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The Art of Women's Masquerades in Sierra Leone

The Fowler Museum at UCLA presents an exhibition opening featuring beautiful masks from Sierra Leone as part of the permanent exhibit on Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives. The masks will be on display from December 9, 2007 through April 27, 2008.

Sunday, December 09, 2007
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Sunset Blvd. and Westwood
Los Angeles, CA 90095

For many generations, the women’s Sande association of the Mende peoples of Sierra Leone prepared young women for adulthood, marriage, motherhood, and leadership roles in society. Masquerade performances featuring carved wooden masks, music, dance, and theater signaled the ongoing stages of initiation to the community and celebrated the achievements of the initiates. New inside the Fowler in Focus gallery of Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, see twenty-eight beautiful and highly symbolic masks dating from the 19th-early 20th century, as well as several examples of grotesque masks for beloved “clowns” that serve as comic counterparts during Sande initiations.

Also at the Fowler:

Fowler OutSpoken Lecture:  The History of Writing Systems in Africa
December 9, 2 pm

  • Konrad Tuchscherer, associate professor from St. John’s University and a leading scholar of graphic and writing systems, recounts the development of African scripts and symbols. From Egyptian hieroglyphics and the discovery of the Rosetta stone, through Saharan rock art, the alphabets of the Tuareg and Ethiopians, and the more recent scripts of Vai and Bamum, Tuchscherer demonstrates Africa 's long engagement with the global history of writing and literacy.
  • In conjunction with Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art, which opened on October 14, 2007 and runs through February 17, 2008.  Inscribing Meaning brings together outstanding works of art from a range of periods, regions, genres, and peoples in order to consider the interplay between African art and the communicative power of graphic systems, language, and the written word. Explore the multiple messages and aesthetic intent of more than one hundred exceptional artworks—including ancient Egyptian funerary arts; masks, sculpture, textiles, and adornment from across the continent; illuminated liturgical texts; and the work of many contemporary artists.

Artist Tour of Sefrou, Morocco Observed: The Photographs of Paul Hyman
December 9, 4 pm

  • Photographer Paul Hyman leads a tour of the images he took in 1969 of daily life in Morocco , while visiting anthropologists Paul Rabinow and Clifford and Hildred Geertz.

Cost : Free and open to the public; parking is available in lot $4 for $8 (all-day), as well as pay station parking (check at parking kiosk for details).

Fowler Museum at UCLA310-825-4361

Sponsor(s): , Fowler Museum at UCLA

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