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Re: [African_Arts] Unknown objects

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  • Lee Rubinstein
    Lennart: My impression is that all of these objects are examples of fairly contemporary commercial production. The second mask does not easily recommend
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 23, 2009
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      My impression is that all of these objects are examples of fairly contemporary commercial production.  The second mask does not easily recommend itself to any specific origins that I can discern.  The painted mask with the surmounting bird, however, would generally be classified among contemporary "Guro" masks which are produced with a dazzling array of zoomorphic variations and palette of colors.  An on-line search for "Guro mask" will yield many comparative examples which are generally quite distinct from the more traditional Guro masks discussed, for instance, by Eberhard Fischer and Lorenz Homberger in Masks in Guro Culture, Ivory Coast (Zurich and New York:  Museum Rietberg and The Center for African Art.  1986);  nonetheless, it is not difficult to discern the aspects of form and color from which the contemporary production can be linked to the ritual masks of the Guro, Yaure and Baule which have inspired them. 

      The "slingshot" seems to replicate some aspects of Lobi form and stylistics -- particularly the eyes, although the seated posture of the figure strikes me as somewhat uncommon among slingshots although this is not an area with which I am especially acquainted.  In African Art in Transit (Cambridge, New York, Melbourne:  Cambridge University Press. 1994), Christopher Steiner introduces an interesting discussion (pp. 112-117) about some unresolved ambiguities regarding the authenticity and emergence of the market for slingshots -- especially Baule -- in 1980's Abidjan although no conclusion is drawn...  Some content of that discussion can be read on pages 9-11 of "African Art in Movement: Traders, Networks, and Objects in the West African Art Market."  Discussion Papers in the African Humanities, no. 3. (African Studies Center, Boston University. 1989).  Also accessible through the Steiner web-site are these relevant images:


      On Feb 22, 2009, at 11:18 AM, Lennart Lundquist wrote:

      I found some objects on an attic in Stonetown Zanzibar and I am really curious to find out anything about them.
      Grateful for any response
      lennart Lundquist

      See (copy and paste link): http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/1507420039 /pic/list 

      <flamingo.jpg><flamingo profil.jpg><rop.jpg><sitting.jpg><sitting profile.jpg>

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