Mande Potters And Leatherworkers: Art and Heritage in West Africa by Barbara E. FrankMande Potters And Leatherworkers: Art and Heritage in West Africa by Barbara E. Frank

Mande Potters And Leatherworkers: Art and Heritage in West Africa

byBarbara E. Frank

Paperback | August 17, 2001

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Among the Mande-speaking groups dispersed throughout much of West Africa, certain artists -- including potters and leatherworkers -- form a spiritually powerful social class in which gender determines craft specialization. Ceramic water jars and cooking pots are made by the wives and female relatives of blacksmiths. Leather objects such as knife sheaths, amulet cases, and, more recently, western-style shoes and bags are produced by male leatherworkers. While these objects display features common to those of other West African groups, the manner in which they are produced has remained distinctly Mande.

In Mande Potters and Leatherworkers, Barbara E. Frank explores the complex, shifting relationships among the identities of Mande craftspeople, the objects they create, and the technologies they use. She examines their role in the rise and fall of empires, the development of trans-Sahara trade networks, and the spread of Islam, questioning the "one tribe, one style" interpretations that have dominated studies of West African art. She also discusses the pride that potters take in their healing and spiritual knowledge and the sense of difference between the craftsmen who specialize exclusively in leatherworking and those who double as bards and musicians.

Lavishly illustrated with nearly two hundred color and black and white images of tools, techniques, craftsmen, and crafted objects, Mande Potters and Leatherworkers both displays the beauty of Mande art and illuminates seldom-seen technological and social aspects of its art history.
Barbara E. Frank is an associate professor of art history at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the coeditor of Status and Identity in West Africa: Nyamaka-law of Mande (1995).
Title:Mande Potters And Leatherworkers: Art and Heritage in West AfricaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 10.78 × 8.13 × 0.5 inPublished:August 17, 2001Publisher:SmithsonianLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1560989505

ISBN - 13:9781560989509

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 1. More Than Objects Chapter 2 2. The Place of Pots Chapter 3 3. Beyond the Fringe Chapter 4 4. The Technology of Mande Pottery Chapter 5 5. The Technology of Mande Leatherwork Chapter 6 6. Mande Potters: Numumosow Chapter 7 7. Mande Leatherworkers: Garankew and Jeliw Chapter 8 8. Artistry, Cultural Choices, and Heritage

Editorial Reviews

A concise, clear, beautifully illustrated study…An important book. (Choice, December 1998)

A significant contribution to art historical practice. (African Arts, Summer 2000)