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The Art of Benin - Essay Example

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The Art of Benin Name Class The art of Benin Part 1, Option B The text that was provided from Gallwey (1893) for a discussion about the historic nature of Benin also provides insight into the effect that one culture can have on the memory that exists of another culture…
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The Art of Benin
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Download file to see previous pages The way in which it was written about suggests that the city gained the respect of European travellers. The Portuguese called it the Great Benin where the Dutch writer Nyendale referred to it as “prodigious long and broad” which suggests that the writer was impressed with what he had observed (Gallway 1893, p. 128). History only exists when it is related to the following generations; otherwise it must be considered lost. Certeau and Conley (1988) refer to the creation of history as an interpretation that lies between both the conveying of facts and the interpretation of those facts in a social dimension. In other words, history becomes the interpretation of the evidence into a context that can be related into modernity. Certeau and Conley (1988: p. 21) also write that “History is probably our myth. It combines what can be thought, the ‘thinkable,’ and the origin, in conformity with the way in which a society can understand its own working”. This can also be discussed in terms of how one society will interpret what it sees within another society. As the writers that were contemporary saw the kingdom of Benin as prosperous in relationship to their own standards of prosperity, it was written about in those types of terms. ...
ggests that the place that was Benin no longer is the same as it was when historic visits captured the essence of prosperity in interpretations in relationship to how it was viewed by those relating their experiences. Through the collision of cultures, the evidence of one culture that would not otherwise be captured in the histories of another can be remembered when a place has long since been a reflection of its former glory. Benin is remembered in Western histories which have helped to preserve it as part of the understanding that Western cultures can develop about the part of the world in which it once held its glory. Even though prosperity of the city is remembered as it is related to Western ideals, it means that Western cultures have a perspective on how the place existed within the framework of its own meanings and understandings about a city culture. Part 2 The way in which a museum is more likely to present a body of works is related to the culture in which it is being displayed rather than the culture from which the works are being taken. As an example, when museums first began to show the works of the Benin, the focus was on representing it as a primitive culture because the culture in which it was being displayed considered African cultures to have a lack of sophistication and to be essentially primitive. The artworks that were available from the Benin culture did not relate well with the images that had been promoted with the Benin civilization (Brown 2008). The society was not considered a civilization as Western cultures were still trying to reconcile their own participation in slavery of the African people and could not yet accept that cultures that did not reflect the European ethnicity could be truly civilized (Parker and Rathborn 2007). Histories ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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