Thanks, Lee. The Peabody looks like an excellent place to start. I m also interested to find out about the Magic Penny organisation as the reason that IMessage 1 of 4 , Jul 11, 2007View SourceThanks, Lee. The Peabody looks like an excellent place to start. I'm also interested to find out about the Magic Penny organisation as the reason that I visit Sierra Leone is to do similar work for the Kambia Appeal, UK www.kambia.org.uk - a medical/health charity.Thanks again.James----- Original Message -----From: Lee RubinsteinSent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 1:53 PMSubject: Re: [African_Arts] Masks from Sierra Leone
Welcome, James.While it is difficult to assess authenticity and age from images, you can develop a better sense of the range of mask forms which you are gathering (mostly Liberian rather than Sierra Leonean) by visiting the database search page of Harvard's Peabody Museum, which became the repository of many of the masks of the region collected by George Harley when he was studying the Poro society, at http://www.peabody. harvard.edu/ col/Search. cfm, entering Liberia as the "Where" field and then refining to Mask on the "What?" field. The work which he produced is entitled, "NOTES ON THE PORO IN LIBERIA. MASKS AS AGENTS OF SOCIAL CONTROL IN NORTHEAST LIBERIA." Another important and helpful work to consider is Eberhard Fischer and Hans Himmelheber' s Kunst der Dan (Art of the Dan). You can also try this link as your starting point for your Peabody search: http://www.peabody. harvard.edu/ col/shortDisplay .cfm?StartRow= 1. Beneficial search terms -- both on this particular site and elsewhere -- include Gio, Ge, Dan, Kran, Yacouba... It is necessary to note that the classification of cultures and masks within the region continue to change -- as do the cultures themselves, so I would advise caution in locking onto specific attributions too quickly. Also worth noting is the fact that Dan peoples have lived in the western Ivory Coast as well as in the specific region of Liberia where Harley undertook his research in, I believe, the 1930's. You may also enjoy visiting the Musee du Quai Branly site (http://www.quaibran ly.fr/cc/ pod/recherche. aspx?c=1) and that of the Musee Ethnographique de Geneve (http://www.ville- ge.ch/musinfo/ ethg/musinfo03. php) to explore existing collections for their relevant comparative examples.Mask 1, also apparently Liberian in origin and/or inspiration, will be best compared by searching Bassa masks.Generally speaking, the assessment of ritual authenticity requires analysis of materials and careful examination of the masks themselves for signs of use -- particularly the wear on the holes along the borders at which were attached the larger headdresses which composed an essential part of the masquerade costume. Of course, there is much reproduction of these masks and treatment of these reproductions to simulate these signs of wear, so without direct collection data, authentication of examples is a challenging and often inconclusive endeavor. If you search the existing messages for discussions on authenticity, you will find many additional points to consider on this topic. John Buxton's recent post regarding "due diligence" and new methods of analysis for authentication -- as well as the discussion to which his response refers -- will suggest more ideas to consider regarding current issues and directions in establishing authenticity and value as well as the ramifications of these changing methods on the accountability of dealers and appraisers.With regard to Sierra Leone, specifically, which has received some recent attention through the recent publication of A Long Way Home: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ismael Beah's account of his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone, perhaps in your time there you will consider an opportunity to explore and support initiatives to assist educational, economic and social development in Sierra Leone through such organizations as the Magic Penny.Lee
Hello James , Lee and group, James I thought It might be a good idea if the group shared some images of what you may want to look for when in Sierra leone , IMessage 2 of 4 , Jul 11, 2007View SourceHello James , Lee and group,
James I thought It might be a good idea if the group shared some
images of what you may want to look for when in Sierra leone , I have
created a photo folder called " Masks of Sierra leone 2" (http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/browse/9be6) and added a
few images of masks collected in Sierra leone that relate to the
ethnic groups from that country.
Perhaps others in the group would also add some of their favorite
finds from that region.
The Copper mask shown is from the Limba and very rare , If you find
one of those , let me know :) (http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/view/9be6?b=4&o=2)
I know we have some resident experts of this region that could
possibly shed some light on the Uses of these various masks.
Welcome to the group , all the best , Todd