Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji

Expand Messages
  • beepeawee1@aol.com
    Don t ask me... ask those who do., Yelling is also not necessary. Fun me ni ori tutu... ... From: Aaron Weston To:
    Message 1 of 63 , May 4, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Don't ask me... ask those who do., Yelling is also not necessary. Fun me ni ori tutu...


      ---- Original Message ----
      From: Aaron Weston <impex7@...>
      To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, 4 May 2009 10:59 am
      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji



      Be careful with what you say, the GREED POLICE will be after you! If it's considered to be OLD and AUTHENTIC, tons of money can be made! AUTHENTIC, but not OLD, how dare you place it on the market!
       
      Felix

      --- On Sun, 5/3/09, beepeawee1@aol. com <beepeawee1@aol. com> wrote:
      From: beepeawee1@aol. com <beepeawee1@aol. com>
      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji
      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Sunday, May 3, 2009, 11:12 PM

      Aboru 'boye...

      I am afraid I cannot quote the source for what I am about to tell you, but quite recently  read an article about the formation of government depositories in Nigeria for converts=2 0to Christianity and Islam to dispose of their traditional figures, as those in the ministry responsible for culture were gravely concerned about the enormous amount of priceless cultural artifacts being consigned to bonfires at the urging of missionaries and Imams. Yoruba converts have since been encouraged to deliver their unwanted heirlooms to these depots rather than have the legacy forever lost. If I dig around I may yet find the reference to the article and I can post it back here.

      As for all the talk of "fakes" - consider this: I am a member of an Egbe (Yoruba cultural/religous community) here in Toronto. My god-father, a responsible and ethical babalawo,  who travels frequently Yorubaland, imports newly-made religous pieces (they are the only ones he can bring back legally and he still gets a load of grief from the Nigerian cultural customs police). Once here, they are are rituallly cleansed and charged, as they would be at "home." I say, if one is concerned by provinence and authenticity, apart from age and venerability so important to some, I think the whole discussion becomes moot. If a piece is used ritually, even if it originates as a 'new'  (to some "fake") carving, it is absolutely authentic - even if it began its life in a workshop dedicated to art-market piec es. In our egbe we are trying very hard to fight back bigotry in religious circles both in Africa and in the New World. Perhaps we should also reconsider/examine attitudes a be a little more cautio us about what we consider inauthentic. Just a thought

      Odabo.
      Beth


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Phil Warish <warish@yahoo. com>
      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Sat, 2 May 2009 3:32 pm
      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji



      Isn't it also true that mass conversions to Islam spurred mass disposal of these objects. I seem to remember someone on one of these groups posting a comment about seeing so many in thrown into dumps that there were too many to retrieve.


      From: Aaron Weston <impex7@yahoo. com>
      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Saturday, May 2, 2009 2:03:07 PM
      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji

      John,

      It is my understanding that when authentic Ibeji are sold or stolen, a ceremony is done to release or remove the Spirit from the piece. Also, when a new Ibeji is carved a similar type ritual/ceremony is done. This may only be a story to go along with the sale or it could be based on truth. Either way, I'm sure something along those lines was done traditionally in order to justify whatever the situation required.... .....This was passed on to me by more than one Yoruba Elder, true or not!

      Felix

      --- On Sat, 5/2/09, johnhfalkner <johnhfalkner@ yahoo.co. uk> wrote:
      From: johnhfalkner <johnhfalkner@ yahoo.co. uk>
      Subject: [African_Arts] Ibedji
      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: Saturday, May 2, 2009, 10:23 AM

      If an Ibedji figure represents the child of a bereaved mother , and on the basis that few parents give away/sell their children – how can any example on the market be genuine?

      I make this supposition as someone from the 'firs t world ' who , though having visited
      'the real' West Africa on several occasions probably still cannot conceive what desperate measures poverty can drive people to.

      It is generally accepted that Ibedji became popular tourist items from the mid ' 40's .

      Before that time would not the belief that the figure represents the soul of the dead i nfant be even stronger then than now?

      It must follow that these older figures were even less likely come on the market.

      Setting aside the possibility of mass theft by the famous Hausa dealers - logically all available Ibedji , then and now , were made for one purpose. To be sold.

      Just a thought. John

      ( And yes , I do have several Ibedji , some rated as 'good' - but bearing in mind the above.....?)



    • Aaron Weston
      Ed,   Did you read the entire post?   Felix ... From: Ed Jones Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
      Message 63 of 63 , May 9, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Ed,
         
        Did you read the entire post?
         
        Felix

        --- On Fri, 5/8/09, Ed Jones <bucit@...> wrote:
        From: Ed Jones <bucit@...>
        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, May 8, 2009, 11:32 AM

        The demand for the artist work is diminished when buyers/collectors are continually told it's all fake or has no real value......Regardless of quality, regardless of the purpose for creation. That's probably the cause of the collector's neurosis....
         
        I would doubt that entirely.  A big problem is with "common sense" (as demonstrated with infant mortality among the Yoruba's, Ibeji in the first place).  Other factors might include seeking a fast return investment for "market art" purchases (and the illuminating stories told to make the sell).  Belief and "anticipation of "mother-load" pay-offs.  This is witnessed time after time with the predicable posts on this forum from new members mostly... someone with "market art" at best, desiring to know an assessment/worth of an item.  Next, disappointment and in some cases, "offense".  Editorials such as "buy what you like and enjoy your item" seem to provide little or no comfort because a person such as this is motivated to in hearing a  "story" which merits along worth and value. Many are not heard from again.  
         
        "True investment" occurs with understanding, knowledge assimilated from environmental/ ecology of a particular area... Moyo and specifics about Nigeria.  Paul De Lucco and specific areas of the DRC.  Ann Porteus and the Dogon, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and some of East Africa.  There are others.   I know that this group boasts a wealth of experience commensurate that of Lee (or Rand), no offense.  As much historical and current evolution plays a key role and rationale for diminishing artifacts... . as most, too bad I have a different day job to keep food on the table and pay the bills.  
         
        I am re-inforced in knowing that there is no greater price or value over experience and learning.  It is the only way one can increase their personal sense of discernment and skill to know who and what to avoid and what is good.  In the case of African ethnographic and "craft", it is probably the most fascinating, yet the most complex.    I think that "investment" at this level takes years-to-decades and even a life-time to and one still might not achieve the total capacity. This certainly cannot come from a book alone.  An author's account attests to the author's unique experiences which serve to challenge and aide our understanding alike, but should NEVER be the final verdict or testament.  No wonder so many books contradict one another, hence the entire subject becomes "questionable" and confusing to many. 
         
        When I compare my "collector/investme nt" experiences with Anatolian antique/fragment kilim investing and collecting bears similar ire to that of African "arts".  
         
        There is a definite trophy and possession mentality which prevails among "collectors" ... I also think that Steve is correct with his definition of neurotic behavior (collector's neurosis)... 
         
        Ed


        From: Aaron Weston <impex7@yahoo. com>
        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2009 9:05:51 PM
        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji

        Hi Steve,

        It's normally the promise of earning a year's wages, for the average worker, for one piece. And a years wages could be as little as $300-$500 and sometimes less. But when that's multiplied by 5-10 pieces, you can see the motivation.. ..... The top artist make much more..... The real money is made by the down line sellers. Sometimes a piece sells for more in Africa than it will in Europe or the U.S......... 

        The demand for the artist work is diminished when buyers/collectors are continually told it's all fake or has no real value......Regardle ss of quality, regardless of the purpose for creation. That's probably the cause of the collector's neurosis.... ..

        Felix


        --- On Thu, 5/7/09, Steve Price <sprice@...> wrote:
        From: Steve Price <sprice@...>
        Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 4:12 PM

        Hi Felix
        In principle, I agree: everyone should be paid for their skill.  The problem, especially for artists is, by who?  A handful of artists are supported by governments, foundations, and patrons.  The rest have income that depends on the demand for their work.  In the case of traditional art of subsaharan Africa, most of the demand comes from neurotic collectors, whose psyches demand being fed what the person believes to be objects once used in ritual.   Their neurosis is neither illegal nor immoral.  It is their right to collect whatever they prefer, and to refuse to purchase whatever fails to feed their inner urge.
        I am curious, though: what motivates a skilled artisan to spend months or years producing an exact copy of some valuable object?  Is he misled into believing that there's a ready market for his handiwork? 
        Regards
        Steve Price
         

        --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Aaron Weston <impex7@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Steve,
        >
        > Again you're misunderstanding my point, but I'm not going to go into this subject anymore. But I am going to say one more thing about copies or fakes as so many like to call them.
        > I don't know if you've ever seen a very well done copy of wood or bronze pieces. I can tell you now, it takes much longer than a few hours or a day to produce this type of work. Some of your better copies/fakes can take months, even years to produce. Creating and exact copy of an antique Benin Bronze takes both ancient knowledge and a high level of skill. Why do you think so many test are required to authenticate many of these pieces? I'm not talking about badly made tourist pieces...... .I have taken pieces to people who are considered experts and they were totally out done due to the fact they could not tell me if it was a copy or authentic... .....Everyone should be paid for their unique skill......
        >
        > Felix
        >
        > --- On Thu, 5/7/09, Steve Price sprice@... wrote:
        > From: Steve Price sprice@...
        > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 10:19 AM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Hi Felix
        > The woman you cite who makes a decent living by painting reproductions of European masters is a nearly unique case, and she isn't making that living by virtue of her artistic creativity.   The price she gets for producing a reproduction isn't based on the value of the original, but on the amount of labor and skill it takes to do it as well as she does; probably several months for each painting and almost certainly done under commission.   Do you really think that a skilled African (or Chinese) artisan who makes excellent copies of kifwebe (for example) in a day or so should be able to make thousands of dollars a day by doing so?  I don't.
        > I admit that I misunderstood your previous posts, and thought you were talking about African artisans who make reproductions.   Since you're talking about talented, highly skilled African artists doing creative work, it's more meaningful to compare them with artists everywhere else.   Do you know the difference between a 16" pizza and an artist?   It's simple: a 16" pizza can feed a family of four.
        > Nobody can disagree with the notion that those who misrepresent the work of the African artisans are defrauding their customers, or that most of these people are Europeans and Americans.  I'm having a hard time swallowing the notion that this somehow proves that Africans are morally straight while Americans and Europeans are morally bankrupt, though.  This is probably the wrong venue to pursue that matter.
        > You might find this little essay interesting or, at least, relevant.
        > Regards
        > Steve Price
        >
        > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Aaron Weston impex7@ wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Steve,
        > >
        > > I am not speaking of a Carver or Bronze Caster from Cameroon who makes good or bad copies of art from other areas of Africa. I'm speaking of the Bronze Casters from Nigeria,  Senufo  Carvers from Ivory Coast, the Artist from Mali who create Terracotta and wood carvings and the countless number of talented Traditional Artist from all over Africa, including Cameroon.... ..I am not speaking of anyone deliberately creating an object of art to defraud or cheat unsuspecting  buyers. I'm speaking of highly talented, highly skilled artist who make their living carving wood, casting bronze, molding terracotta and sewing textiles. I'm dealing with intent...... ...These people are not trying to sell a fake statue or mask for $20,000, even though some of their work could/should sell for that much.
        > >
        > > If the artist painting an exact copy of works by European Masters can be paid for his or her talent, why can't the skilled African Artist do the same, are there not African Masterpieces? Why is it wrong for the African Artist to be paid a reasonable amount for making an exact copy of a sixteenth century Benin Bronze? If the antique bronze is purchased for $3,000,000, why is it not reasonable to sell the exact copy for $5,000, $10,000 or more? Again, I am not speaking of someone trying to pass off a recent copy for a sixteenth century masterpiece.
        > >
        > > What about the bronzes created after the fall of Benin? Many of those pieces are approaching 100 years old. By definition, any item that is more than 100 years old is considered an antique. Do the rules change for African items that are not considered ritual pieces? 
        > >
        > > Let's get down to the truth behind the scandals. Most of the major fraud when it comes to African Art are not perpertrated by Africans alone. It's normally in conjunction with European and/or American Dealers. The entire high end African Art market is basically controlled by a small group of people. Those are the big boys of crime. Anything the Africans have done pale in comparison to what's taken place in the kingdom of greed.....
        > >
        > > Felix
        > >
        > > --- On Wed, 5/6/09, Steve Price sprice@ wrote:
        > > From: Steve Price sprice@
        > > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > > Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 12:07 PM
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi Felix
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > A reproduction, which is what the professional artist who made her
        > >
        > > living copying European master paintings was creating, isn't a fake
        > >
        > > unless it's represented to be a European master painting. A good
        > >
        > > reproduction requires skill and time, and can be very expensive. True
        > >
        > > for reproductions of European masters as well as reproductions of
        > >
        > > antique furniture and, for that matter, of historic buildings. Nobody
        > >
        > > here has been talking about any of those things, though.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Let's take it out of Africa for a moment. A deceased well known
        > >
        > > collector of African art provided books with photos of subsaharan
        > >
        > > African sculptures to Chinese carvers, and paid them to make copies. He
        > >
        > > later represented their work to be "authentic" African sculpture, and
        > >
        > > sold some of it. I don't know whether the Chinese carvers thought they
        > >
        > > were making reproductions or making fakes, and it doesn't matter. They
        > >
        > > clearly weren't creating anything related to their own culture, and
        > >
        > > those who ultimately purchased their carvings were victims of fraud.
        > >
        > > I'm sure you agree.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > If that's true of Chinese products made to look like African work and
        > >
        > > sold as such, isn't it also true when a Cameroon carver makes copies
        > >
        > > (reproductions) of, say, Songye kifwebe in return for payment? It
        > >
        > > doesn't matter whether that carver thinks he's making reproductions or
        > >
        > > fakes, the collector/buyer is still being defrauded.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > That only leaves the question of why it's OK for the artist to make
        > >
        > > faithful reproductions of European master paintings, but not OK for the
        > >
        > > Cameroon carver to carve copies of kifwebe. In fact, it is perfectly OK
        > >
        > > for him to do this. What isn't OK is for someone who knows that the
        > >
        > > kifwebe was made in Cameroon to sell it as something made for a specific
        > >
        > > purpose in Songye society by a Songye carver. The ersatz kifwebe has,
        > >
        > > and should have, market value. But it isn't nearly the market value of
        > >
        > > the "authentic" item, any more than the high priced reproduction of a
        > >
        > > European master painting has a market value anywhere near that of the
        > >
        > > "authentic" original. Even if the two items are indistinguishable, one
        > >
        > > is much more valuable than the other. Is this rational? Of course not.
        > >
        > > But it's a fact anyway.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Steve Price
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Aaron Weston impex7@ wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Margalit,
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > You've made yourself perfectly clear......It comes down to personal
        > >
        > > preference. African Art through Western Eyes........ .I like "Authentic"
        > >
        > > African Art as much as the next person. But, to the Artist/Creator,
        > >
        > > everything he carves is "Authentic". ......... Some years back, I was
        > >
        > > watching a news show called "60 Minutes". They were featuring a story on
        > >
        > > "Fake Paintings", ones done by European Masters. To my surprise, an
        > >
        > > artist was interviewed whose primary function was to COPY paintings done
        > >
        > > by European Masters. They did not considered them fake and they paid her
        > >
        > > between $15,000-$30, 000 each for her work. Now, if she could make that
        > >
        > > amount of money utilizing her skill reproducing the work of someone
        > >
        > > else, why can't carvers in Africa do the same? I've never had a carver
        > >
        > > tell me his work was an original or a copy, it was just him putting his
        > >
        > > skills to work in order to provide for him and his family. Now on the
        > >
        > > other hand, I've had dealers who have purchased work
        > >
        > > > from the carvers tell me all kinds of tall tails! And not only African
        > >
        > > Dealers, but European and American Dealers too......
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Felix
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > --- On Wed, 5/6/09, M.E.F. mfliegelmann@ ... wrote:
        > >
        > > > From: M.E.F. mfliegelmann@ ...
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > >
        > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 1:13 AM
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Felix/Aaron,
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > You highlight another important aspect when you say "I don't much care
        > >
        > > as long as I like.."Â I, for one, have left out so far this
        > >
        > > dimension.
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > There is the meaning, function and so on aspect of a particular
        > >
        > > African carving or other piece which is where authenticity is of essence
        > >
        > > and there is the aesthetic aspect which is an act of redefining it for
        > >
        > > foreign usage. It is like a tree which gives shade, home to wildlife and
        > >
        > > birds, fruit and even wood and there is the photographer that looks at
        > >
        > > the texture of the bark, the structure of the branches, the shape of the
        > >
        > > fruit or the colours just like the poet describing the tree.
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > I hope I made myself clear. Margalit
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > --- On Tue, 5/5/09, Aaron Weston impex7@yahoo. com> wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > From: Aaron Weston impex7@yahoo. com>
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > >
        > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 9:11 PM
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Ed,
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > I think you're misinterpeting my message. I believe most documentation
        > >
        > > for African Art is unnecessary. Also, any item produced by a carver
        > >
        > > for his particular group, be it ritual or tourist, has much of his
        > >
        > > cultural norms expressed in the piece. I use documentation when it's
        > >
        > > required by others. If I like a peice enough to buy it, documentation
        > >
        > > doesn't matter. Again, unless it's required by others. Normally that's
        > >
        > > where the Western Philosphy comes into play. And it normally goes
        > >
        > > something like this, "I cannot buy this piece at your askingÂ
        > >
        > > price without proper documentation" ......... .  Believe it
        > >
        > > or not, that was not alway the case........ One more thing, this is
        > >
        > > the short version of how I fell about required documentation. .......
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Felix
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > --- On Tue, 5/5/09, Ed Jones bucit@yahoo. com> wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > From: Ed Jones bucit@yahoo. com>
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > >
        > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 12:05 PM
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Careful Felix (Aaron),
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > That certainly is a "Western World" philosophy and one that wreaks
        > >
        > > of capitalism and market premise.Â
        > >
        > > > "How about making a Volkswagen auto resemble a Porsche and
        > >
        > > "hype" up advertisement, display and documentation. ..? That's
        > >
        > > fraudulent in essence and actually works in a negative way.Â
        > >
        > >  This behavior and mentality actually deminishes and devalues
        > >
        > > worthy and "true" aged artifacts and ethnographic. The same
        > >
        > > audience which embraces this premise often turns against the African
        > >
        > > that crafts "copies their lust and greed demands... Shameful.
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > EdÂ
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > From: Aaron Weston impex7@yahoo. com>
        > >
        > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 7:30:22 AM
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > If a piece is made exactly the same as a ritual piece and is old, why
        > >
        > > should it not have cutural value or documentation?
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Felix
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > --- On Tue, 5/5/09, M.E.F. <mfliegelmann@ yahoo.com> wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > From: M.E.F. <mfliegelmann@ yahoo.com>
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > >
        > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009, 2:42 AM
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > I meant that even if old, items made for sale have no value as
        > >
        > > cultural documents. Is that a bit better? M
        > >
        > > > MGary, nice to hear from you. I qualified my careless statement
        > >
        > > already: I meant that if something was made for sale, is not of any
        > >
        > > value as a "text" that tells us something about that culture except that
        > >
        > > contact has been there for very long and had a detrimental effect in
        > >
        > > this respect and in this respect only. M
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > P.S. how is your lion and what has become of its pedigree? I have been
        > >
        > > keeping my eyes open for comparable pieces ever since. M
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > --- On Mon, 5/4/09, GARYGLS2000@ aol.com <GARYGLS2000@ aol.com> wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > From: GARYGLS2000@ aol.com <GARYGLS2000@ aol.com>
        > >
        > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Re: Ibedji
        > >
        > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > Date: Monday, May 4, 2009, 9:02 PM
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Margalit, Steve is right. The same would be true of the Kongo ivory
        > >
        > > tusks and even the Benin ivories. By your definition, they would all be
        > >
        > > "devoid of value."
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > > Gary Schulze
        > >
        > > > Â
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > In a message dated 5/4/2009 9:58:52 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
        > >
        > > sprice@ writes:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Hi Margalit
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Please forward lots of Portuguese period Benin carvings, especially
        > >
        > > the ivory, to me. I'll pay the shipping costs, which is very generous of
        > >
        > > me considering that the objects are devoid of value.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > ;-}
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Steve Price
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, "M.E.F." <mfliegelmann@ ...>
        > >
        > > wrote:
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Odabo,
        > >
        > > > > ÃÆ'‚Â
        > >
        > > > > I found your post very interesting and enlightening. One should add,
        > >
        > > conversely, that if a carving was made for sale to the foreign market,
        > >
        > > even if this took place 100 years ago, it is devoid of value, how ever
        > >
        > > old the piece. Margalit
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > --- On Mon, 5/4/09, beepeawee1@ .. <beepeawee1@ ...> wrote:
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > From: beepeawee1@ .. <beepeawee1@ ...>
        > >
        > > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji
        > >
        > > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > > Date: Monday, May 4, 2009, 7:12 AM
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Aboru 'boye...
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > I am afraid I cannot quote the source for what I am about to tell
        > >
        > > you, but quite recentlyÃÆ'‚Â read an article about the formation of
        > >
        > > government depositories in Nigeria for converts to Christianity and
        > >
        > > Islam to dispose of their traditional figures, as those in the ministry
        > >
        > > responsible for culture were gravely concerned aboutÃÆ'‚Â the enormous
        > >
        > > amount of priceless cultural artifacts being consigned to bonfires at
        > >
        > > the urging of missionaries and Imams.ÃÆ'‚Â Yoruba convertsÃÆ'‚Â have
        > >
        > > since been encouraged to deliver their unwanted heirlooms to these
        > >
        > > depots rather than have the legacy forever lost. If I dig around I may
        > >
        > > yet find the reference to the
        > >
        > > > article and I can post it back here.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > As for all the talk of "fakes" - consider this: I am a member of an
        > >
        > > Egbe (Yoruba cultural/religous community) here in Toronto. My
        > >
        > > god-father, a responsible and ethical babalawo,ÃÆ'‚Â who travels
        > >
        > > frequently Yorubaland, imports newly-made religous pieces (they are the
        > >
        > > only ones he can bring back legally and he still gets a load of grief
        > >
        > > from the Nigerian cultural customs police). Once here, they are are
        > >
        > > rituallly cleansed and charged, as they would be at "home." I say, if
        > >
        > > one is concerned by provinence and authenticity, apart from age and
        > >
        > > venerability so important to some, I think the wholeÃÆ'‚Â discussion
        > >
        > > becomes moot. IfÃÆ'‚Â a pieceÃÆ'‚Â is used ritually, even if it
        > >
        > > originates as a 'new'ÃÆ'‚Â (to some "fake") carving, it is absolutely
        > >
        > > authentic - even if it began its life in a workshop dedicated to
        > >
        > > art-market piec es.ÃÆ'‚Â In our egbe weÃÆ'‚Â are trying very hard to
        > >
        > > fight back
        > >
        > > > bigotry in religious circles both in Africa and in the New World.
        > >
        > > Perhaps we should also
        > >
        > > > > reconsider/examine attitudes a be a little more cautious about what
        > >
        > > we consider inauthentic. Just a thought
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Odabo.
        > >
        > > > > Beth
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > -----Original Message-----
        > >
        > > > > From: Phil Warish warish@yahoo. com>
        > >
        > > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > > Sent: Sat, 2 May 2009 3:32 pm
        > >
        > > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Isn't it also true that mass conversions to Islam spurred mass
        > >
        > > disposal of these objects. I seem to remember someone on one of these
        > >
        > > groups posting a comment about seeing so many in thrown into dumps that
        > >
        > > there were too many to retrieve.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > From: Aaron Weston impex7@yahoo. com>
        > >
        > > > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > > Sent:
        > >
        > > > Saturday, May 2, 2009 2:03:07 PM
        > >
        > > > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Ibedji
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > John,
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > It is my understanding that when authentic Ibeji are sold or stolen,
        > >
        > > a ceremony is done to release or remove the Spirit from the piece. Also,
        > >
        > > when a new Ibeji is carved a similar type ritual/ceremony is done. This
        > >
        > > may only be a story to go along with the sale or it could be based on
        > >
        > > truth. Either way, I'm sure something along those lines was done
        > >
        > > traditionally in order to justify whatever the situation required....
        > >
        > > .....This was passed on to me by more than one Yoruba Elder, true or
        > >
        > > not!
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Felix
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > --- On Sat, 5/2/09, johnhfalkner <johnhfalkner@ yahoo.co. uk> wrote:
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > From: johnhfalkner <johnhfalkner@ yahoo.co. uk>
        > >
        > > > > Subject: [African_Arts] Ibedji
        > >
        > > > > To:
        > >
        > > > African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
        > >
        > > > > Date: Saturday, May 2, 2009, 10:23 AM
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > If an Ibedji figure represents the child of a bereaved mother , and
        > >
        > > on the basis that few parents give away/sell their children ÃÆ'¢â‚¬"
        > >
        > > how can any example on the market be genuine?
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > I make this supposition as someone from the 'firs t world ' who ,
        > >
        > > though having visited
        > >
        > > > > 'the real' West Africa on several occasions probably still cannot
        > >
        > > conceive what desperate measures poverty can drive people to.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > It is generally accepted that Ibedji became popular tourist items
        > >
        > > from the mid ' 40's .
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Before that time would not the belief that the figure represents the
        > >
        > > soul of the dead infant be even stronger then than now?
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > It must follow that these older figures were even less likely come
        > >
        > > on the market.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Setting aside the possibility of mass theft by the famous
        > >
        > > > Hausa dealers - logically all available Ibedji , then and now , were
        > >
        > > made for one purpose. To be sold.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Just a thought. John
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > ( And yes , I do have several Ibedji , some rated as 'good' - but
        > >
        > > bearing in mind the above.....?)
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Can't afford a new spring wardrobe? Go shopping in your closet
        > >
        > > instead!
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        >



      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.