Divine inspiration : from Benin to Bahia /
[photographs by] Phyllis Galembo ; essays by Robert Farris Thompson ... [et al.] ; foreword by David Byrne .
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c1993.
xiii, 169 p. : col. ill.
0826313779 (cloth) 0826313787 (paper)
More Details
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c1993.
0826313779 (cloth) 0826313787 (paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1993-04-05:
The centerpiece of Galembo's book is two sets of altar photographs--the first half from Nigeria's Benin City (called Edo) and the second from the Brazilian city of Salvador (state capital of Bahia). The photographer explores their natural link: the Atlantic slave trade brought Nigerians to the Western hemisphere; as a result, both places share similar religious beliefs and rituals. Four accompanying essays explain the history, practice and cultural context of Edo and Bahian ceremony. With the exception of Brazilian playwright Zeca Ligiero's poignant essay on Candomble (African-Brazilian religious culture), the text comes across as anthropologically heavy-handed and purely ancillary. Galembo's bright natural-light color photographs and their captions tell the story much more concisely. Images of people vibrate through the reds, whites and blues of the altars and clothes; the subjects are mostly up-front in their impassivity or disdain toward the camera. Galembo is best at picking up the lived-in details of a shrine: the intricate divinity-attracting chalkmarks on the floor; sacramental objects arranged in patterns with devotional care, sharing space with dishes and soda bottles. (May)
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, May 1993
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Table of Contents
A Note on the Typography
Divine Countenance: Art and Altars of the Black Atlantic Worldp. 1
Religious Symbolism in the Benin Kingdomp. 19
The Art of Edo Ritualp. 33
Photographs from Benin City, Nigeriap. 47
Candomble Is Religion-life-artp. 97
Photographs from Salvador (Bahia), Recife, and Cachoeirap. 121
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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