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Cross Cultural Encounters

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 3 (531 words)
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Downloads: 4
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Cross Cultural Encounters This piece of text reflects clearly the cross cultural differences of the Europeans and the people of Western Africa. It does not mention the relationship in the 15th and 16th centuries with the Portuguese traders who revered the Benin people, if you look closely at the way that it has been written, the biased opinion towards the European community is quite unfounded. The Europeans had little knowledge of the Western African people; they heard stories of sacrifice cannibalism, slavery and the worship of fetishes a savage race.

These stories would be reflected in the articles and publications that would be written about the people of Benin, a powerful kingdom on the West African Coast after its invasion in 1897 by the British Armed Forces, stories that had been told by people who had visited Benin, photographs and drawings are also published. See (figure, 1. 8 pg26), showing a photograph, taken by the armed forces of a human sacrifice. Would it fair of us to assume that the articles and publications written truly reflect the truth about these people of the kingdom of Benin?

Each culture has its own beliefs and traditions its heritages are carried forward from one generation to another whether it is barbaric, savage or steeped in fetishes their stories are not carried by written articles but are portrayed in the magnificent bronze heads, plagues, ivory carvings, songs and oral stories.

Where the European’s knowledge comes from primary sources and secondary sources after the invasion in 1897 this leaves a question mark on the authenticity of the stories portrayed being a truly Victorian Christian society there believe being of a more democratic attitude and culture.

The great atrocity that the European’s could not accept was the homicide of a group of British explorer’s who were totally unarmed just on an expedition to study the culture of the African community this prompted the invasion by the British Empire in 1897 when the Benin Bronzes were taken as bounty, these bronzes were exported to different parts of Europe they created quite a stir among the anthropological and ethnographical societies, and many collectors of antiquities.

How could such barbaric and savage people create such intricate and aesthetic pieces of art? Surely such creativity could only be created by a Western civilised culture? The production of the Bronzes had been a part of the Benin culture since before the 14th century and portrayed many events and held a lot of historical value to their people. For a long time there were many theories as to their authenticity, until proven by thermo – graphic imaging and dating the brasses.

Even to this present day these works are admired, artist’s have used idea’s in their works such a Picasso (see figure 2. 5 pg. 60), and Matisse who were greatly influenced by the works of the African community and reflected this in some of their art works. Who are we to judge the cultures and beliefs of the so called barbaric and savage people of Africa? When each culture from the, Chinese, Portuguese and other nations are only humans made up of a range of species with unequal qualities and varying abilities, and beliefs from their heritage.

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Cross Cultural Encounters. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/cross-cultural-encounters-new-essay

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