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Asen, ancestors, and vodun : tracing change in African art

Author: Edna G Bay
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, ©2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Illustrated with field photographs, Asen, Ancestors, and Vodun tells the remarkable history of the rise and decline of the sculptural tradition of ancestral asen in southern Benin. Asen, canonical metal art objects that are created to honor the spirits of ancestors and vodun deities, are meeting points in which visible and spiritual worlds interact. Richly decorated with a variety of human, animal, and plant motifs  Read more...
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Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Edna G Bay
ISBN: 9780252032554 0252032551
OCLC Number: 128237066
Description: xiv, 186 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
Contents: A note on orthography --
Introduction --
Vodun, sacrifice, and the sinuka --
The invention of ancestral asen --
The Hountondji family of Smiths and Dahomean royal patronage --
From tourist to sacred: colonial culture and the creation of traditions --
Messages of power: asen tableau to the early twentieth century --
Mixed messages and migrating meanings --
Death and the culture wars: the 1990s.
Responsibility: Edna G. Bay.
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A social and iconographic history of a West African sculptural form  Read more...

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"In this nuanced extended essay, Bay demonstrates the social processes through which an object type can both reflect and structure devotional practice embedded within political economy, changing over Read more...

 
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Primary Entity

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    schema:reviewBody ""Illustrated with field photographs, Asen, Ancestors, and Vodun tells the remarkable history of the rise and decline of the sculptural tradition of ancestral asen in southern Benin. Asen, canonical metal art objects that are created to honor the spirits of ancestors and vodun deities, are meeting points in which visible and spiritual worlds interact. Richly decorated with a variety of human, animal, and plant motifs that illustrate proverbs and other highly inventive oral arts, ancestral asen reflect the relationship between the living and the dead through visual and verbal references to the deceased." "Drawing on extensive fieldwork in the former Kingdom of Dahomey, Edna G. Bay traces more than 150 years of transformations in the manufacture and symbolic meanings of asen against the backdrop of a slave-raiding monarchy, domination by French colonialism, and postcolonial political and social change. Bay expertly reads evidence of the area's turbulent history through analysis of asen motifs as she describes the diverse influences affecting the asen production process - from the point of their probable invention to their current decline in use. Paradoxically, asen represent a sacred African art form, yet are created using European materials and technologies and are embellished with figures drawn from tourist production."--Jacket." ;
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