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Painted Bodies: African Body Painting, Tattoos & Scarificationby Carol Beckwith
Synopses & Reviews
Drawing from their renowned photo archive of African peoples and cultures, as well as new expeditions into the field, The Painted Bodies of Africa is Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher's selection of their best photography celebrating more than 30 years of documentation of the cultural painting and adornment of the human body.
Included are images of the Surma people, who live in the remote wilderness region of southwest Ethiopia and paint their bodies using chalk, charcoal, and red ocher as a means of expressing emotion and mood, as well as the Karo people, who live along the banks of the Omo River and use flamboyant natural color to decorate their bodies, inspired by the natural world around them and from sources such as the beautiful spotted plumage of the Guinea fowl. Groups of people who have mastered the art of body painting with ocher, such as the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania, the Himba of Namibia, and the Hamar of Ethiopia, are also featured. Other photographs include the masterful and symbolic chalk paintings used to connect the individual to the spirit world of ancestors and deities, as commonly seen in Togo and Benin among the Ewe and Fon people, who are practitioners of Voudou.
With intriguing captions and essays by the photographers as well as drawings by Carol Beckwith explaining the different methods of body adornment for each tribe, this book showcases the beauty of each tribe's rituals and culture.
The seminal volume on body painting and adornment by the worlds preeminent photographers of African culture. Following the international masterpiece Africa Adorned, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have focused on the traditions of body painting spanning the vastly unique cultures of the African continent. In a contemporary world so fascinated with tattoos and piercings, Beckwith and Fisher document the origins of these fashionable adornments as passed down through African tribal culture.Featured are portraits of the richly colored, detailed, and exquisite body paintings of the Surma, Karo, Maasai, Himba, and Hamar peoples, among others. Drawing from expeditions in the field and firsthand experiences with African peoples and cultures over the past thirty years and with more than 250 spectacular photographs, this is the definitive work on the expressiveness and imagination of African cultural painting of the human body.
An extraordinary portfolio of adornment by the worlds leading photographers of African tribal people.
Drawing from their renowned archive of African peoples and cultures, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have selected their best photography to celebrate the traditional painting of the human body.
Featured are portraits of the richly colored, detailed, and exquisite body paintings of the Surma, Karo, Maasai, Himba, and Hamar peoples. Their unique use of body painting, adornment, and costume celebrates the creative expressions of the individual. The use of color and texture, jewelry and markings, represents a sense of fashion—ancient and contemporary at once.
Published as a very special, signed limited edition of 350, Painted Bodies, Painted Faces is hand-bound and slipcased, and each copy is individually printed on an Indigo press at the studio of Roberto Edwards in Chile.
About the Author
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have photographed the peoples and cultures of the Horn of Africa for more than 30 years. Together, they exhibit internationally and lecture widely at prestigious venues such as the American Museum of Natural History, The Explorers Club, The Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, and the Royal Geographical Society. Their magazine credits include major features in Time, Life, Vogue, Marie Claire, and Elle.
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