AP Art History : Answering other questions about African sculpture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Art History

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Example Questions

Example Question #158 : 3 D Art

In Yoruba art, the most important body part portrayed in statuary is the __________.

Possible Answers:

arm

hand

heart

head

Correct answer:

head

Explanation:

The Yoruba culture of Southern Africa is one of the key artistic hubs of the region, and produces remarkable works in sculpture, jewelry, and masks. One chief feature is the usual focus on the head, which the Yoruba traditionally believe is the home of the entirety of the person. This belief is best reflected in Yoruba busts, which do not even feature necks or shoulders, only the head itself.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About African Sculpture

Traditional African masks typically portray all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

the actors under the masks

local animals

ancestors

spirits of the earth

Correct answer:

the actors under the masks

Explanation:

African masks are one of the chief examples of sub-Saharan artwork and are traditionally used in various African religious ceremonies. These ceremonies reflect traditional religious beliefs, which are usually based on spirit animism and ancestor worship; therefore, it is thought that the masks often allow the actors to take on something more powerful than themselves, including animals, ancestors, and various kinds of spirits.

Example Question #160 : 3 D Art

All of the following statements are true, in general, of the masquerade arts in Africa except _____________.

Possible Answers:

African masks rarely had any governmental purpose and served only as decorative objects, interesting as visual art pieces

most African masks serve, among many other purposes, to crystallize varieties of human behavior-- caricatured, ordinary, amusing, bizarre, serious, etc

for many groups in West and Central Africa, masking plays an active role in the socialization process, especially for men, who control most masking on the continent

especially before the advent of colonial rule, African masking societies boasted extensive regulatory and judicial powers

a mask, combined with held objects, music, and dance gestures, invokes a specific named spirit character who is enacted a part of strongly ritualized dramas

Correct answer:

African masks rarely had any governmental purpose and served only as decorative objects, interesting as visual art pieces

Explanation:

African masquerade arts have been crucially important, particularly before the advent of colonialism. They function to serve many of the societies' governmental methods, and they serve to express cultural, dramatic, and artistic purposes. 

Example Question #2 : Answering Other Questions About African Sculpture

Polytheism is a basic consistency in Egyptian art and architecture. What Egyptian pharaoh changed the official state religion to a monotheistic one, spawning a 17 year anomaly of art dedicated to Aten, the sole deity in ancient Egypt?

Possible Answers:

Memisabu

Khnumnakht

Amenhotep/Akhenaton

Tutankhamun

Correct answer:

Amenhotep/Akhenaton

Explanation:

During his 17 year reign, Amenhotep IV forbade the worship of any god with the exception of Aten, the power light embodied by the sun disk. This brief period represents a radical departure from what typically comprised Egyptian religion, which was a consistent cornerstone of ancient Egyptian art. An example of this is "Akhenaton Presenting a Duck to Aten."

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