Legendary Leaders, Iconic SculpturesBook - 2011
Over the centuries, artists across sub-Saharan Africa have memorialized eminent figures in their societies using an astonishingly diverse repertoire of naturalistic and abstract sculptural idioms. Adopting complex aesthetic fromulations, they idealized their subjects but also added specific details--such as emblems of rank, scarification patterns, and elaborate coiffures--in order to evoke the individuals represented. Imbued with the essence of their formidable subjects, these works played an essential role in reifying ties with important ancestors at critical moments of transition. Often their transfer from one generation to the next was a prerequisite for conferring legitimacy upon the leaders who followed. The arrival of Europeans as traders, then as colonizers, led to the dislocation of many of these sculptures from their original sites, as well as from the contexts in which they were conceived; thus, today, they are seen primarily as timeless representations of generic archetypes. "Heroic Africans" reexamines the sculptures in terms of the individuals who inspired them and the cultural values that informed them, providing insight into the hidden meaning and inspiration behind these great artistic achievements.
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art ; New Haven [Conn.] : Distributed by Yale University Press, 2011
Branch Call Number: 709.60747471 L172h 2011
Characteristics: xi, 298 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), color maps ; 31 cm