Traditional masquerade continues to evolve

Aromgba, Nigeria

In recent years Phyllis Galembo, Professor of Art at the University of Albany, has traveled around the world photographing traditional masquerade. She finds villages where the rituals and celebrations are still in use and she captures these beautiful performers on film. One of her books, Maske, published in 2010, is filled with photos from Africa and the Caribbean. The mask (on the left) is from an Aromgba village in Nigeria.

Here are a few more of her pics. I show these masks because I like being reassured that traditions in Africa are still alive and evolving. Note how these masks utilize brightly colored paints and fabrics. Store-bought supplies have been available to African carvers for a long time, but they are not used on the masks made for sale to tourists and Western collectors. Those must look old and used.

Mami Wata, Cross Rivers
Mami Wata, Nigeria
Ekpo, Nigeria
Gossina, Burkina Faso
Elap, Nigeria


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