Introduction to nigerian craft

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Egypt occupies a great expanse of land located close to the Nile which empties into the Mediterranean sea.

Egypt is known as the cradle of human civilization. This is owed to the simple fact that they are richly blessed in terms of geographical location and security from external forces and this affected their arts tremendously.

The beginning of Egyptian Art is very hidden; art might have started at around 4000BC and remained for more than three thousand years without any revolution.

The Egyptians are polytheistic in nature. Most of their art works are depictions from their gods. Egyptians are renowned astronomers and warriors. They invented a style of pictorial communicative writing called Hieroglyphics. They make paper from rushes. Their kings titled Pharaoh were held with the highest esteem.


The Egyptians arts can be grouped into three periods.

  1. The Old Kingdom Period (2680 – 2258BC)

  2. The Middle Kingdom Period (20000 -1786)

  3. The New Kingdom (1570 -1342)

Egyptian Religious Beliefs and Practices

Funeral Pre-Occupation

The cults of the dead. They believe in life after death. The nobles did this at the expense of slaves and the common people.

When the king died, he was buried with slaves and all of his other royal belongings with the belief that he would use them in his “new” home.

  1. The Old Kingdom

The Nile that divides Egypt into two halves of upper and lower resulted in some political rivalry that created friction between them. This happened until King Menes conquered the lower Egypt and merged it into one with the upper Egypt. Then, he commissioned the first and most significant sculpture of the old kingdom “Pallet of Narmer”. The pallet was made for cosmetic application on the king


Some free standing statues were made; example is that of king Chiefren and Mykerinus in Gizeh.

The representation of the body is stylized according to specific canon proportions.

The building of pyramids also commenced in this period as a burial site for their Pharaohs. The biggest as at that time was that of king Djozer.

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