Monthly Archive: December Afri
Since the beginning of the month, the Royal Ontario Museum has been host to a stunning display of historic Ghanaian imagery, in the form of the flags used by the Asafo fighting groups to send messages to friends and enemies alike. These flags document many of the events and histories that were of value to the Fante states and are expressive, powerful, and of great importance to understanding the history of the region as we know it today. As a collection, they make up a fascinating display of aesthetic storytelling that reveals much, and gives each viewer a sense of what was important to each community under each flag at various points throughout each one's history, right up to the present day.
The third week of October marked the launch of the three-year multi-platform project Of Africa: a rich and thought-provoking series of talks and performances entitled Histories, Collections, Reflections.
The ROM recently acquired several Himba (from the northwestern Kuenene Region of Namibia) accessories and garments collected by Paul Welhauser, the founder of Nharo!
In the 19th century, cloth was big business in East Africa. From present-day Somalia down to Mozambique, the whole eastern half of the continent was experiencing an economic boom as it exported elephant ivory, slaves, aromatics and spices to Asia, Europe, and North America. With their newfound wealth, East African consumers largely sought to acquire foreign cloth and beads.