Dressing Culture: Creating West African Material Culture
Senegal, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, Ghana, Liberia
Culture, commonly perceived as a set of ideals that rest in the mind, also reveals itself in the materials we use for survival or pleasure. Especially in pre-colonial West Africa, where gods lived in the elements of nature, materials of the world had a spiritual quality. In those contexts, masks and cloth were important materials used to articulate cosmological beliefs. For my Watson project, I will travel to West African nations and nations with West African diaspora, to learn about traditional institutions that still exist to create these materials for cultural sustenance.