African Museum Essay Research Paper Wesam Berjaoui

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African Museum Essay, Research Paper Wesam Berjaoui April. 01, 2000 Professor Gloster-Coates History 132 CRN# 24386 Museum Project The first museum I went to was my favorite. I went to the Museum for African Art displaying the Hair exhibit. The name of the exhibit sounded very uninteresting, but I was proven wrong. The first thing that I learned from this exhibit is that in Africa the way your hair is done represents your position in society. Your hair was probably one of the most important if not thee most important thing to an African person. A person was distinguished into which clan or group he or she was in by his or her hair style. If you were a very wealthy person your hair was extremely well done to make you stand out, be respected and to show that you were from a

high class. Leadership was usually associated with wealth. Also if a female?s hair was messy that showed that she was a prostitute. The way a child hair was showed how old he or she is. For a baby child the hair was mostly compacted near the fontanel part of the brain to protect the baby since that is the most sensitive part of the baby?s brain. Other signs that distinguished an African from another African was his facial scars. Facial scars doesn?t mean he was sliced with a knife and was physically scared. Facial scars was done by wearing masks. They had three types of masks: helmet, paint, and face mask. Some clans that used these types of masks were used by the Igala people in Nigeria and the Ngangala people in Angola. One of my favorite exhibitions was the showing of the

children doll by the Ashanti people. The Ashanti people gave their children dolls. They didn?t give their children the dolls to play with. They gave it to them so that they can socialize with them and to take care of them as if they were real human beings. I don?t think it was a good idea for the parents to give a child a doll to socialize because the doll couldn?t talk back and communicate. Why not socialize with the neighbors kids? Most families kept to themselves. They didn?t socialize outside their clan or group. They were very close to each other. The children?s were given dolls to take care of to get them ready for parenthood. The reason was that they get married at a very early age, probably around 12 years old for a female. This showed that them to be responsible. The

children in Africa grow up fast. They start working at a very early age, around 6-7 years old. My other favorite exhibition was the twin doll by the Yurola people in Nigeria. The yuroba people thought that twins were double trouble or double prosperity. They thought that since a person had a twin, then they like the same things, which we all know is not true for all twins. But they associated the twins to be very close to each other. They perceived the twins as having one spirit. If one twin dies then the other one makes a doll of the other twin that has died so that he or she can stay ?alive.? I thought that this ideas and concepts of the twins as being fascinating. I think I was drawn to this exhibition because when I have children I want to have twins. The second museum that I

went to was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. When I walked into the Temple of Dendur I was really fascinated. Walking in I looked around and saw about a dozen statues guarding the temple. There is also a waterway (most likely coming from springs) and palm trees around the temple. This waterway has crocodiles in it. This temple was put in a very strategic place and very well protected. Once you go up to the temple you are able to see carvings on the walls. There are all types of carvings. Some of the carvings show people eating, working, people trading, slaves and guards. Basically all different types of lifes activities. The pharaoh that lived in this temple must have been very strong and smart. He probably lived a very happy and prosperous life. The next exhibit that I like a lot