Saturday, June 18, 2011

"A Kind of 'Shock of the New'"

"'The Benue River, the largest tributary of the Niger, is 650 miles long,' Berns says. 'Central Nigeria is one of the heartlands of early occupation of the African continent. It's a historically important area, but it has always been a sort of in-between zone.' The artistic legacy of the Benue Valley—too far south to have been well known to Sudanic Arabs and too far north to have been accessible to Europeans before the mid-19th century—has received far less attention than the arts of Nigeria's southwestern coast, particularly metal, ivory and bead work of the Yoruba, a huge cultural group."

Suzanne Muchnic in the Los Angeles Times visits the Fowler Museum's current main exhibit, Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley.

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