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Re: [African_Arts] African Sculpture and Sports Trivia? [2 Attachments]

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  • Russ
    John, In the Treichville, as well as plateau markets, objects depicting Europeans are known as the style colon. (colonial). If you do not find similar
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 12, 2009
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      John,
      In the Treichville, as well as plateau markets, objects depicting Europeans
      are known as the style "colon." (colonial). If you do not find similar
      African team colors I would look to European team colors in order to
      identify who is depicted on this walking cane.
      Some of the early colonial figures were fantastic.
      Russell


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "John Monroe" <jmonroe@...>
      To: <African_Arts@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 2:27 PM
      Subject: [African_Arts] African Sculpture and Sports Trivia? [2 Attachments]


      Our current discussion of authenticity has reminded me that there's a piece
      I've
      been meaning to share with the group in hopes of finding out a bit more
      about
      it. It's a figural swagger-stick, painted in enamel and sculpted in a style
      that to me looks pretty clearly Akan. As you can see in the pictures, it
      shows
      two soccer players, a drum, and an elephant holding a soccer ball. Through
      some
      internet research, I've learned that the Ivoirian national soccer team is
      the
      Elephants, which given the Akan style of the carving makes sense. The
      Elephants' team colors, however, are very different from the colors on the
      jerseys of the two players depicted on the stick.

      Does anyone in the group know enough about African football to identify
      these
      uniforms? Are they just fantasies? Or are they meant to represent specific
      local or regional teams in Cote d'Ivoire? I know that the bottom player is
      a
      goalie, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.

      Also, from an authenticity perspective, I think this object is an
      interesting
      "borderline" case. Formally, its handle is totally non-traditional, and in
      fact
      directly borrows from the sculpted "Afro-kitsch" walking sticks that are so
      common in the tourist market; iconographically, though, this is quite
      different
      from the usual "souvenir cane." The piece also has some clear signs of use,
      including a lot of telephone patina on the handle and rubbing wear on its
      foot,
      presumably from having actually been used. Does that use, coupled with its
      identifiably "Akan" style, make it a candidate for authenticity? If we
      dodge
      this question by calling the piece "folk art," as I suspect many dealers
      would
      do, what do we mean by this new term?

      John Monroe




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