This publication deals with Africa and the theme of the primitive. This theme offers three fundamental issues: the search for the ‘first principle’ as a rational response to the necessity of living; the expression of the irrational as connected to the dimension of the supersensible; the symbolic archetype of the ‘mother’ and the genealogy from which the contemporary cult for the vernacular derives. ‘Primitivism’ is the tool that the West has given itself to confront this theme. It seems to haunt European culture from the outside but it is equally the revelation in art of the image of a primitive interior. Going ‘elsewhere’ is therefore not a question of moving our physical limes nor is it exclusively the exploration of archaic myths. Rather, it means circumnavigating the antipodes up until returning to the origins of thought and the relationship between mankind and the ways of living, thus those ways through which our knowledge may face contemporary times but be aware of its own genealogy.