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Home Collections The African Studies Collection Images of the African Diaspora

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Ritual Objects

Textiles and Ritual Dress

About the Collection

Images of the African Diaspora Since 1974, Professor Henry Drewal has been documenting Afro-Brazilian visual and performance arts and artists, primarily in Salvador, Bahia but also elsewhere, including Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Maranhao, and other sites primarily in northeastern Brazil. These images provide a glimpse into the rich presence, creativity, beliefs and practices of these artists and their communities. The collection includes Afro-Brazilian religious arts collected in various museums and cultural institutions, as well as those in use by Afro-Brazilians, some in the context of religious practices such as candomble, others from festivals such as carnaval. The arts depicted include sculpture, musical instruments, jewelry and decorative arts, as well as textiles/costumes, and paintings. This collection is vast in its scope. One section includes art by Afro-Brazilian artists working in the late 1980s, for example, while another includes performance arts of Afro-Brazilian carnaval groups known as Blocos Afros during the festival seasons of 1993, and 1997-8.