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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Library: Books about African culture

We recommend these books about African culture and biography:

Going into Darkness: Fantastic Coffins from Africa
Thierry Secretan

The definitive work about the Ga coffin makers of Teshie, Accra. As well as documenting the intricacies of the funeral ceremony there is a wide selection of coffin types showing the skill and wit of the carpenters. These products are available on the eShopAfrica.com website

Long Walk to Freedom: With Connections (HRW Library)
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela documents his life fighting apartheid in the same quiet voice as Olaudah Equiano. His lack of resentment towards his oppressors and his caring attitude towards individuals - no matter who they are - is what makes him the special person he is.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African
Olaudah Equiano

The word 'narrative' is a bit of an understatement for what is a horrific catalogue of abuse starting with being abducted with his sister as a young child, suffering the horrors of being transported, being freed, being recaptured and other untold miseries. The bland way the Olaudah documents his abuses with no hint of bitterness makes their telling even more powerful.

A History of Art in Africa (2nd Edition)
Monica Blackmun Visona

A groundbreaking work, this is the first book to cover the arts of the entire continent of Africa, including Egypt, and to survey the art history, rather than the cultural traditions, of African peoples.

Africa Adorned
Angela Fisher

A glorious look at how Africans all over the continent use adornment to express their creativity and individuality. A wealth of detailed knowledge as to the meanings of the designs and styles and the way they are used.

Africa: Arts and Cultures
John Mack

Using selected objects from the British Museum, which holds the world's largest collection of African art, this volume offers an introduction to both traditional and contemporary works.

Africa: The Art of a Continent
Tom Phillips

A general work on African art documenting art forms in different tribes, regions, countries and styles.

African Art (Third Edition) (World of Art)
Frank Willett

A round up of arts across the continent.

African Ceremonies: The Concise Edition
Carol Beckwith, Angela Fisher

Spectacular photographer document the importance of ceremonies some 1300 cultures that make up the African continent. The diversity and scope of the ceremonies covered and the skills use document the true creativity of the African peoples.

African Forms: Art and Rituals
Laure Meyer

This book illuminates an aspect of African art that has largely been neglected by other books. African sculptures and art are difficult to decipher because they are more than tokens of "art for art's sake." African art is based on religious and philosophical values.

African Forms: The Traditional Design and Function of Objects
Marc Ginzberg, Jack Lenor Larsen

Wonderful photographs accompany explanatory text highlighting the use of objects in rituals and celebrations .

African Masks: From the Barbier-Mueller Collection (Art Flexi Series)
Iris Hahner-Herzog

High quality photographs of masks both alone and being worn. Grouped by region and style interprets the maaks and their meanings.

African Zion: The Sacred Art of Ethiopia
S. C. Munro-Hay

A Yale University catalogue of some of the finest Ethiopian art documenting the existance of Christian beliefe in Africa in ancient times.

Art and Oracle African Art and Rituals of Divination
Alisa Lagamma

In many of sub-Saharan Africa's cultures, divination rituals play an important part in life and affect the future. This book enables the reader to explore the complex relationship between artistic imagination and ritual power.

Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back
Pamela McClusky, Robert Farris Thompson

This beautifully illustrated book draws on the personal memories, interviews, and oral narratives to present twelve "case histories" in the Seattle Art Museum's renowned collection of African art.

Baule: African Art, Western Eyes
Susan Mullin Vogel

The Baule are a major culture group in central Cote d'Ivoire whose art has interested Westerners since the beginning of this century. Vogel, a leading authority on African art, has spent several decades researching Baule art and aesthetics, as well as studying the nature of Western appreciation of their art.

Masks of Black Africa (African Art Art of Illustration)
Ladislas Segy

Illustrations of the masks used by different African tribes with maps and texts.

Passages: Photographs in Africa
Carol Beckwith

Another picture book by the veteran photographers this time concentating on the rites of passage from Ethiopia to the Tuareg - an illustrated look at how children pass through to adulthood.

Power of Form: African Art from the Horstmann Collection
Eric Bassani, Ezio Bassani

The collection formed over the course of thirty years offers a view of the variety of solutions adopted by African artists over the centuries. The collection includes nearly 120 extraordinary sculptures, masks and objects from Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Zambia, South and Eastern Africa including Kenya and Sudan.

Royal Arts of Africa: The Majesty of Form
Suzanne Preston Blier

Many traditional African cultures, especially in west and central Africa, were ruled by complex hierarchical kingdoms. This book documents those royal systems where art is used by rulers to send visual messages imbedded in their regalia and palace to their peoples.

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

Dramatic color photographs with small black-and-white photographs and text about the art, the tribes and the traditions. Written by the former head of the tribal arts department at Sotheby's, the book is an excellent introduction to African art created before 1920.

In Ethiopia with a Mule
Dervla Murphy

Inspired by ancient tales of Prester John and the Queen of Sheba Dervla Murphy set out to cross the Ethiopian highlands on a mule. Despite robbery, hardship and setbacks she reaches Addis Ababa having found a deep affection for the people of Ethiopia.

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