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Grey book cover of The Art of Daily Life, Portable Objects from Southeast Africa, featuring the carved head of wooden club (“Knobkerrie”) from Swaziland. Published by 5 Continents Editions.

The Art of Daily Life

Portable Objects from Southeast Africa

By (author) Constantine Petridis
By (author) Karel Nel


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  • Features 78 exceptional works - many never published before - drawn from the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., and a large number of American private collections
Full Description

The arts of southeast Africa embrace astounding diversity and limitless inventiveness in materials, forms, and styles. Small and portable in nature – snuff containers, pipes, headrests, staffs, clubs, beer vessels, beaded garments – they were created by semi-nomadic pastoral peoples and primarly intended for daily use. Whether figurative or abstract, carved out of wood, ivory, or horn, or made of cloth, glass beads, or clay, most of these works were much more than exquisitely designed functional objects. Some signalled status, gender, or age; others served as symbolic intermediaries between the world of humans and the realm of the ancestors.

About the Author

After a tenure of more than fourteen years at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Constantine (Costa) Petridis joined the Art Institute of Chicago on November 1, 2016, as Curator of African art and Chair of the Department of the Arts of Africa and the Americas. A prolific editor and writer specialising in the arts of Central Africa, Petridis most recently also contributed various essays to Frank Herreman's Mumuye Sculpture from Nigeria: The Human Figure Reinvented, which was published by 5 Continents Editions in 2016.

5 Continents Editions
1st Jan 2019
World excluding Italy & France
285 mm x 239 mm
112 Pages
150 color
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