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The important point is that particular traditions encourage creativity.That being said, some general characteristics of African art may be identified.This separation, therefore, cannot be applied without qualification to African traditions of precolonial origin.Philosophers of art in the West might agree that works of art are simply artifacts made with the intention of possessing aesthetic value, and in that sense art, which would include craftwork as well as works of fine art, would indeed be found in all parts of Africa (as indeed it is throughout human culture).

Sometimes African art plays a part in this, as when a religious cult or a chief or a guild employs distinctive artifacts as a mark of uniqueness.

For more general explorations of media, It is difficult to give a useful summary of the main characteristics of the art of sub-Saharan Africa.

The variety of forms and practices is so great that the attempt to do so results in a series of statements that turn out to be just as true of, for example, Western art.

The motive for the creation of any work of art is inevitably complex, in Africa as elsewhere, and the fact that most of the sculpted artifacts known from Africa were made with some practical use in mind (whether for ritual or other purposes) does not mean that they could not simultaneously be valued as sources of aesthetic pleasure.

It is also often assumed that the African artist is constrained by tradition in a way contrasting with the freedom given to the Western artist.

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