With examples from every region of the continent, Handmade in Africa demonstrates the wide variety of African art. The splendid art of the African peoples occupies an unusual place in the concert of world cultures. It is anything but 'primitive', being characterized rather by a highly developed sense of design - whether it's masks, ancestral figures, ceramics, basketry, metalwork, or weapons. The items in this volume, mostly datable only with difficulty, start with a sculptured head from Nigeria, which may be as old as the 12th century, and extend from a 15th/16th-century salt container from Sierra Leone to the 19th and 20th centuries, to which most of the extant artworks belong.With examples from every region of the continent - from Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo as well as a dozen other countries including Madagascar and South Africa - this book demonstrates the wide variety of African art, describing the social and religious background without which this art, which today is increasingly threatened with extinction, could not be understood. Each book in Taschen's Basic Genre Series features: a detailed introduction with approximately 35 photographs, plus a timeline of the most important events (political, cultural, scientific, etc.) that took place during the time period and a selection of the most important works of the epoch; each is presented on a 2-page spread with a full-page image and, on the facing page, a description/interpretation of the work and brief biography of the artist as well as additional information such as a reference work, portrait of the artist, and/or citations.