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Kota: Visions of Africa Series: Visions of Africa Series (Visions of Africa)by Louis Perrois
Synopses & Reviews
The Bamana (or Bambara) are members of the Mande culture, a large and powerful group of peoples in western Africa. The artistic tradition of the Bamana is rich, encompassing pottery, sculpture, beautiful bokolanfini cloth, and wrought-iron figures crafted by blacksmiths. They also have an extensive tradition of masks, which are used as a form of social control and community education.
This volume focuses on the aesthetic qualities of the masterpieces of Bamana religious art in Mali and resituates them in their social, aesthetic, and cultural context. The emphasis is on pieces used in rites of passage (Ntomo, funerals), or by agricultural cooperatives, and initiation societies (Jo, Komo, Kono, Tyiwara, Namakoro). The pieces are sublime precisely because they stand at the crossroads of religion, art, and politics.
Works included in the book are from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Indiana University Art Museum, Museum for African Art NY, National Museum of African Art (Smithsonian Institution).
The Yaka, a tribe in the southwestern corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have for over a century produced figurative statuettes, masks, and other objects that have fascinated Western scholars, collectors, and explorers. This impressive book brings together some of the earliest examples, as well as some of the most visually striking, and explores their uses in installation and initiation ceremonies and curative rituals, examining their relationship to leadership, divination, and sorcery. Colonial influences as well as and#147;anti-fetishand#8221; religious movements are studied for their impact on Yaka traditional art. The book includes 21 black-and-white illustrations and drawings accompanying the text, 62 color plates with commentary, and an annotated bibliography.
The latest volume in the Visions of Africa series explores the intriguing sculpture and decorative art of the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Best known for their king figures (ndop), considered among the greatest sculptural achievements of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Kuba actually produced little freestanding sculpture. Instead, they focused on a variety of decorative works that indicated success and achievement, and initiation-related pieces such as masks. The first book on this subject, Kuba examines the tribe's artistic development, from the 17th century through the turbulent colonial and post-colonial periods. The authors also explore the impact of Kuba beliefs on their art and discuss the pervasive concerns that inform the tribe's art-making. With fifty beautifully reproduced examples and an engaging, informative text, Kuba is a fascinating introduction to African art.
About the Author
Louis Perrois is an ethnologist specializing in the ancient arts and cultures of equatorial Africa.
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