Makishi: Mask Characters of Zambia

Front Cover
Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2006 - Art - 83 pages
0 Reviews

In Makishi: Mask Characters of Zambia, Manuel Jordán reveals the beauty and complexity of the remarkable masquerade traditions of the Chokwe, Mbunda, Lunda, Lwena/Luvale, and Luchazi peoples who live in the .Three Corners. region of northwestern Zambia, northeastern Angola, and southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The distinct yet overlapping mask types and styles used by these groups reflect their continual interaction and demonstrate the constant reformulation of visual and performance genres. Relations among peoples of the .Three Corners. are further complicated by recent refugee flows, and the masquerades that Jordán considers and vividly illustrates in his field photographs reflect histories of compromise and creative tension, as well as contemporary struggles for survival.

While exquisite masks drawn from the Fowler Museum's collections demonstrate long use, Jordán shows how new characters can be created within earlier categories, so that basic dramatic plots are preserved while reference is made to new technologies, foreign encounters, and the dynamics of social interaction in a rapidly changing world. In many ways, as the author astutely argues, the masks are a performative mechanism used to explain, cope with, and, often enough, celebrate life's most difficult transitions and transformations. Makishi vibrantly documents the ability of theater to perpetuate tradition while providing an adaptive leading edge.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Foreword
6
Acknowledgments
12
Catalog
31
Copyright

2 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

B. W. Robinson (1912–2005) was an authority on many aspects of Islamic and Japanese art. Eleanor Sims, formerly of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the editor of Islamic Art, has written widely on Iranian art. Manijeh Bayani is a specialist in Arabic and Persian epigraphy.

Bibliographic information