The history of the region now known as Liberia began between the 12th and 16th centuries with mass migrations of diverse tribes fleeing desertification of their homelands. Liberia Art and Culture book. Ricks’ quilts were the first Liberian quilts used as diplomatic gifts, although the tradition of gifting textiles was common in Liberia prior to the arrival of the colonists. Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, in OTL is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and the Atlantic Ocean. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Another important textile tradition in West Africa (with its local manifestations in Sierra Leone and Liberia featured here) is the printing of Factory Cloth for local consumption. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln officially recognized the new republic in 1862. How is this photograph of a Sande initiate framed (twice) by foreign audiences, and to what effect? Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. La France est le deuxième contributeur du FED. Students might also note the context of exhibition of Ricks’ quilt, placed atop hand-woven country cloths. It was first a colony and then became a part of the commonwealth and got independence in the year 1847 by taking the helping hand of the American colonization society. Note the way that the carving is separated into registers, each with separately carved scenes featuring animals, human figures, and geometric and vegetal designs. It illustrates ideals of feminine beauty, although there is a wide variation in execution of the mask dependent on the community. However, historians believe the indigenous population of Liberia are likely to have descended from migrants fleeing the Mali and Songhey Empires between the 13th and 16th century. Poro is the men’s association often described as the complement to the women’s Sande society; it is an organization moderating community interaction, political relationships, and behavior. One reason for success of factory printed cloth is the widespread practice of dressing alike for special events—weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and especially for political events. Liberian armed forces are still under reconstruction. liberian art - Google Search. The area became known as the Pepper Coast, or Grain Coast, due to the abundance of Malagueta peppers (Grains of Paradise). This is the only mask in West Africa exclusively danced by women, although it is always carved by a man. Liberia - Liberia - History: This discussion focuses on Liberia from the 19th century. The Gio and Mano people had long been opposed and persecuted by Liberian President Samuel Doe and his Krahn … The rooster was the emblem of the opposition party, the UPP—The United Progressive Party. Accompanying the Sande mask is the Pendant and Chain. Two terms, hale (Mende) and sale (Loma) are often used to discuss the power wielded by the spirits associated with masquerading; the terms signify the specialized knowledge or “medicine” gained through spiritual assistance. The Dan group is noted for their carved wooden masks representing spirits of the forest, and for large spoons carved with the features of humans and animals. Its capital city is Monrovia, named after U.S. President James Monroe. Allen portrays the mutual assimilations between the immigrants and indigenous peoples, especially in the lingua franca: “Liberian English is a hodgepodge of African and English words invented by the Americo-Liberians and indigenes to facilitate communication between … More information is available on the Oberlin University website and in the Met’s Afro-Portuguese ivories article. Former governor Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected Liberia’s first president in 1847. It was created for freed slaves. The large-scale spoons (see context photograph for size estimation, they range from 1′ to 2′ in length) are known by a number of names, including Wa ke mia or Wunkirmian, translated loosely as “spoon associated with feasts,” or “at feasts acting woman.” Like on this spoon, the handles are often carved in the shape of a beautiful woman; it has been suggested that some are portraits. Quilts were all made by hand, with the primary quilting patterns being squares, diamonds, or triangles, and three to five layers of echo quilting around the applique designs, making the patterns appear to radiate outward. A second quilt—the Flags Coverlet—was gifted to American president John F. Kennedy by Liberian president W.V.S. One-minute paper: ask students to describe one art form of Liberia or Sierra Leone in one sentence, stating one aspect of the work’s aesthetics and one aspect of its cultural relevance. Ge (or Gle) is a term that refers to spirits or spiritual forces, and the mask is one manifestation of the spirit in performance. Beyond tackling corruption, humanitarian issues have improved since 300,000 civil war refugees were assisted in their return home to Liberia. Kathy Curnow cites Portuguese accounts of these ivories in an article on a salt cellar at the Oberlin University museum: “In the early sixteenth century, a Portuguese traveler wrote: ‘In Serra Lyoa, the men are very skillful and very ingenious; they make all the things we ask them to out of ivory and these objects are marvelous to see—like spoons or saltcellars or the handles of daggers and other subtleties,’ and ‘[they] can carve any work one draws for them.’ (Valentim Fernandes, Description de la côte occidentale d’Afrique (1506-1510), Théodore Monod, Avelino Teixeira da Mota, and Raymond Mauny, eds., vol. You can include the pendant in your discussion to reinforce the idea that multiple media convey status and prestige within the Sande society. Before European arrival, Bulom (Sherbro), Temne, and Limba peoples lived primarily along the coastline, with Mende and Fulani peoples settling in the fifteenth century. For a treatment of earlier periods and of the country in its regional context, see western Africa. Although this piece is a light ivory color, many side-blown horns are reddish, likely from being rubbed with a substance like palm oil. The National Museum of Liberia is a national museum in Monrovia, Liberia. Harley (one of the first western scholars to describe the Poro society in detail in his Masks as Agents of Social Control in Northeast Liberia), the Gbini mask plays an important role in men’s initiation, and all scholarship about Gbini remark on its low, guttural sounds and its movement, providing another opportunity for student discussion about exhibition and on-site contexts for viewing artworks, especially ones that are originally in motion or accompanied by sound. Visonà, Monica Blackmun, Robin Poynor, and Herbert M Cole. All liberia artwork ships within 48 hours and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. Music. The arts in this lecture reflect the tight cross-continental relationships of people within these countries, as well as the deeply rooted prestige arts of the region and the visual expression of political, community, and spiritual ideals. This is a good opportunity to explore image appropriation and the way that people in Europe and the United States used and circulated images of people on the African continent. Favorite Add to Loma Toma Horned Landai Mask on Stand Guinea African Art 134942 africadirect. Observant students will note that the quilt being gifted in the context photograph is different from the quilt in the collection; the original gift quilt had an incorrect number of stripes in the American flag, so a new one was commissioned. Noté /5. The ge spirit resides in a spiritual realm (gebo) with the ancestors and mediates between spiritual and earthly realms (between God, Zlan, and our world). While Liberian music is part of wider West African music heritage, it is also distinct from its neighbors. Ask students to consider how this type of cloth would have been cut and worn, reminding them that—although museum collections often feature large swaths of fabric—the contextual presentation of this type of cloth would be cut and sewn into clothing. There were many different tribes living in the area when the Portuguese arrived in 1461. Pattreiouex, Manchester. Le Liberia, en forme longue la république du Liberia, est un pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest bordé au sud-sud-est et à l'ouest-sud-ouest par l'océan Atlantique, au nord-ouest par la Sierra Leone, au nord par la Guinée et à l’est par la Côte d'Ivoire. The society also mediates between spiritual and earthly forces, or, between the bush and village or city. A Liberian Journey offers a look into the lives and landscapes transformed by the arrival of Firestone Plantations Company in Liberia. “A Gold Coast Doctor,” c. 1930, trade card published by Quality Cigarettes, J.A. Jewelry made from Maria Theresa thalers, Napoleonic five-Franc coins, and American silver dollars are noted in archival documents from the late eighteenth century to the present. Charged with war crimes, however, he resigned amid international pressure in 2003. Leh’s patrons in the 1920s and 1930s were government and missionary officials, and he commonly cast Liberian Frontier Force soldiers, a battalion formed in 1908 to defend the country’s borders from encroaching colonial powers, France and England. Looking at “A Gold Coast Doctor,” one can discuss how the same photograph was reproduced and re-captioned. Alphonso Lisk-Carew, “A Typical Fitish Dancing Girl, Upper Mendi, Sierra Leone”, c. 1907, postcard, Gary Schulze collection. There were many different tribes living in the area when the Portuguese arrived in 1461. The religious freedom provided by the Constitution also prevents the government from discriminating people due to their religious beliefs. When Queen Elizabeth visited from 1961–2, the textile was placed on the floor as a carpet for the royal dais at Bo and was used by the queen. Sande society masks make for excellent stylistic and compare and contrast questions about aesthetic preferences in different regions, identifying hands of artists whose names were not recorded, and can inspire questions related to other women’s arts in the region like hairstyling. There is also a set of excellent web resources: Read more about the founding of Liberia here (also contains videos). He lifted the ban on political parties in 1985, and took office as president after a fraudulent election. As for the photographic objects in the slide, ask students to consider what they know from the previous piece: the society mask and its corresponding video. The costume that the sitter wears in the postcard is a combination of masquerader attire; the leather flaps she wears traditionally were associated with entertainment and worn by men. Members of the secret Poro men's society make ceremonial masks used in various rituals. As in other African arts, the visual arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone are intimately connected to performance and music and are placed within those broader artistic traditions. The new arrivals brought skills such as iron smelting, weaving, spinning, and the cultivation of rice and other staple crops in addition to political and social skills and traditions. Its importance in local communities has been addressed by a number of scholars, and various presidents of Liberia joined the organization as well. Just enter your e-mail, and we'll let you know when there are interesting art history stories to read. One figural collection in the U.S. was collected—like the deangle from the Harn Museum—by a Firestone Rubber and Tire company employee. L'histoire du Liberia en tant que pays commence en 1845, année où il a été fondé par une société américaine de colonisation, l'American Colonization Society, pour y installer des esclaves noirs libérés. The Arts of the Dan In West Africa. Sale/hale: Two terms, hale (Mende) and sale (Loma) are often used to discuss the power wielded by the spirits associated with masquerading; the terms signify the specialized knowledge or “medicine” gained through spiritual assistance. Carte de cette région vers 1830. These small figures are the type of heavy metal piece of that era, although some brass female figures are assessed as belonging to an older tradition. When needed, the spirits are summoned through music and manifested through performance—a reminder that the face mask, like the Deangle Mask here, or even the whole masquerade costume (as seen, unusually, in this museum piece), is only part of the manifestation of the spirit. African artists rarely created works anonymously, and the names of artists would have been well known within their communities. History, Memory, and the Making of a Nation. From shop VisualMaps. Liberia Resources. It was declared a colony of Britain in 1807–8. Some of these people dearly longed to come back to Africa, their wish were granted. “Factory print cloth may be manufactured in Europe or Asia for the African market or be made in an African factory and sold anywhere. Liberia Art and Culture: The People and Tradition, History and Migration, The Liberian Civil War, Present environment eBook: Alvin, Emmanuel: Kindle Store Poro is historically both a political and social organization structuring communities and administrating judicial manners. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase. 86, No. Costa Rica Liberia Liberia Africa White City Color Tile Ivory Coast African Beauty Sierra Leone Black Art Art Google. Choose your favorite liberia designs and purchase them as wall art, home decor, phone cases, tote bags, and more! These horns were consistently used as royal gifts. Sierra Leone and Liberia’s colonial histories and relationships with Great Britain and the United States (respectively) are important to recognize in approaching the arts of this region. It incorporates an elaborate crown atop a diamond-patterned coiffure. Coffee was, at the time, Liberia’s primary export. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1986. In 1989, Charles Taylor of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) began an uprising against the government, initiating decades of bloody civil war during which Doe was assassinated. The oldest inhabitants of the Liberian territory include the Gola, Kpelle, Loma, Gbandi, Mende, and Mano peoples, who had settled in the area by 6000 B.C.E.36 Later arrivals included the Fred van der Kraaij, The Open Door Policy of Liberia – An Economic History of Modern Liberia (Bremen, 1983). The imagery thus includes European content combined with the frontal, flatter presentation of figures and animals and the intense articulation of geometric patterning typical of regional carving in Sierra Leone (and a style often found in Western Africa during this time period). In the nineteenth century, the society organized and funded immigrants to Liberia. Oral tradition tells that the land that is now Liberia was originally inhabited by Pygmies. They loved the melegueta pepper from Liberia, and called the pepper the “grain of paradise,” later referring to Liberia as “The Grain Coast.” It may be kept uncut as stored wealth. Liberia’s Membership in … Spoons vary in size, generally 1–2’ in length, characterized by a large spoon end with the handle carved with figural or decorative forms. Both countries had contact with the Atlantic world through European traders beginning by at least the 1460s. For the first time since its founding, the diverse ethnicities of the region are joining together in the aftermath of the devastating 14-year civil … Liberia Art and Culture: The People and Tradition, History and Migration, The Liberian Civil War, Present environment: Alvin, Emmanuel: Books Save. Compare and contrast list: Midway through the lecture, have students (individually or in groups) write a quick compare and contrast list for two works of art—one they have just viewed, and one new piece. Americo-Liberian settlers founded the True Whig Party in 1878. Woven from cotton and silk-cotton from the indigenous silk-cotton tree, these textiles are woven in long strips by men and sewn together to create a larger textile. For a cross-cultural connection, have students compare the work of the Lisk-Carews to that of the African-American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington, who worked in the U.S. and Liberia. Use region-specific vocabulary to discuss arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone within the aesthetic criteria of their location. It also aids students in immediately reflecting and assessing what information they have gleaned from lecture at the moment. Sheetlet with 3 values (3v M/S) You will be back for more! They named it the Grain Coast. Tubman during a state visit in 1961. ), Diamonds, Rubber, Timber, Iron Ore, Coffee, Cocoa. Liberian History. See Metropolitan Museum Timeline of Art History). liberian art - Google Search. Although the mask embodies a female spirit, the costume is worn by a man whose movements imitate those of women and who speaks in a high-pitched voice.” The masquerader’s body is completely covered by a long raffia skirt and cotton country cloth, including sleeves sewn shut to ensure not part of the dancer’s body is seen, as the spirit, not the dancer, controls the body and mask. A number of masking traditions and material culture objects are associated with performance of Poro activities and status of members. The material itself was precious; women’s jewelry was melted down to create new artistic forms after brass jewelry was outlawed in the 1930s due to a new health minister declaring it bad for the body, that it created infection from chafing and orthopedic issues due to wearing many heavy pieces. Rounded arms, shoulders, and legs characterize his work. 8 talking about this. Masquerades are performed for political, seasonal, religious, and entertainment occasions, and incorporate dance, singing, and musical performance. The culture of Liberia reflects this nation's diverse ethnicities and long history. Première nation d'Afrique à avoir, à l'époque moderne, obtenu son indépendance, en 1847, le Liberia est présidé depuis le 22 janvier 2018 par George Weah. Le Libéria bénéficie, dans le cadre du 11ème FED (2014-2020), d’une aide de l’Union européenne de 279 M€, visant à financer les secteurs de l’éducation, de l’énergie et des infrastructures. The relationship between Sierra Leone and Liberia and Britain and the United States remained close over the twentieth century, one example being the critical rubber contribution that Liberia made to the American effort during World War II. In an hour and fifteen minutes, you should be able to address the arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone through the following images: Liberia and Sierra Leone are situated on the West Coast of Africa. National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution. However, religious persecution was witnessed in the country at an unprecedented scale during the long civil war when people were tortured while others were burned aliv… Sande is the only women’s organization to have masquerading traditions performed by women. Both Liberia and Sierra Leone are part of a broader Atlantic world in constant contact with Europe and the Americas through trade and immigration. All About Africa Nigeria Africa Sierra Leone Art Google Creative Business Artisan Arts And Crafts Liberia Spotlight. Often square with geometric designs (fine filigree work characterizes many nineteenth-century pieces), the pendants may or may not function as containers for protective Islamic verses or magic numbers found in other parts of West Africa. Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, in OTL is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and the Atlantic Ocean. We walked 650 meters up from Hotel El Bramadero and noted the sign "Administration Cortes(1936-1940)" entering the open metal door. Along the same traditional line as the carved ivory horn that began this lesson, carved horns are also local prestige items in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Taylor’s rebel group which was called the NFPL (National Patriotic Front of Liberia) consisted mostly of Gio and Mano peoples from Nimba County in eastern Liberia. The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University is pleased to announce the launch of A Liberian Journey: History, Memory, and the Making of a Nation , developed in partnership with the Liberian Center for National Documents and Records Agency (CNDRA), the Indiana University Liberian Collections, and the University of … Liberian Roots Print, Liberia Art, Liberia Gift, Liberia Map Print, Liberia Map Art, Liberia Wall Art Poster, Chalkboard Canvas VisualMaps. The spoon carries with it a prestigious title granted to the most hospitable woman in the village (one with extraordinary skill in agriculture and organization), a woman who then prepares a large feast accompanying masquerade ceremonies. The society also managed the administration of the colony’s economy until the Republic of Liberia declared independence in 1847. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln officially recognized the new republic in 1862. The masks and textiles (made of fabrics or vegetal materials) are material forms of performers or spirits who perform for a variety of audiences. Liberia is unique amongst African states in that it was founded by freed slaves from the American South, bringing with them their own culture and displacing ancient tribes who’d farmed the land and traded with European enclaves in west Africa for centuries. Ricks’ artwork featured in the first National Fairs in Liberia in 1857 and 1858, where she won a monetary award for her sewing skills. I t's Liberia's independence day! About 85.5% of Liberia's population practices Christianity, while Muslims comprise 12.2% of the population. The Dan and Mano peoples straddle the geographic region in northeastern Liberia and the western Ivory Coast. Wielded at important occasions by a village or town’s most hospitable woman, it is her responsibility to distribute gain and money to local people. Its role in national politics continuously changed throughout the twentieth century. Contribute an essay – Help make art history relevant and engaging; ... Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome, Principe and Togo. Britain and France soon recognized Liberia’s sovereignty, but also began encroaching on its territory. The Portuguese were the first to arrive in the land in 1461. Intricately carved with a female figure and geometric designs, this early twentieth-century piece has an Arabic inscription denoting the original owner (Musa Abdi Wajif). Viditz-Ward, Vera. The Lisk-Carews (Alphonso and Arthur) opened a photography business in 1905, “advertised as ‘Photographers, importers of photographic materials, stationery, toys, fancy goods, etc., 3 East Brook Lane and 30, corner of Westmoreland and Gloucester Streets [Freetown, Sierra Leone].” According to Nanina Guyer, they photographed the African interior and also traveled to Gambia around 1912. Additional colonists from American slave states arrived, and their settlements were merged into the Commonwealth of Liberia in 1838. History Of Liberia: A Time Line 1815 to 1817 1820 to 1847 1847 to 1871 1900 to 1997 Selected Bibliography Expert Resources. Ask undergraduates to consider the relative roles of photographer and subject; how much agency did young women have in posing for the photographer? History of the Dan people from Liberia. Sierra Leone achieved independence from Great Britain in 1961. This particular cloth commemorated a cancelled 1959 tour by Queen Elizabeth II to Sierra Leone. A mixed indigenous and immigrant population characterizes both nations (see Map for regional distribution), and relationships between European-American and indigenous African peoples have, over the centuries, been fraught as imported governing and cultural systems alternately meshed and clashed with indigenous ones. For more information, see Harn’s information sheet here. liberian art - Google Search. Founding of Liberia, 1847 The founding of Liberia in the early 1800s was motivated by the domestic politics of slavery and race in the United States as well as by U.S. foreign policy interests. Poro: a men’s organization found in various regions of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. There are a number of masks associated with the society, and this lesson discusses one from the Mende. Three of the five S-shaped ivory loops have metal chains attached, likely for ease in publicly presenting the object. Liberia's long history as the "Lone Star," the only independent republic in Africa during the colonial period. The society binds women together within a community and is a powerful patron of the arts in this four-country region. Washington, D.C.: The Museum and Reed and Robinson. Students will also notice the disjunction between the label of the exhibit: “Uncivilized Africans exhibits,” with the imported quilt-making tradition directly behind it—another good beginning for discussing exhibition contexts for African art in general in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. A short history of Liberia written by a visitor to the country during the 1991 civil war. Favorite Add to Loma Toma Horned Landai Mask on Stand Guinea African Art 134942 africadirect. Deangle appears in ceremonies for male initiations and also begs for food from the families of the boys isolated in the initiation camps. However, more than 100,000 refugees remain throughout the Guinea Coast and in the United States. ), Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.5% (2008 est. Multiple migrations saw people from the interior of West Africa move towards each nation’s coasts, resulting in numerous population shifts between the fifteenth century and today. 109.4 Liberian dollars (LD) = 1 USD (2017 est. In the Hunting Horn, one can observe the mixture of media, style, and subject matter that occurred when a local carver produced art for a foreign patron. Retrouvez Liberia Art and Culture: The People and Tradition, History and Migration, The Liberian Civil War, Present environment et des millions de livres … Ge/Gle: Dan terms, referring to both the invisible spiritual forces and masks of the forests. Liberia facts: Official web sites of Liberia, links and information on Liberia's art, culture, geography, history, travel and tourism, cities, the capital city, airlines, embassies, tourist boards and newspapers.