Monday, September 22, 2014

Throne of King Nsa'ngu

Initial Reaction

The cobalt blue and dirty orange colors are very intriguing and visually appealing. The use of pattern in this piece make the viewers eye travel throughout. For instance, the snake is made of hash marks that are white and draw your attention, then the curving lines allow the viewers eyes to follow the shape moving throughout the entire piece. Upon first viewing the piece, I notice that there are four figures; two characters at the top seem to be more important and of some sort of value based on there position in this piece. 

After Research

Throne of King Nsa'ngu. Cameroon, Bamum. Late 19th century.
After reading about this artwork in the book I realize that it is a piece is done by an artist from the Cameroon grasslands, which is Directly East of Nigeria. This piece is a throne of King Nsa'ngu. He would sit in front of the two larger figures in back and his feet would rest on the foot stool in between the bottom two figures. The two figures in the back are fertility symbols that symbolize the king's role as father to his people. The two figures on the bottom of the throne are said to symbolize "Njoya's use of traditional wisdom in his rule." The double-headed serpent symbolizes his strength in battle, these are on the seat. Thrones such as this were kept inside the palace and only moved to the front of the palace when the king held audiences there. It had to be moved by specially appointed throne bearers. 

O'Riley, Michael Kampen. "The Pacific." In Art Beyond the West, 260-261. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.

Figure 1:

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