6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
J. B. Gwin
- Published on Amazon.com
I have all the volumes of 5 Continents "Visions of Africa" series and I like every one. They give you a great perspective on the history of each tribe, past and current interpretations of their cultures and art objects. There are so many tribes in Africa, it is really difficult for an amateur to keep up with all of them. The Bamana has particular interest to me because my earliest interest in African art was nurtured by the exposure to a Chiwara headress. It wasn't a very good one, but I fell in love with it because of it's alluring form and the creative interpretation of the subject. There are some excellent examples of Bamana art, including Chiwaras in the Menil collection in Houston, some similar to those in this book. The chiwara or "tyiwara", are represented by 15 examples here, and the variety, composition and allure of each is distinctive. There are 62 color plates, with plate captions at the end so you can enjoy the beautiful photos of each piece without distraction, which is the same approach taken by the Menil Collection. The other items include wood figures and masks. Most, if not all, of these specimens have appeared in other books over the years, but it doesn't diminish their role in making this an excellent resource for reviewing art of the Bamana and reviewing the culture of the people. Personally, I also enjoy seeing where the original pieces are located, so I can look for them in a museum, or recall having seen one there on a trip.