Sunday, May 8, 2011

St. Anthony

My professor for my Introduction to Central African Art has inspired me to want to know more about patron saints. He always jokes around with us and says things like, "You kids should be more familiar with your patron saints!" It's not a necessary quality that anybody really needs to have, but I think it would be a fun thing just to be knowledgeable in!

One of the slides for his final is a wooden carving of St. Anthony. He was a Franciscan order Catholic priest, which means he was all about being humble and stuff like that. He was a popular guy amongst the Portuguese, and they considered him the patron saint of marriage. And since the Portuguese have had such a large influence on Africa, especially in the Congo, we see figures like this one. This isn't the exact figure I am studying for class, but it is the same idea.

Even though the people of the Congo returned to Paganism after the Portuguese were big old jerks to them, they still used figures like this as magical power figures. Which is a whole other thing completely that I won't get into, because it seems crazy if you haven't been studying African art all semester like myself.

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