Ways of the Rivers: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta

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9780930741907: Ways of the Rivers: Arts and Environment of the Niger Delta

An intricate maze of rivers and islands cuts across southern Nigeria's Niger Delta, a region subject to floods, tides, and tropical downpours that continually alter its geography. While these waterways serve to separate the many ethnic groups dwelling in this aqueous environment - each with its own unique cultural traditions and often its language - they have also long been employed as routes of transmission and trade. Delta men and women traversed the region in canoes long before the Portuguese arrived at its shores in the fifteenth century. Their ideas and art forms - including some of the largest wood sculptures and most vibrant masquerades in all of Africa - travelled with them, being adopted, adapted, and sometimes appropriated in the process. European influence has also been keenly felt, and Western artifacts and articles of dress appear in shrines, regalia, and masquerades. The essays assembled in this lavishly illustrated volume are unique in considering issues of cultural convergence and divergence within a single region in Africa. They examine and celebrate the "water-related" ethos and the "warrior" ethos that are present throughout the Delta and explore the influence of its unique environment on beliefs and material culture. Sadly, in the twentieth century the delicate ecosystems of the Niger Delta have suffered greatly as a result of the modern drilling technology employed by Western oil companies. While garnering huge profits, these firms have undermined the environment and deprived the Delta's inhabitants of basic necessities such as fresh fish and potable water. Despite these depredations the people of the Delta persevere, and the incredibly beautiful and varied works of art that appear in this volume are a testament to their history of inventiveness, adaptability, and courage. Recently published by the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History Art of the Lega Elisabeth L. Cameron Paperback - 0-930741-88-9 - GBP29.95 Katsina: Commodified and Appropriated Images of Hopi Supernaturals Zena Pearlstone Paperback - 0-930741-83-8 - GBP26.95 The Art of Being Kuna: Layers of Meaning Among the Kuna of Panama Mari Lyn Salvador Paperback - 0-930741-61-7 - GBP34.50

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From Library Journal:

Anderson (Wild Spirits, Strong Medicine) and Peek (African Divination Systems) present an excellent collection of some 25 scholarly essays with 448 illustrations (376 in color), published in conjunction with an exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum. This volume serves as more than an exhibit catalog, providing an anthropological exploration of the relationship between the art and rituals of this region of Africa and its water-focused environment. As the text demonstrates, the diverse ethnic groups living in the Niger Delta have long participated in a vibrant and widespread exchange of ideas and art forms, both among one another and with Western nations, because of the region's culture of trade and travel. The essays are generously illustrated with color photographs of artifacts and ceremonial activity from the groups defined by these languages: Ijo, Isoko/Urbhbo, Itsekiri, and Ogoni. The book lacks an index but includes an appendix detailing language relationships in the delta. Appropriate for most academic and larger public libraries.
Nancy B. Turner, Syracuse Univ. Lib., NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"... to find such quality publishing , and such remarkable illustrations, at such modest prices is a rare treat. Libraries should pounce."-Leeds African Studies Bulletin, No. 66 2004

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Editore: University of California Los A (2002)
ISBN 10: 0930741900 ISBN 13: 9780930741907
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 2
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
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Descrizione libro University of California Los A, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110930741900

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