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ISBN: HB: 9781789141238

Reaktion Books

November 2019

288 pp.

24.6x18.9 cm

89 illus., 50 in colour

HB:
£35,00
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Artfulness of Death in Africa

If weddings are the most lavish events in most parts of the world, in Sub-Saharan Africa, by contrast, it is funerals. Funeral celebrations can be flamboyant occasions, particularly those honouring prominent people. Artworks of many kinds are created to commemorate the dead, from mortuary sculptures and extravagant coffins, to elaborate headstones, memorials, monuments and cenotaphs.

This is a unique survey of the 'artful' nature of funerals in Africa. Drawing on a wide range of historical, anthropological, archeological, art historical and literary sources, John Mack charts the full range of African funereal art, drawing on examples from across the continent, and from ancient times to today.

Featuring abundant illustrations, some of which have never been published before, this is essential reading for those interested in African art, culture, society and history.

About the Author

John Mack is Professor of World Art Studies at the University of East Anglia.