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 Social Fabric: exploring the Kate Peck Kent collection of West African textiles
This exhibit highlights the West African textiles in the collection of the University of Denver Museum of Anthropology, which were donated by a former DU anthropology professor, Kate Peck Kent. Textiles in the exhibit are Adinkra, Kente and Adire. The online exhibit, created by a graduate student, also includes text explaining the cultural significance of cloths, and cloth-making techniques.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 The Art of the African Mask
An exhibition of masks from the collection of African art in the Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia. The web site, created in 1996 (probably one of the earliest on the web) divides the masks into these categories: Faces of Spirits, Images of Ancestors, Portraits of Rulers, and Icons of Power.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 The Artist's Eye; the Diviner's Insight -- the Maurer Collection
"When Barry Maurer, a lawyer and book collector, became interested in collecting African art, he decided to focus upon ritual artifacts used in rites of divination in Central and West Africa. Within a few years he assembled a remarkable collection that is unique in its focus and cultural breadth." With extensive text by Prof. John Pemberton examining divination and ritual artifacts.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 Genesis: Ideas of Origin in African Sculpture
This exhibit at the Met Museum "seeks to shed light on the act of human creation as a broad and recurrent theme of African art." While the exhibit includes works of 17 distinct African cultures, it "explores in depth the nuanced complexity of one noteworthy classical sculptural form, the ci wara antelope headdress of the Bamana people." The site includes video clips of ci wara dances.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 African Pottery Forming
A slide show presentation explains the pottery forming techniques used in Africa, illustrating the entire process from the preparation of the clay to the firing of the completed pots. Web site by Prof. Christopher Roy, with a text on the chemistry of ceramics explaining why African potters choose to fire at low temperature. [note: the videos seem to be missing from the site, but are available for purchase on DVD]
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 Wrapped in Pride: Ghanaian Kente and African American Identity
"Wrapped in Pride explores the history of traditional Ghanaian weaving and its impact on cultures beyond Africa's shores". Describes the Kente weavings of the Asante as well as the Ewe people, has helpful audio clips for pronunciation of Ghanaian words, information on how Kente is made, when it is worn, and a cute guide showing how to wear it.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 A Personal Journey: Central African Art from the Lawrence Gussman Collection
"These 75 highlights from the Gussman collection probably date from the late 19th to early 20th century and come from more than 30 different African cultures that span the present-day nations of Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Zambia." An exhibit at the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 African Blades: selected metalwork from the Hofstra Museum collection
Over 50 knives, swords, axes and spears from various African countries ar epresented in this exhibition, along with two essays, concerning the viewing of weapons as art objects, from its curator.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 African Voices
Drawn from the African Voices exhibit at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian's web site also has a beautiful online presentation of this exhibit that requires flash. This web site on the other hand may be more accessible, and also contains some additional materials. [navigation hint: not all pages are accessible from the home page's menu or the site map, you need to use the "tour next" button]
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
 Spirits in Steel: The art of the Kalabari Masquerade
"The Kalabari people of southeastern Nigeria, like other West African coastal peoples, see swamps and creeks as the home of spiritual beings that may form all kinds of relationships with humans. Through masquerades, spirits periodically interact with the wider human world. In a seventeen-year cycle of 'plays,' the Kalabari invite water spirits to take possession of performers and dance in the town." In this exhibition, Kalabari sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp juxtaposes masks from museum collections with her own recreations of the masquerade.
[posted: Mar 04, 2004]
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