African ceremonies /
Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher ; [introduction by Malidoma Somé].
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 1999.
2 v. : col. ill., col. maps
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New York : Harry N. Abrams, 1999.
general note
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-12-01:
A spectacular visual record of traditional rituals, this is perhaps the ultimate coffee-table book on African cultures. Renowned photographers Beckwith (Nomads of Niger) and Fisher (Africa Adorned) organize the chapters in the first volume by life-cycle rituals--birth, marriage, and death--an arrangement that doesn't work as well for the second volume, which functions more as a collection of miscellany. Each chapter consists of introductory text and a half-dozen or so photo essays featuring rituals in specific cultures from all regions of Africa. As in the best National Geographic articles, the text is brief, well written, and clearly aimed at a general audience (as are the extensive photo captions). But, unquestionably, it is the excellent color photos that make these volumes valuable to lay reader and scholar alike, especially because many of these rituals may soon disappear from a changing Africa. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.--Eugene C. Burt, Seattle (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2002-10-15:
Beckwith and Fisher, two western photographers (the former American, the latter Australian) fascinated by the rituals of Africa, spent 10 years traveling the continent to document their passion on film for the first edition of this stunning book. In 1999, it was released in a slip-cased, $150, two-volume edition; it featured 850 images of the various namings, initiations, weddings and coronations the women witnessed during their travels, as well as countless other moments of consequence with their generous hosts. Now comes the concise edition, which boasts more than half the original collection assembled in a single, large, full-color book and accompanied by a CD of ceremonial African music by composer David Bradnum. The images are bright, intimate and genuinely exotic, and they speak to a diversity of fascinating and wildly inventive rituals. From the Pedi people's beadwork to the Do-society's shaggy raffia outfits, the images capture a multitude of beautiful costumes on beautiful people, celebrating their life cycles from birth to death. For those interested in the tribal cultures of Africa, this would be a tough volume to miss. Over 400 color photographs (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, October 1999
New York Times Book Review, November 1999
BIOSIS, December 1999
Booklist, December 1999
Library Journal, December 1999
New York Times Book Review, December 1999
Los Angeles Times, January 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher are acclaimed for their photos of vanishing African tribal customs. This text brings together a decade of travel and research, in a two-volume exploration of African rites and rituals.
Main Description
This is a monumental two-volume exploration of traditional African rites & rituals.
Unpaid Annotation
Overflowing with nearly 850 magnificent photos, this two-volume work explores traditional African rites and rituals, from baby namings, initiations, and weddings to harvest blessings, healing exorcisms, and funerals. 45 maps.

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