Short articles on African Art and tips for enthusiasts


July 2015

AFRICAN BARBER POSTERS what they are and why they appeal


Bright, loud and competitive these advertising boards depict the latest hairstyles in fashion. They are carried either by itinerant barbers or nailed to salon walls, enticing the passer-by to stop a moment for a fabulous grooming experience!

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Colon Art- What it is and how it came about

A190 Colon Figure Ashante Ghana 64cm

In 1937, Julius Lips wrote “the impression of the white man’s superiority did not last long. The natives began to know him better and ceased devising tales which would explain his superiority. They soon found that the white man was only another species of the human race. When they became familiar with him, they treated him to their mockery exactly as they did with any member of their own tribe, as soon as they recognized his weaknesses.”

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African Puppet Theatre- Part three


In this third part of an article on African puppet theatre, I examine stage production, the manipulation of puppets and the type of controls used:

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African Puppet Theatre- Part two

Bozo Puppet, Mali img_0004

Talbot wrote “Amongst the Ibibio, if a puppet was dropped or its hidden mechanisms exposed, the offending puppeteer was slain and the rest of his troupe sold into slavery…”

This punishment was advocated at the turn of last century. Today things are a little different!

Continue reading “African Puppet Theatre- Part two”

African Puppet Theatre – Part one

Bozo Puppet , MaliBambara/Bozo Puppet, Mali

“…The purpose of playing… was and is, to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure”

-Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 111, scene 11

This quote may well have been written to describe African puppet theatre, where characters are endearing, humorous and absurd, with a dialogue and content that is cutting and to the point.

Continue reading “African Puppet Theatre – Part one”

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