African Art History

Africa is a very big country and each part of Africa has its own history. It is the second largest continent in the world and is home to a diverse range of ancient cultures. Art has been a part of African history. There are different people from different races and tribes and the only thing common for all of them is art.Among all types, tribal art fascinates one and all. For the tribal people, it is the way of life to draw, weave fabric or make stone or wooden sculptures, but for the rest of the world it is art. African art is exhibited in several ways from the ancient Hieroglyphs of Egypt to cave paintings in South Africa.South and North Africa have their own style of art. The Black Africans or the South Africans had a different form of art that originated in the Saharan desert and the North Africans created art out of horns. Some of the oldest pieces of art found in Africa dated back to more than 6,000 years and were found in Sahara Desert. The oldest sculptures found in Nigeria date to 500 BC. The Africans made art out of terracotta and also built pyramids. Archaeologists have even found sculptures of historically important people like Nefertiti.In the mid 19th century, contemporary form of African art was popularized. The artists, however, started painting African landscapes in a very abstract way.Traditional African art is another popular form of African art and that has been followed from several generations.

The Somewhat Controversial Filipino Martial Arts History

The Philippine Martial Arts have somewhat of a controversial history. The following are from history, research, and also knowledge passed on from experienced eskrimadors. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.Eskrima- the art of fencing; fighting with swords in a skilled.Arnis- Filipino sword fighting martial art.The Philippines warrior arts are deeply rooted in the history
and culture of the Filipino people. They are the products of a highly developed
civilization which flourished long before the arrival of the West upon its
shores, and of centuries of warfare against a variety of oppressors. Both these
factors are responsible for the highly technical and pragmatic outlook of the
Filipino Martial Arts.The History of the Philippines is a long one, with records stretching back to as far as 900AD.
In the case of the Filipino martial arts, when examining the history of the Philippines as a nation, it is clear that fighting arts have always been an integral part of the Filipino society. The fighting arts of the Philippines, like in many other places, were influenced by many different cultures and made uniquely Filipino by the Filipinos and there weapon systems and surroundings.
Spanish rule in the Philippines lasted until 1898 when Spain was defeated in the Spanish-American war. During this long period of colonization, the Spanish had some important effects on the Filipino culture. Firstly, most of the population was converted to Roman Catholicism except for the Muslim Moros of the Sulu archipelago. Spanish fencing also had a direct effect on the fighting arts of the Philippines, with the introduction of angles of attack, and the use of Espada y daga (sword and dagger). When the Spanish imposed a ban on the practice of all native fighting arts and the carrying of bladed weapons during their occupation of the islands, the Filipinos were forced to substitute the use of the sword with that of the rattan. In the beginning the rattan was used to deliver strikes in the same manner as the blade i.e. slashing and thrusting, and the knife (or short stick) was still held in reserve as a back up weapon in case the opponent closed the distance, typical of it’s use by the Spanish. Hardly ever was it used to block or parry an oncoming strike. However through time the Filipinos began to realise that because the stick had different handling qualities, certain lines of attack were open to them that were not available with the swords, curved and snapping strikes. Once they began to appreciate the combat effectiveness of the stick the use of the knife also changed and began to be used more aggressively in terms of blocking, parrying, checking, scooping, thrusting and slashing. This in turn led to the creation of Olisi y baraw (stick and dagger).I have heard that the term eskrima was derived from the spanish word esgrima, or possibly from the word skirmish(a short unexpected fight). Arnis de mano was said to be derived from the Spanish word “arnes” meaning trappings or defensive armor. Other literature said the term Arnis is a bastardised form of the word Arnes which refers to the decorative harnesses used by the actors in moro-moro stage displays. De mano simply means hands, and so a literal translation of Arnis de mano turns into ‘harness of hand’. The manipulation of these harnesses during the stage plays impressed the Spanish who dubbed it Arnes de mano. The style Arnis, a Spanish term itself, uses many Spanish terms to describe its techniques such as Espada y daga.The last term Kali is always the most controversial. Many martial arts schools and instructors believe the word Kali to be a combination of the words Kamut (hand) and Lihok (movement). It is also believed to be the mother art of Arnis or Escrima but there is a lack of evidence to support this. Kali or Kahli as it is sometimes written, in Visayan is a type of stick, but not used to refer to the fighting art. Kali is also the Hindu Goddess of destruction, and the Moros of the Sulu archipelago would often go into battle dressed like the goddess of destruction. The more believable explanation is from the Tagalog word for a large bladed weapon, Kalis. This was shortened simply to Kali to refer to all bladed weapon. Its use in the West stems from the use of the word by Floro Villabrille who used this term to describe his art, and this was eventually popularised by Dan Inosanto. An interview with Antonio Illustrisimo in 1993 revealed that he only used the word out of convenience because foreign students recognized it, although he preferred the term Escrima because this is what it was called when he was learning from his uncles.Regardless of the controversy of names, terms, and history the effectiveness has been proven many times over. It is not the art that needs to be questioned but the individual practitioners and their ability to express the functionality of the system they practice. The U.S. special forces have implemented the Philippine warrior arts into their military training regiments for many years and still to this day.It is well known that these arts were usually tightly guarded secrets and usually passed on from father to son. Fortunately it has been opened up to the world and stands as its own legacy. Find a system that works for you and stick with it, also explore other systems and expressions(there are many). Try not to be close minded or you risk limiting your own knowledge and may fall short of reaching higher aspirations.