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Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary Book

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Author Alisa LaGamma
Copyright Date Metropolitan Museum of Art; Illustrated edition (November 28, 2007)
Height (in) 11.5
Width (in) 8.5
Depth (in) 1
Number of Pages 368
ISBN 978-1588392275
Format Hardcover
Language English

Many masterpieces of central African sculpture were created to amplify the power of sacred relics that affirm a family’s vital connection to its ancestral heritage. This important volume, focusing on some 130 works representing a diverse variety of regional genres, illuminates the purpose and significance of these icons of African art, which first came to prominence because of their appeal to the Western avant-garde. While providing an overview of sources ranging from colonial explorers, missionaries, critics, artists, and art historians, the book breaks new ground in its examination of the complex aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of the reliquaries. Its interdisciplinary approach brings together the perspectives of scholars in African and medieval art history along with those in African history, religion, and ethnography.