All the books reviews
Habiter un Monde - Architectures de l'Afrique de l'Ouest - (FRENCH)
While much has been published on African art objects that reveal the cosmic vision and the beliefs that inspired their creation, the same cannot be said for the physical spaces in which those works exist and were created: the village and the buildings in it. Habiter un Monde attempts to bridge this gap. Its first part is devoted to an analysis of symbolic and cultural factors in architecture. Its second is a strictly technical examination that puts forth a classification of structures according to nine established roof types.
Hard Bargaining in Sumatra - (ENGLISH)
The relationship between indigenous artists and Western collectors has long been a difficult one, to say the least. Though we are largely accustomed to thinking of this in historical terms, this interaction continues actively in many parts of the world today. This book examines one such contemporary situation as it relates to the Batak of Samosir Island in Lake Toba in northern Sumatra. Batak culture and art have been profoundly influenced by contact with the West over the course of many years, and its material culture has become one of its primary commodities in the form of souvenir carvings. This book is an in-depth examination of the contemporary Toba art industry. It considers the interests and expectations of both the Toba and Western tourists, both of whom in the course of their interaction are functioning in ways that would not, in other circumstances, be condoned by their respective cultures.
Headhunters from the Swamp - (ENGLISH)
In 1905, the Tilburg Missionaries of the Sacred Heart established their first mission post among the Marind Amin on the southwest coast of New Guinea. They were to be the last direct witnesses of an ancient cultural tradition about to perish. They recorded the tribe's complex cosmology, initiation rites, art, and headhunting practices, both in writing and through photographs. Bewilderment and fascination, burnings and research punctuated relations between the priests and the indigenous population. Raymond Corbey, a specialist in the study and critique of Western perspectives on non-European societies (see Tribal Art Traffic published in 2000), has been granted permission to publish for the first time a group of remarkable photographs taken from the archives of the Tilburg mission. These, along with fifteen photographs from the archives of anthropologist Paul Wirz, who visited the Marind Amin twice, provide a detailed look at the period from 1905 to 1925 during which contact occurred. These captivating images represent an immensely valuable resource for the study of this culture—a world on the brink of collapse, soon to be decimated by new epidemics. They radiate both a striking poignancy and an almost aggressive quality. This is a unique and striking work of documentation.
Hector Acebes : Photos d’Afrique, 1948-1953 - (FRENCH)
A productive documentary and industrial filmmaker, it is Hector Acebes' still photographs from his travels in the late 1940s and early 1950s throughout Africa and South America that may become his most important legacy. With the respect they command for the individuals who appeared before his lens, these recently rediscovered images attest to Acebes' photographic gift. This book presents Acebes’ exquisite work for the first time in monograph form. In addition to the striking images, beautifully reproduced, Ed Marquand, director of the Hector Acebes Archive, introduces Acebes in a brief biography, and Isolde Brielmaier, a noted art historian of African photography, places Acebes' African work in the context of other photographers shooting in Africa at the time.
Himalayan Masks – Lanfranchi collection - (ENGLISH)
This luxurious large format publication explores the wonderful and varied world of Himalayan Masks through hundreds of specially commissioned photographs and 376 pages. Himalayan Masks – Lanfranchi collection is based on the most important collection of its genre and contains many never published examples collected over the course of more than 20 years. An original text by Renzo Freschi divides the masks into stylistic groups and recounts the function and history of the discovery of these amazing objects from the mid-1970’s tip today. Published in English, the title is limited to a total of 500 copies and PRIMEDIA has reserved 200 copies for it’s subscribers and booksellers with a unique cover and ISBN number : 9789079881499. Officially launched in September, subscribers of Tribal Art magazine can order their copy at a discounted price of 99 euros (RRP 120 euros).
Histoire des costumes du monde - (FRENCH)
What do a H’mong (Vietnam) pleated skirt, a Toraja women’s shirt, a Northwest Coast Indian Chilkat blanket and a Nigerian embroidered Haoussa mantle have in common? All are described in detail by anthropologist Patricia Rieff Anawalt in her thorough encyclopedia devoted to the costumes of the world. One learns from this book that clothing is not only a formidable visual identity card that reflects the fact of belonging to a culture, but it is also an inexhaustible source of creativity and virtuosity. Embroideries, pleated textiles, frilly adornments and hairpieces— Jean-Paul Gaultier and John Galliano are nothing new.
Hmong / Miao in Asia - (ENGLISH)
This book, which contains twenty papers first produced for a scholarly conference held in France in 1998, is the most comprehensive collection of research on the Southeast Asian Hmong culture published to date. The writings represent extensive fieldwork by scholars from a number of different backgrounds (including Hmong) with a deep knowledge of Hmong society and culture. The first section of the book addresses issues of history, language, and identity in the Hmong culture that stretches from Laos to China. The second discusses the challenges faced by the Hmong in contemporary Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. This is not an art book, but it is a thorough examination of an art- producing culture.
Homme blanc, homme noir : impressions d'Afrique - (ENGLISH / FRENCH)
Relationships between Europe and Africa, from the firsts contacts to this day, have been translated in a vast corpus of artworks that remains little known by the broader public and the specialists. From the european side, the black man, often idealised in classical painting, is slowly becoming an object of study and of curiosity, an exotic individual that can even be exhibited. In Africa, the representation of europeans at the time of the firsts contacts is relatively well known, but the "colonial" art, a real Metis form of art, is often ignored. This exhibition catalogue gathers the views of anthropologists, writers, historians and art critics to shed the light on this enriching encounter.
Iban Art. Sexual Selection and Severed Heads - (ENGLISH)
Ibeji, le culte des jumeaux yoruba - (FRENCH)
The importance of the cult of twins, ere ibeji, among the Yoruba has long been known. This remarkable study deals with the numerous Yoruba artists who have distinguished themselves by their extraordinary output of these sculptures for use in ritual and domestic life. Upon the death of one or both twins, relatives commission a figurine or figurines from a sculptor to honor the memory of the deceased and safeguard living relatives. The sculptures are placed in the family’s ancestral sanctuary or at the foot of the mother’s bed. Incidence of twin births among the Yoruba is among the highest in the world and, as infant mortality is also very high, the number of ere ibeji that have been produced is considerable. This work alone shows some 600 examples, selected for their rarity and aesthetic qualities. Most are published here for the first time. The list of Yoruba sculptors and the grouping of pieces by style attributes are milestones in the study of these sculptures that this henceforth essential reference book represents. John Pemberton III, professor of theology and author of numerous in situ studies of Nigerian art and religion, here addresses the attitude of the Yoruba to twins. Researcher John Picton, formerly at the British Museum, analyzes the artistic qualities of the Ibeji figures from the Ekiti area of "Yorubaland," and eminent sculptor Lamidi O. Fakeye opens the doors of understanding to the universe and the system of thought inherent in his creations.