- Dialogue of ministry in Angola; a land rising from past challenges -
Saturday, April 3, 2010
As like most African art, masks and wooden sculptures are not merely aesthetic creations. They have an important role in cultural rituals, representing the life and death , the passage from childhood to adulthood, the celebration of a new harvest and the beginning of hunting season . Angolan artisans work in wood , bronze and ivory , in masks or sculptures . Each ethno-linguistic group in Angola has its own unique artistic traits.
Perhaps the most famous Angolan art or sculpture is the 'O Pensador' or 'Thinker', a hand-made crafted wood piece which is considered a national symbol in Angola. The 'Pensador' originates from the Tchokwe tribe and represents today a reference of the culture concerning all Angolans, as it is a symbol of the national culture.
It represents the figure of an elderly person that could be a man or a woman. Designed in a symmetric profile, with the face slightly bent down, it expresses an intentional subjectivism as, in Angola, the elderly represent wisdom and enjoy a privileged status. The elderly represent the wisdom, experience of long years and knowledge of the secrets of life.
This image today is Angola’s emblematic figure that is included in the watermark of the kwanza bank note, the national currency. It is considered as a native piece of art trustworthily Angolan. Alike any emblematic figure of a people, as it is the case of the "Zé Povinho" in Portugal, "John Bull" in England or the “Uncle Sam” in the United States, 'O Pensador' represents the same national tradition.
CEML (Centro Evangelico de Medicina do Lubango) is a church-related healthcare institution in the southern Angolan city of Lubango which provides medical services for an estimated 50% of Angolans who currently have no alternative coverage.