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Igbo art is famous for its diversity, inventiveness, and aesthetic quality. This wide-ranging survey of art made by the 15 to 20 million Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria focuses on the 20th century but also takes a look at the extraordinary 9th- and 10th-century bce cast copper alloy and ceramic finds that influenced Igbo artworks created 20 centuries later. Ceremonial contexts and meanings are explained, covering art associated with individuals as well as communal works and ranging from personal decoration to architectural forms, from household objects to cult sculpture, title regalia, and public shrines. Many little-known objects are included alongside a generous sampling of the thousands of masks that are perhaps the quintessential forms of Igbo art.
About the Author
Herbert M. Cole taught African art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for 35 years and is now professor emeritus. He has written, cowritten, or edited nine books and more than 60 articles on African art and curated many exhibitions. This is the first title focused exclusively on Igbo art since his 1984 book Igbo Arts: Community and Cosmos, now long out of print.