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Among the Mande-speaking groups dispersed throughout much of West Africa, certain artists -- including potters and leatherworkers -- form a spiritually powerful social class in which gender determines craft specialization. Ceramic water jars and cooking pots are made by the wives and female relatives of blacksmiths. Leather objects such as knife sheaths, amulet cases, and, more recently, western-style shoes and bags are produced by male leatherworkers. While these objects display features common to those of other West African groups, the manner in which they are produced has remained distinctly Mande.
In Mande Potters and Leatherworkers, Barbara E. Frank explores the complex, shifting relationships among the identities of Mande craftspeople, the objects they create, and the technologies they use. She examines their role in the rise and fall of empires, the development of trans-Sahara trade networks, and the spread of Islam, questioning the "one tribe, one style" interpretations that have dominated studies of West African art. She also discusses the pride that potters take in their healing and spiritual knowledge and the sense of difference between the craftsmen who specialize exclusively in leatherworking and those who double as bards and musicians.
Lavishly illustrated with nearly two hundred color and black and white images of tools, techniques, craftsmen, and crafted objects, Mande Potters and Leatherworkers both displays the beauty of Mande art and illuminates seldom-seen technological and social aspects of its art history.
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Barbara E. Frank is an associate professor of art history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the coeditor of Status and Identity in West Africa: Nyamaka-law of Mande (1995).Review:
"A concise, clear, beautifully illustrated study...An important book." -- Choice, December 1998
"A significant contribution to art historical practice." -- African Arts, Summer 2000
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Book Description Smithsonian, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111560987944
Book Description Smithsonian Books, Washington, 1998. HARDCOVER. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Large Quarto size (4to). in brown cloth, 192pp, illustrations in text, colour plates, bibliography, index etc . . . . . [ CONDITION : NEW copy in NEW complete Dust Jacket ] . . . . . . . . . . . NOTE Due to size and/or weight standard shipping to destinations outside the UK will cost more than the price shown above. Orders made by card will be completed after you have approved the extra cost. . . . . . . . . We always ship in strong card packing. Seller Inventory # TH78070
Book Description Smithsonian, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1560987944
Book Description Smithsonian, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1560987944