b1402. Pende

by Z. S. Strother

5 continents editions. 160 pp., paperback, 63/4 x 11 in.Visions of Africa Series. New. 64 colour ills. and 15 b/w ills. ISBN 88-7439-384-9, Although many societies in the Congo were once renowned for vibrant masquerades and architectural sculpture, these phenomena have only been studied as living traditions among a handful of peoples, most notably the Pende. Building on the extended fieldwork of numerous researchers since the 1950s, this text offers a unique window into the dynamic performance contexts of both masquerade and architecture in Central Africa. As much as possible, it privileges Pende voices as it seeks to understand the interrelationship between ritual practice and aesthetic form. Attentive to history, the text also records how these artistic practices have responded (sometimes unpredictably) to both colonial and post-colonial pressures. Lavish illustrations feature both iconic and hither to unpublished masterworks, which have been selected to evoke the full range of Pende expression. Z. S. Strother is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Drawing on 32 months of fieldwork (1987–89), she has published widely on the Pende, including Inventing Masks: Agency and History in the Art of the Central Pende, which received The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award for original scholarship published between 1998–2000.


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