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In Step with the Times: Mapiko Masquerades of Mozambique: Book by Paolo Israel

In Step with the Times: Mapiko Masquerades of Mozambique

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ISBN: 9780821420881    Publisher: Ohio University Press Year of publishing: 2014     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 296        
The helmet-shaped "mapiko" masks of Mozam-bique have garnered admiration from African art scholars and collectors alike, due to their striking aesthetics and their grotesque allure. This book restores...Read more
The helmet-shaped "mapiko" masks of Mozam-bique have garnered admiration from African art scholars and collectors alike, due to their striking aesthetics and their grotesque allure. This book restores to mapiko its historic and artistic context, charting in detail the transformations of this masquerading tradition throughout the twentieth century. Based on field research spanning seven years, this study shows how mapiko has undergone continuous reinvention by visionary individuals, has diversified into genres with broad generational appeal, and has enacted historical events and political engagements. This dense history of creativity and change has been sustained by a culture of competition deeply ingrained within the logic of ritual itself. The desire to outshine rivals on the dance ground drives performers to search for the new, the astonishing, and the topical. It is this spirit of rivalry and one-upmanship that keeps mapiko attuned to the times that it traverses. "In Step with the Times" is illustrated with vibrant photographs of mapiko masks and performances. It marks the most radical attempt to date to historicize an African performative tradition.
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About the author: Paolo Israel
Paolo Israel is a senior lecturer in history at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He has written extensively about Mozambican expressive... Read more
Paolo Israel is a senior lecturer in history at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He has written extensively about Mozambican expressive cultures, political ethnicity, and witchcraft.
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Review:
The insights, humour and rich linguistic material throughout "In Step with the Times" fuel that amazing rush one gets when reading a truly exceptional work. Israel cleverly guides us through layers...Read more
The insights, humour and rich linguistic material throughout "In Step with the Times" fuel that amazing rush one gets when reading a truly exceptional work. Israel cleverly guides us through layers upon layers of history, change, invention and reinvention in the creative artistry, choreography, songs and performances of scores of groups and hundreds of people over a broad region, both on and off the Makonde plateau. It is truly a tour de force. "Canadian Journal of African Studies"
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