Through African Eyes: The European in African Art,
1500–Present



Education: The introduction of Western teachings created tensions within African societies and many Africans saw access to Western education as a way to influence and resist European ways of understanding the world.

In this wooden sculpture of a missionary reading to an African, the African is depicted as barely able to stand and view the book on the missionary’s lap. Does this suggest the superiority of western education or expose that written texts enforced the notion of African racial inferiority?



Kongo culture, Democratic Republic of Congo. Figure of a European Missionary Reading to an African, 1850–1900. Wood, pigment. National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, The Netherlands (2668–2111).
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