one of the most fascinating books about African masks that I own must be ‘Maske’ by Phyllis Galembo, a professor of Art at the State University of New York whose pictures are frequently exhibited in museums around the world. Her work is also collected by all major institutions such as the Library of Congress in Washington DC, the MOMA in NYC etc.
Galembo’s previous books include “Divine Inspiration; From Benin to Bahia” (1993), ‘Vodou, Visions and Voices from Haiti “(1998) and” Dressed for Thrills, 100 Years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerades “(2002). From Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Benin to Haiti “Maske”(2010) showcases the most beautiful photographs of masquerades from Africa and its diaspora. A well recommended photobook!
For over two decades, Phyllis Galembo has documented cultural and religious traditions in Africa and the African diaspora. Her subjects are participants in masquerade events-traditional African ceremonies and contemporary fancy dress and carnival-who use costume, body paint and masks to create mythic characters . Sometimes entertaining and humorous, or dark and frightening, her portraits document and describe the transformative power of the mask. With a title derived from the Haitian Kreyòl word ‘maské’, meaning ‘to wear a mask’, this album features a selection of over a hundred of the best of Galembo’s masquerade photographs to date. Organised country-based chapters, each with her own commentary.
Introduction by Chika Okeke-Agulu
First published 2010 by Chris Boot
for more information visit http://www.chrisboot.com
this post includes text from the original liner notes and pictures from the book