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Africa Adorned Hardcover – September 30, 1984

5.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (September 30, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810918234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810918238
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1 x 14.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a thoughtful and gorgeous peek at the diversity of the continent. The colors of the photos alone are worth the price! Fisher's more recent work, "African Ceremonies", with Beckwith, is even better, if possible. And folks, Africa contains 54 countries, over 800 different languages and thousands of dialects, and has around 730 million people. If you consider yourself an interested citizen of our world, don't just look at the pictures, learn about the continent! Many people have criticised the authors, for this and their other works, because they present an Africa that doesn't exist anymore, or they are patronizing and exploitative- I agree in part with this criticism, but I would add some balancing words. This continent has some of the richest cities in the world- Johannesburg being one, and some of the poorest villages- I was visiting in one of them several weeks ago in eastern Namibia. People have cellphones, people have no phones, some drive Lexuses and some drive donkey carts made from the beds of old pick-up trucks. "Old" ceremonies are vibrantly alive for some people, and simply unimportant for others, sometimes within the same family or community. The point is that the images from this book *are* parts of life on this continent, but obviously do not tell the whole story. However, it is just as wrong and short-sighted to dismiss cultures as it is to see only the "exotic". The funny thing is that I first saw this book and "African Ceremonies" at a Himba village in Kaokoland, Namibia, shown to me by a man who was wearing "traditional" Himba clothes, with red ochre on his skin and so on.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Angela Fisher spent seven years criss-crossing Africa, seeking out traditional forms and styles of jewelry and body adornment. The metal crafting, artistic modes and affectations of traditional piercings are stunning. The more extreme examples of African body art are already missing: cutting and/or scarring, limb binding (neck/arms/legs) and lip stretching are lost arts these days.
The photography is top notch, with highly detailed closeups and oversize, full-color images on most pages. Notes are included for each image, with geography, tribal information and craftsman's details for many pieces.
This is a great example of the "coffee table" book. I checked this title out of the library while in graduate school repeatedly until my mother gifted me with my own copy (thanks, Mom!). For artists and jewelers, this volume will be an endless source of inspiration.
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Format: Hardcover
...origin as it relates to African cultural and creative expression and influence. Many designs and patterns we see repeated in contemporary jewelry design can be traced to African styles and designs created centuries ago - a fact beautifully exemplified in this book - with the added bonus of learning something about the meaning behind the particular adornment/piece of jewelry. The photos are brilliant! This book is a treasure and a highly recommended "must read" for everyone interested in design, jewelry and fashion history, and cultural customs, influences and contributions.
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Format: Hardcover
The beauty, dignity, and composition of the photos are enough to lure the reader. This book features the jewelry and accessories of African costume in different regions and tribes. It gives the reader information on the people wearing these lovely adornments, as well as describing their meanings and ceremonial uses, when applicable. While this represents only specific aspects of some parts of Africa, it is a beautiful glance at some tribal costumes still worn in increasingly fewer and fewer places.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The wonders of the adornment among the tribal groups in Africa is inspiring . the beauty of the jewelry clothing and makeup are well documented in this classic work. I've been in upscale art shops in Morocco where this book was used to explain the quality and variety of jewelry they were selling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hard cover, Plain Boards with Color Photographic DJ, 14" x 105", 304 pages, 457 illustrations, 414 of which are in full color, 5 maps, Bibliography, Index. Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. New York, 1984.

At the time of writing, mine is the 12th consecutive 5-Star review, and this is certainly no coincidence. This book can be considered as one of the best photographic representations of "fully decorated" Tribal Africa ever published. Peoples of the entire continent of Africa are featured, and although nobody would claim that the book depicts "everyday" or "typical" Africa or Africans, it certainly does a fabulous job of presenting "Africa Adorned".

This is tribal, ethnic and national African body decoration at its most striking, enigmatic, personal and proud. This is the Body As Art, and the Peoples Of Africa reveling in their history and tradition. The contents are : East Africa - The Body As Art; Equatoria - Treasures and Trade ; Old Africa - Pockets Of Ancient Tradition ; The Savannah - Dictates Of The Desert ; The Maghreb - A Natural Flamboyance ; The Horn - Links With The East.

The book also contains fantastic field photos, as well as "characteristic" native "models", and artifact photographs. The book also boasts a well-researched and informative text, and has a superior presentation throughout. This book is highly recommended, not just for lovers of Africa, and for enthusiasts of Ethnographic books in general, but also for anybody who appreciates African Tribal Art. Since it has been long OOP, the book occasionally gets a little expensive, but if you are patient, there are enough copies out there so that a decent copy will turn up at under 50 bucks sooner or later. GOOD LUCK !
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