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Itutu, which literally translates as "cool" from the Yoruba language, has been used by the Yoruba and more recently by Africanist art historians to describe the aesthetic that characterizes much Yoruba and some African-American art. An "Itutu" aesthetic includes the appearance of a calm, collected face that is found in much Yoruba sculpture. It has been suggested by Robert Farris Thompson of Yale University that Itutu is the origin of the American idea of the "cool". His 1973 article "An Aesthetic of the Cool" traces the idea of "Itutu" from the Yoruba to several other African civilizations and finally to the Americas, where the descendents of Africans perpetuated the importance of being "cool".[1]


  1. ^ Thompson, Robert Farris (1 January 1973). "An Aesthetic of the Cool". African Arts. 7 (1): 41–91. doi:10.2307/3334749. Retrieved 23 January 2017.