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When is African Body-Art not African Body-Art?,
This review is from: Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa (Paperback)
Don't we do a grave disservice to Africa's nation's tradition of tribal body painting, which used to have symbolic meaning for 'the tribe' with individualistic decoration pertinent to any one tribe's culture and history by purchasing or owning these wonderful glossy fibs that perpetrate and perpetuate lies.-
Don't we...condone anthropological untruths?
The commercial aspect is utterly apparent. 'Tribes' cannot be blamed, which, doubtless, are painting any old pattern representing absolutely nothing of significance toward their culture or history. A few coins may be exchanged between tribe and safari-tourists or, because a photo session is encouraged by gloating workaday photographers and publishers.
One suspects true African body patterning has been lost decades ago. Leni Riefenstahl, possibly, got in there in the nick of time just before the last millennium with her celebrated photo journalism of the fabulous Nuba.-
Who's to know?
Now, any so-called photo record these publications purport to archive are in fact insults to the studiousness of real anthropology.-
It is not surprising that inadequate text or explanation is lacking in many of these types of 'sad ethnic volumes' when the beautifully produced colour plates say little; are; a horrid, beguiling sham. Such publications will have, and continue, to facilitate the demise of true tribal body art. Or, are we witnessing a re-blossoming of Africa's pre-eminence in their tradition; even if; paid a penny or two to 'commercially progress the anthropological record'?
Will I or will I not buy or own this or similar publications. Oh! What a conundrum to decide to buy into a plush publishing dichotomy?
(See comments to similar publication re: "Ethiopia: Peoples of the Omo Valley")
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Feb 2011 21:16:23 GMT
Isn't culture the way people cope with circumstances in their time? What is truly genuine? Let's have a look at my culture, Spaniard conquistadors that pillaged and colonized a now extinct native tribe, African slaves brought into the mix against their wills.. Before that, I wonder what my culture was, now this sad story and a foreign language is my culture, I suppose you could call it a sham. I wonder if anyone has bothered to ask the very people, the meaning of their beautiful creations, but since they practically just followed their hearts and creative genius, you would call it a sham. Any follower of history would know nothing ever stays the same, everything adapts to circumstance regardless of when, where or how. This is very real.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2011 00:15:38 GMT
A Nobody says:
Thank you Plumevine for you valued comments. I think you are absolutely correct when you say...
"Any follower of history would know nothing ever stays the same..."
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