Heroic Africans

Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures
by Alisa Lagamma
Metropolitan Museum of Art

List price $60.00 / Sale price $19.99
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Pub Date: 2011
Format: Hardback with bw & color illus.
Pages: 298 pp.
Size: 8.75 x 12.00 inches

ISBN: 9780300175844
TB Code: 1809088
Availability: 82 in stock

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.