Art and Life in Africa

This website provides information and photographs of various societies in Africa. It is organized into topical essays, which cover art from various regions, and chapters broadly organized by themes such as education, initiation, everyday endeavor, and key moments in life.


Blacksmith in Agbara, Kwara state, Nigeria

This 21-minute long video offers an in-depth look into one family’s forge in Kwara state, Nigeria. It covers the tools and techniques used by blacksmiths, as well as the social and cultural environment in which the family is working.


Blacksmithing Market in Cameroon

This 2-minute long video provides a brief glance at a contemporary blacksmith market in Cameroon.


Dokwaza: Last of the African Masters

This documentary is the first of three films on ironworking and its cultural context. It follows Dokwaza, a blacksmith, who is turning the ruins of an ancestral forge into a working space for ironworking again.


The Mande Blacksmiths: Knowledge, Power, and Art in West Africa by Patrick McNaughton

This book is an in-depth look into the Mande blacksmiths of Mali, particularly the sociocultural context of their work, the techniques they use, and their role in society.


World History: Journeys from Past to Present by Candice Lee Goucher and Linda A. Walton

This book uses common themes to present an integrated and comprehensive survey of human history from its origins to the present day.