Some additional correspondence, that didn't make it to the group for some reason, regarding the use of metal on African masks.
scott shepperd <stellatebronze@...> wrote:
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 10:39:39 -0800 (PST)
From: scott shepperd <stellatebronze@...>
Subject: Fwd: Re: Can anyone help?
Hi Rand, this is the text that I tried to post on the Africa art & Cultures forum. Apparently, my yahoo email account was in "bouncing" status so the post never made it to the forum. But for some reason, Willam was able to receive my message and replied. I thought it might be of some value to the group. thanks, Scott
Aboriginals <sanibelart@...> wrote:
From: sanibelart@... (Aboriginals)
To: "stellatebronze" <stellatebronze@...>
Subject: Re: Can anyone help?
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 18:10:54 +0000
I did not intend to say that ALL masks metal overlay were most likely made for trade, although I think most that are available on the market today fall into that category. Therefore, when I see such a mask, I automatically suspect it.
Just to prove, however, that I am not completely stupid (lol), let me correct some obvious other errors in my
previous email message.
My reference to masks that don't automatically fall into the decor category should have been Marka/Sonke from Burkina Faso, with copper repousse' and/or brass studs.
Thank you also for the references to Hart's articles in African Arts magazines. I constantly am learning and I appreciate the additions to my
> > Sincerely,
> > William Ernest Waites
> > Aboriginals: Art of the First Person
> > http://www.tribalworks.com
> > http://www.ZuniLink.com
> > http://www.Native-PotteryLink.com
> > http://www.Native-JewelryLink.com
> > http://www.TribalArtery.blogspot.com
-------------- Original message ----------------------
> I am catching up on commentary posted over the past few days.
> Thought I would state my clarifications of the point made by William
> Waites who noted that the presence of metal overlay on masks
> suggests they were therefore made for tourists rather than tribal
> purposes. I would call your attention, for example, to a pair of
> articles by Bill Hart published in African Arts magazine: Masks with
> Metal-strip Ornament from Sierra
Leone"(AA 20 #3 May 1987) and "Aron
> Arabai: The Temne Masks of Chieftancy" (AA 19 #2 Feb 1986). These
> articles discuss the use of brass ornament on masks from this region-
> some collected in the late 19th century-currently found scattered in
> museums round the world.
> The point is that in the pre-colonial era, brass/ bronze and copper-
> -which were relatively expensive- were considered luxury items, often
> reserved for ritual use, prestige goods and royalty. There are a host
> of ritual objects all over Africa which were therefore worked in
> these materials and decorated in these materials. A very fine book by
> Professor Eugenia Herbert RED GOLD explores this topic in excellent