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Kenya - Essay Example

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: Arts and culture of Kenya Introduction Kenya has rich artistic and cultural heritage due to diversity in ethnic composition of the population. The National Museums of Kenya promote and conserve the unique visual arts, cultural music and other forms of cultural expression in the country…
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Download file to see previous pages Most of the arts and crafts made from woodcarvings, kisii soapstones and clay. The arts, jewellery, traditional clothes, and crafts signify decoration, adornment and traditional lifestyles of the communities (Sobania 22). Ethnic communities like Samburu, Turkana and Maasai prefer physical beauty in their artistic expressions. Samburu and Maasai communities wear traditional dressings that are decorated with traditional beads and animal skins. The decoration beads signify social status and different stages of passage and initiation. In addition, Maasai morans (men in early adult stage) are expected to carry cultural rungus (clubs) and wrist knives. The Kamba ethnic community is internationally known for its wood crafting skills and traditional kiondos (baskets). The Kisii ethnic community practice soapstone handcrafting from locally quarried soapstone and some items carved includes soap dishes, ashtrays and egg cups. Some of the places that visitors can find cultural artifacts include Nairobi gallery, Nairobi National museum, Gedi ruins, Nairobi railway museum, Fort Jesus, the Bomas of Kenya, Banana hill art gallery, and Karen Blixen Museum that is owned by Baron Blixen (Sobania 56). Kenya has numerous globally recognized films and accomplished filmmakers. Some Hollywood films filmed in Kenya include the snows of Kilimanjoro that features Gregory Peck and Out of Africa Hollywood’s film that features Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. Other international films that feature Kenya include Bob Rafelson’s mountains of the moon, German’s nowhere in Africa and BBC’s big cat diary. The rich savannas, Great Rift Valley, dense forests and glacial mountains offer unique locations for filming internationally recognized films such as US TV series like Survivor Africa and constant gardener. Kenyan has a strong oral and literature traditions that pass to generations through poems, plays and books by reputable Kenyan writers (Saffer 78). Many poets revolve around early ancestors, folk stories and colonial influence in the country. One of the best-known poets is Ngugi wa Thiong’o whose work is based on struggle for independence and subsequent dictatorial regimes in the country. For instance, his work on weep not child and wizard of the crow has attracted him global recognition. Kenya has a variety of music and dances that are associated with different ceremonial occasions. The Maasai sing traditional dances during occasions such as thanks giving, and initiation ceremonies. The Luhya people have the Isukuti dance that entails drum beating and blowing animal horns during cultural festivals such as bull fighting (Pateman 256). The Chuka and Kamba tribes have a distinctive dancing style that involves beating drums clasped between the thighs and acrobatic dancing while Kikuyu people have the Mugithi dance (Sobania 89). The Luo people dances include the ohangla music that comprises some beats borrowed from Congolese lingala and benga music. Internationally recognized musicians include Fadhili Williams, Daudi Kabaka and Eric Wainaina. Different communities in Kenya have different cuisine. However, cultural communities prefer boiling, steaming and roasting their traditional foods such as Nyama Choma meat. Coastal communities prefer fish while tribes living in mountains prefer tubers, arrowroots, cassava and cereals (Pateman 223). Nomadic ethnic groups like Maasai still eat raw cattle milk, raw blood and raw meat preserved ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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