diversity of their arts. They began to emerge during the 18th century from groups who were expanding from the west and exploiting the resources along the northern fringes of the forests. These groups fell under the leadership of the Avongara, the aristocratic clan of the Zande, whose princes and governors ruled the various Zande provinces. Conquered peoples were incorporated into Zande society as subjects, gradually losing their language and separate identity, but contributing their own skills to Zande culture. In addition to trade, a complex system of tribute ensured a constant circulation of goods from distant areas of Zande influence and a wide dispersal of the specialist artistic products of individual regions. Examples of Zande art are to be found, for example, in Tervuren, Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika (Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale); London, British Museum; Birchington, Powell-Cotton Museum; and Oxford, Pitt Rivers Museum, as well as many other European and North American museums. Published illustrations are also very common (...

Article

Margaret Graves

Archipelago 25 km off the east coast of Tanzania in east Africa, with ancient links to Arabia as well as the African mainland. The majority of the population (1,000,000; 2004 estimate) is Muslim. From 1698 Zanzibar was under the control of the sultans of Oman, Sultanate of , becoming a British protectorate in 1890. It became independent in 1963, merging with Tanganyika to form Tanzania, United Republic of in 1964. Following independence, ministers for culture were assigned to find and revive traditional customs.

The ancient stone town of Zanzibar was restored in the 1980s by the Conservation of Historical Monuments Society, and further private investment has been poured into the rehabilitation of the old houses with elaborate carved wooden balconies and doors bearing pre-Islamic motifs such as date palms and lotuses. Specific bodies offering patronage include the National Art Council of Tanzania, responsible for the development and promotion of traditional arts, and the National Cottage Industries Corporation (NCIC), formed in ...

Article

Isabelle Gournay

( Louis )

(b Angers, Oct 20, 1911; d 1996).

French architect . He studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1928–39), winning the Premier Grand Prix de Rome in 1939. In 1942 he went to Tunisia as a volunteer in the Free French Army. From 1943 to 1948 he practised there as Chief Government Architect, directing a team involved in modernization; they designed housing projects, markets and schools, which were notable for their respect of local traditions. Although he returned to private practice in Paris (1948), he still received large public commissions from the Tunisian government (for example buildings for the University of Tunis, 1960–64). In Paris he was instrumental in the implementation of the Camus process, a prefabrication method that he used in the housing complex at the Pont de Sèvres, Boulogne-Billancourt (1949–52). The Renault industrial complex, Flins (1950–55), is in a straightforward International style, although its façades are enlivened by a polychrome composition by the painter ...

Article

Diane Harris

( fl mid-1st century ad ).

Greek bronze sculptor, active in Rome and Gaul . His name (‘foreign gift’) suggests that he may have been born in Massalia (Marseille), Asia Minor, Egypt or Syria, and according to Pliny (Natural History XXXIV.xviii.46) he was the foremost sculptor of colossal statues of the 1st century ad. From ad 54 to 64 Zenodoros worked in Arvernis, Gaul, making a bronze statue of Mercury, for which he was paid 40 million sesterces. Nero commissioned him to make a colossal imperial portrait c. 36 m high, which was placed in his palace, the Domus Aurea in Rome (Pliny: XXXIV.xviii.45–6; Suetonius: Nero xxxi). During the reign of Vespasian ( ad 69–79) it was converted into a statue of the Sun god, Sol (Aelius Spartianicus: Hadrian XIX.xii; Herodian: I.xv.9; Pliny: XXXIV.xviii.45). A replica of the Mercury was known in Corinth in antiquity (Pausanias: Guide to Greece II.iii.4) and several extant copies may reflect the original appearance of the statue. The colossal statue of ...

Article

D. Walker and Celia Winter-Irving

[formerly Southern Rhodesia , Rhodesia ]

Country of c. 390,580 sq. km in Southern Africa, bordered by Zambia to the west and north, by Mozambique to the north and east, by South Africa to the south, and by Botswana to the south and west. The capital is Harare (formerly Salisbury). Zimbabwe’s fertile plateau and mountain ranges contain vast mineral resources including serpentines and such other stones in many colours as verdite and soapstone. Its population of c. 10,600,000 (census, 1992) comprises mostly Shona-speaking peoples (c. 75%), with the Nguni-speaking Ndebele making up the largest non-Shona group. The area of present-day Zimbabwe was first settled by the San in c. 20,000 bc. Around 500 bc Shona agriculturalists and herdsmen moved into the country and by ad 1000 had built up a commercial empire based around Great Zimbabwe . In the early 19th century a king of the Ndebele, Mzilikazi, conquered the country. In 1890 an army sent by Cecil Rhodes (the British Prime Minister of the Cape Colony) invaded, and by ...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

Muslim dynasty that ruled in parts of North Africa and Spain between ad 972 and 1152. The founder of the dynasty, Ziri ibn Manad (d 972), was a Sanhaja Berber in the service of the Fatimid caliphs, who ruled from Tunisia. In 936 Ziri founded Ashir, the family seat, in the Titeri Mountains 170 km south of Algiers. His son Buluggin (reg 972–84) was appointed governor of North Africa when the Fatimids left Kairouan for Cairo. Under Buluggin, his son al-Mansur (reg 984–96), and his grandson Badis (reg 996–1016), the Zirids greatly enlarged their territory, expanding into northern Morocco, where they came in conflict with the Umayyads of Spain. By 1015 the Zirid domain had become too large to be governed from Kairouan alone: the Zirids retained control of the eastern half, while the western portion was granted to Buluggin’s son Hammad (reg 1015–28), who established his capital at the Qal‛at Bani Hammad to the east of Ashir. In ...

Article

Zulu  

Sandra Klopper

Originally a minor northern Nguni group living along the middle reaches of the White Umfolozi River in South Africa. Use of the name Zulu was extended after Shaka Senzangakhona Zulu (c. 1787–1828) conquered other northern Nguni polities, thereby establishing a formidable militarist state in south-east Africa, stretching from the Pongola River in the north of present-day Natal to the Thukela River in the south; from the mid-1840s it shared its southern boundary with the Colony of Natal. To the north Shaka established tributary relations with Tsonga chiefdoms on the eastern seaboard and, to a lesser extent, with the Swazi kingdom further inland. The kingdom was destroyed by British forces in 1879.

Although they became relatively culturally distinct from one another in the late 18th century and early 19th, the Tsonga of southern Mozambique, the Ngwane (later the Swazi ruling lineage) and the northern Nguni chiefdoms of Zululand-Natal shared many ritual practices. While the Zulu have always produced a variety of utilitarian artefacts and elaborate dress for ritual and other occasions, there have been significant changes in the style, function and symbolic value they attribute to their craft objects and clothing. Indeed some artefacts, once highly valued, are no longer produced. Many factors account for these developments, in particular shifting patterns in the control and distribution of imported materials, especially during the 19th century, the expropriation by European settlers of large areas of fertile land, and the consequent disruptive effects of migrant labour on traditional Zulu life. Zulu arts have been quite widely illustrated (see bibliography) and many museums with African collections have examples of Zulu arts....

Article

David Koloane

(b Ixopo, Jan 1, 1960).

South African mixed-media artist. He obtained his BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In 1995 he was invited to Reunion Island to create a work as part of a project to engage artists from around the Indian Ocean: Seven Artists, Seven Countries. He exhibited in Trade Routes: History and Geography, the Second Johannesburg Biennale, in 1997, and that same year was a member of the Amakhona Art Centre. Zulu is one of the few black artists who have departed from the trodden path of paint and brushes. In place of a brush he uses a blowtorch, and instead of paint, fire and smoke, which he controls on a blank canvas to delineate form and image; for him, beauty is in form, not content. His pieces depict struggle and make reference to history, religion, art and politics. He works in patterns and metaphors, with pyrotechnic effects. The ashes and charred surfaces are references to oppressive social conditions experienced by South African blacks, with fire symbolism, for example, suggesting the scorched earth policies employed by warring factions in different areas of the country. His fire remains under control, however, though society sometimes seems out of control. His environmental installations comprise scorched roots, grasses and bulbs that also suggest healing qualities inherent in nature and tradition....