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This exciting new investigation explores the rich variety of indigenous arts in the US and Canada from the early pre-contact period to the present day. It shows the importance of the visual arts in maintaining the integrity of spiritual, social, political, and economic systems within Native North American societies and examines such issues as gender, representation, the colonial encounter, and contemporary arts. Basketry, wood and rock carvings, dance masks, and beadwork, are discussed alongside the paintings and installations of modern artists such as Robert Davidson, Emmi Whitehorse, and Alex Janvier.
Expressing one of many Luba sub-styles, the tall, standing male figures created by master carvers of the Hemba culture in southeastern Congo since at least the mid-1800s arguably rank among the noblest sculptural depictions of the human figure in sub-Saharan Africa. With their serene gaze and meditative expression, they exude a tranquility and dignity that befits these idealised likenesses memorialising esteemed leaders of the past. Infused with a life-force or vital energy, these spirit-invested objects were able to communicate between the living and the dead. Thanks to their inner power they had the capacity to impact the material sphere by allowing the ancestors to positively influence the well-being of their surviving relatives. In this publication, through the perceptive lens of art photographer Luigi Spina, we discover nine of the most accomplished Hemba creations whose classical style has triggered comparisons with some kouroi sculptures of ancient Greece. Spina's photographic interpretations help us understand why these proportionally balanced and symmetrically conceived ancestral figures have earned the admiration of African art lovers around the world. These personal readings of the beloved Hemba commemorative portraits also confirm why these sensitive renderings of the human anatomy deserve inclusion in the universal history of artistic creativity and a place in Andre Malraux's 'Museum Without Walls'. Text in English and French.
How West African gold and trade across the Sahara were central to the medieval world The Sahara Desert was a thriving crossroads of exchange for West Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe in the medieval period. Fueling this exchange was West African gold, prized for its purity and used for minting currencies and adorning luxury objects such as jewelry, textiles, and religious objects. Caravans made the arduous journey by camel southward across the Sahara carrying goods for trade "glass vessels and beads, glazed ceramics, copper, books, and foodstuffs, including salt, which was obtained in the middle of the desert. Northward, the journey brought not only gold but also ivory, animal hides and leatherwork, spices, and captives from West Africa forced into slavery. Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time draws on the latest archaeological discoveries and art historical research to construct a compelling look at medieval trans-Saharan exchange and its legacy. Contributors from diverse disciplines present case studies that form a rich portrayal of a distant time. Topics include descriptions of key medieval cities around the Sahara; networks of exchange that contributed to the circulation of gold, copper, and ivory and their associated art forms; and medieval glass bead production in West Africa (TM)s forest region. The volume also reflects on Morocco (TM)s Gnawa material culture, associated with descendants of West African slaves, and movements of people across the Sahara today. Featuring a wealth of color images, this fascinating book demonstrates how the rootedness of place, culture, and tradition is closely tied to the circulation of people, objects, and ideas. These oefragments in time offer irrefutable evidence of the key role that Africa played in medieval history and promote a new understanding of the past and the present. Published in association with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University Exhibition schedule: Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University January 26 "July 21, 2019 Aga Khan Museum, Toronto September 21, 2019 "February 23, 2020 Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC April 8 "November 29, 2020
Overview of the Aboriginal Art, focusing on the first large-scale exhibition staged by the Fondation Opale (Switzerland). The common thread running right through this work is man's link with the land, the legacy of the ancestors that still echoes in the present. It is no accident that Before Time Began is one of the expressions used by Aboriginal artists in central Australia to refer to the creation of the world, in an oneiric sense. Understanding and following this underlying bond enables the reader to explore the art's narrative content in its association with dreams and the passage of time, elements that inevitably distinguish the temporal dimension in the different societies. But it is also a way of exploring the first stirrings of contemporary art in an Aboriginal context through works made at the beginning of the 1970s in Arnhem Land and in the territory of the Papunya, as well as more recent paintings by artists living in the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara). These last examples in particular highlight the fusion between contemporary art and traditional customs, in which ancestral knowledge is fused with elements drawn from the inevitable march of progress.
Dorothea Bleek (1873 to 1948) devoted her life to completing the `bushman researches' that her father and aunt had begun in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. This research was partly a labour of familial loyalty to Wilhelm, the acclaimed linguist and language scholar of nineteenth-century Germany and later of the Cape Colony, and to Lucy Lloyd, a self-taught linguist and scholar of bushman languages and folklore; but it was also an expression of Dorothea's commitment to a particular kind of scholarship and an intellectual milieu that saw her spending her entire adult life in the study of the people she called `bushmen'. How has history treated Dorothea Bleek? Has she been recognised as a scholar in her own right, or as someone who merely followed in the footsteps of her famous father and aunt? Was she an adventurer, a woman who travelled across southern Africa driven by intellectual curiosity to learn all she could about the bushmen? Or was she conservative, a researcher who belittled the people she studied and dismissed them as lazy and improvident? These are some of the questions with which Jill Weintroub starts her thoughtful biography of Dorothea Bleek. The book examines Dorothea Bleek's life story and family legacy, her rock art research and her fieldwork in southern Africa, and, in light of these, evaluates her scholarship and contribution to the history of ideas in South Africa. The compelling and surprising narrative reveals an intellectual inheritance intertwined with the story of a woman's life, and argues that Dorothea's life work - her study of the bushmen - was also a sometimes surprising emotional quest.
According to traditional Cheyenne belief, shields are living, spirit-filled beings, radiating supernatural power from the Supreme Being for protection and blessing. Shields stand at the nexus of several dimensions of Cheyenne culture, including spirituality, warfare, and artistic expression. From 1902 to 1906, fifty Cheyenne elders spoke with famed ethnologist James Mooney, sharing with him their interpretations of shield and tipi heraldry. Mooney's handwritten field notes of these conversations are the single best source of information on Plains Native shields and tipi art available and are a source of inestimable value today for both the Cheyennes and for scholars. In 1955, with the blessing and permission of the Keepers of the Two Great Covenants and the Chiefs and Headmen of the Northern and Southern Cheyenne People, Father Peter J. Powell began a five-decade effort to help preserve the religion, culture, and history of the Cheyenne People for the generations ahead. His transcriptions and annotations of Mooney's notes on Cheyenne heraldry is the culmination of these efforts. This two-volume set features nearly 150 color illustrations as well as more than 50 black and white photographs.
This book is published to mark the opening of the Ko Rongowhakaata: The Story of Light and Shadow exhibition at Te Papa, which represents the culmination and breadth of Rongowhakaata history and whakaaro (considerations) and has the significant meeting house Te Hau ki Turanga as its central statement of identity and aspiration. The book showcases more than 60 Rongowhakaata taonga, and its text, in English and te reo Maori, focuses on key threads including innovation and kaitiekitanga (sustainable processes). It also explores layers of encounter within Turanga - Rongowhakaata and Gisborne iwi first encountered the British in 1769, during Captain Cook's arrival in Poverty Bay - and the impacts of those encounters on the shape and position of the iwi, and indeed modern New Zealand, today.
Detailed biographies describe the lives of twelve collectors of tribal art in Britain, active between 1770 and 1990. These men were rarely field collectors and only occasional travellers, but they were vigorous hunters, for whom the pursuit, handling and possession of such objects was what mattered. --The climax of the period of collecting from around 1880 to 1960 coincided with the maximum extent of Empire, when legions of explorers, missionaries, administrators, traders and military personnel brought back to Britain an inexhaustible quantity of exotic material.-- The sources for the collections included most of Africa, the Americas and the Pacific, as well as tribal societies in Asia. --The collectors described here - a interesting mix of highly individualistic, eccentric and sometimes avaricious men - could, and did, quite reasonably claim that they were saving ethnographic material for the future. This was partly based on the widely held notion that tribal cultures were disappearing and the idea that some museums were negligent and uninterested in ethnography. Several of the collectors eventually created museums themselves, most notably Pitt Rivers.-
During much of the nineteenth century, paintings functioned as the Plains Indians' equivalent to written records. The majority of their paintings documented warfare, focusing on specific war deeds. These pictorial narratives-appearing on hide robes, war shirts, tipi liners, and tipi covers-were maintained by the several dozen Plains Indians tribes, and they continue to expand historical knowledge of a people and place in transition. War Paintings of the Tsuu T'ina Nation is a study of several important war paintings and artifact collections of the Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee) that provides insight into the changing relations between the Tsuu T'ina, other plains tribes, and non-Native communities during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Arni Brownstone has meticulously created renderings of the paintings that invite readers to explore them more fully. All known Tsuu T'ina paintings are considered in the study, as are several important collections of Tsuu T'ina artifacts, with particular emphasis on five key works. Brownstone's analysis furthers our understanding of Tsuu T'ina pictographic war paintings in relation to the social, historical, and artistic forces that influenced them and provides a broader understanding of pictographic painting, one of the richest and most important Native American artistic and literary genres.
For almost three-quarters of a century, the study of Plains Indian art has been shaped by the expertise, wisdom, and inspired leadership of John Canfield Ewers (1909-97). Based on years of field research with Native Americans, careful scholarship, and exhaustive firsthand studies of museum collections around the world, Ewers's publications have long been required reading for anyone interested in the cultures of the Plains peoples, especially their visual art traditions. This vividly illustrated collection of Ewers's writings presents studies first published in "American Indian Art Magazine" and other periodicals between 1968 and 1992. Tracing the history of the pictorial art of Plains peoples from images on rock surfaces to the walls of modern museums, the essays reflect the principal interests of this pioneering scholar of ethnohistory, who was himself a talented artist: the depiction of tribal life and ritual, individual war honors, and aspects of sacred power basic to traditional Plains cultures. Chapters are devoted to particular tribal arts--Blackfeet picture writing and Assiniboine antelope-horn headdresses, for example--as well as the work of particular artists. Ewers also traces interactions between Plains Indian artists and Euro-American artists and anthropologists. Available for the first time in book form, the influential cultural and historical studies collected here--together with all 140 illustrations that Ewers selected for them, including many now in full color--remain vital to our understanding of the Native peoples of the Great Plains.
"Lavishly illustrated studies of the art of pre-Columbian cultures in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru"
In 2005, the Denver Art Museum hosted a symposium in conjunction with the exhibition Tiwanaku: Ancestors of the Inca. An international array of scholars of Tiwanaku, Wari, and Inca art and archaeology presented results of the latest research conducted in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. This copiously illustrated volume, edited by Margaret Young-Sanchez of the Denver Art Museum, presents revised and amplified papers from the symposium.
Essays by archaeologists Alexei Vranich and Leonardo Benitez (both University of Pennsylvania) describe what their excavation and astronomical research have yielded at the site of Tiwanaku, in Bolivia. Georgia DeHavenon (Brooklyn Museum) surveys historical research and publications on Tiwanaku and its monuments. Christiane Clados (Free University of Berlin) and William Conklin (Field Museum, Textile Museum) each analyze styles and modes of representation in Tiwanaku art and arrive at provocative conclusions. R. Tom Zuidema reconsiders Tiwanaku iconography and sculptural composition, discerning complex calendrical information. Through a detailed analysis of Tiwanaku iconography, Krysztof Makowski (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru) examines the nature of Tiwanaku religious thought. Archaeologists and iconographers William Isbell (State University of New York, Binghamton) and Patricia Knobloch (Institute of Andean Studies) thoroughly discuss what they term the Southern Andean Interaction Sphere, which encompasses Tiwanaku, Wari, Pucara, and Atacama traditions. P. Ryan Williams (Field Museum) discusses the issue of identity and its expression at the territorial interface between the Tiwanaku and Wari states. Wari tunics and their imagery are examined by Susan Bergh (Cleveland Museum of Art), yielding evidence of ranking. And John Hoopes (University of Kansas) discusses both archaeological and ethnohistoric evidence of links between ancient Tiwanaku and the later Inca.
Bringing together current research on Pucara, Tiwanaku, Wari, and Inca art and archaeology, this volume will be an important resource for scholars and enthusiasts of ancient South America.
This collection focuses on David Lewis-Williams and the extent of his personal impact on the field of rock art research. It is largely through his work that San rock art has come to be understood so well, as a complex symbolic and metaphoric representation of San religious beliefs and practices. The purpose of this volume is to demonstrate the depth and wide geographical impact of Lewis-Williams' contribution, with particular emphasis on the use of theory and methodology drawn from ethnography that he has used with inspirational effect in understanding the meaning and context of rock art in various parts of the world. "Seeing and Knowing "explores how best archaeologists study rock art when there exist ethnographic or ethno-historic bases of insight, and how they study rock art when there do not appear to exist ethnographic or ethno-historic bases of insight--in short, how to understand and learn from rock art with and without ethnography. Because many of the chapters are based on solid fieldwork and ethnographic research, they offer a new body of work that provides the evidence for differentiation between knowing and simply seeing. This volume is unique in that it focuses exclusively on rock art and ethnography, and covers such a wide geographic range of examples on this topic, from southern Africa, to Scandinavia, to the United States. Many of the chapters explore studies in other rock art regions of the world where variation and constancy can be observed and explored across distances both in space and in time. The editors have entitled the book "Seeing and Knowing "to echo Lewis-Williams' "Believing and Seeing "published" "almost thirty years ago; they say "seeing" again because" "looking at rock art is and will always be central, and then" "what is seen when human eyes and minds look; they say" ""knowing" in recognition that, by his work and by his" "example, archaeologists now know a little more than they" "knew before. Even so, as Lewis-Williams will be the first to" "say, we still know only a fraction.
Guide to petroglyphs found in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Includes drawings and possible interpretations.
A compelling examination of one of the most artistically rich and creative African kingdoms Artists from the kingdom of Kongo-a vast swath of Central Africa that today encompasses the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola-were responsible for outstanding creative achievements. With the influx of Portuguese, Dutch, and Italian merchants, missionaries, and explorers, Kongo developed a unique artistic tradition that blended European iconography with powerful indigenous art forms. An initially positive engagement with Europe in the 15th century turned turbulent in the wake of later displacement, civil war, and the slave trade-and many of the artworks created in Kongo reflect the changing times. This comprehensive study is the first major catalogue to explore Kongo's history, art forms, and cultural identity before, during, and after contact with Europe. Objects range from 15th-century "mother-and-child" figures, which reflect a time when Europeans and their Christian motifs were viewed favorably, to fearsome mangaaka, power figures that conveyed strength in the midst of the kingdom's dissolution. Lavishly illustrated with new photography and multiple views of three-dimensional works, this book presents the fascinatingly complex artistic legacy of one of Africa's most storied kingdoms.
This is the only specifically designed key to the interpretation of American rock art. The Field Guide brings together 600 commentaries on specific symbols by over 100 archaeologists, researchers, and Native American informants. Covers the northern states of Mexico to Utah and from California to Colorado.
River-cane baskets woven by the Chitimachas of south Louisiana are universally admired for their beauty and workmanship. Recounting friendships that Chitimacha weaver Christine Paul (1874-1946) sustained with two non-Native women at different parts of her life, this book offers a rare vantage point into the lives of American Indians in the segregated South. Mary Bradford (1869-1954) and Caroline Dormon (1888-1971) were not only friends of Christine Paul; they were also patrons who helped connect Paul and other Chitimacha weavers with buyers for their work. Daniel H. Usner uses Paul's letters to Bradford and Dormon to reveal how Indian women, as mediators between their own communities and surrounding outsiders, often drew on accumulated authority and experience in multicultural negotiation to forge new relationships with non-Indian women. Bradford's initial interest in Paul was philanthropic, while Dormon's was anthropological. Both certainly admired the artistry of Chitimacha baskets. For her part, Paul saw in Bradford and Dormon opportunities to promote her basketry tradition and expand a network of outsiders sympathetic to her tribe's vulnerability on many fronts. As Usner explores these friendships, he touches on a range of factors that may have shaped them, including class differences, racial attitudes, and shared ideals of womanhood. The result is an engaging story of American Indian livelihood, identity, and self-determination.
Bold, inventive and highly graphic, the indigenous art of the Northwest Coast is distinguished by its sophistication and complexity. It is also composed of basically simple elements, which, guided by a rich mythology, create images of striking power. This indispensable and beautifully illustrated book is the first to introduce everyone, from the casual observer to the serious collector of Northwest Coast prints, to the forms, cultural background and structures of this highly imaginative art. The elements of style are introduced; the myths and legends which shape the motifs are interpreted; the stylistic differences between the major cultural groupings are defined and illustrated. Raven, Thunderbird, Killer Whale, Bear: all the traditional forms are here, deftly analyzed by a professional writer and artist who has a deep understanding of this powerful culture.
Unprecedented in scope, this beautiful book offers an authoritative examination of the modern history of the Caribbean through its artistic culture. Featuring 500 colour illustrations of artworks from the late 18th through the 21st century, the book explores modern and contemporary art, ranging from the Haitian revolution to the present. Acknowledging both the individuality of each island, the richness of the coastal regions, and the reach of the Diaspora, Caribbean looks at the vital visual and cultural links that exist among these diverse constituencies. The authors examine how the Caribbean has been imagined and pictured, and the role of art in the development of national identity. Essays by leading scholars cover such topics as the interconnections between Caribbean artistic production to its colonial contexts; between various generations of artists; and between the so-called high and low arts and religion, music and carnival celebrations. Primary source documents crucial to understanding the region provide an important complement. Edited by Deborah Cullen and Elvis Fuentes, and featuring essays by Katherine Manthorne, Mari Carmen Ramirez, Lowery Stokes Sims, and Edward J. Sullivan, among many others, this book will serve as the definitive volume on Caribbean visual culture for many decades to come.
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