The Golden Age of West African Civilization


ANY work which helps to make better known the great masterpieces of West and Central African art is to be welcomed, and this rather uneven little book (based, be it noted, on a lecture to a Dublin audience) is more than justified by the photographs collected in it of some twenty of the finest works of ancient Ifé and the Congo, and by the passionate sincerity with which the author, himself African born, sets forth his message, which is that African art and culture before the slave-trade were the equal of any in the world and that this fact should condition the attitude of Europeans to the African, sadly fallen though he now is from that high state. This is such a true and momentous theme, and Dr. Armattoe is so well fitted by his insight into the African past and his experience of Europe to expound it, that we may wish he had concentrated upon developing its positive side more fully instead of squandering fully half his letterpress in diversionary and sometimes exaggerated attack upon European civilization.

The Golden Age of West African Civilization

By Dr. R. E. G. Armattoe. (Published for the Lomeshie Research Centre for Anthropology and Race Biology.) Pp. 96 + 25 plates. (Londonderry: Londonderry Sentinel, 1946.) 8s. 6d. net.

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FAGG, W. The Golden Age of West African Civilization. Nature 157, 535 (1946) doi:10.1038/157535b0

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