If you look to your left as you walk into the School of Human Ecology on the UW Madison campus, you will see something wondrous in the Design Gallery window. The exhibit is called "Whirling Return of the Ancestors: Egúngún Arts of the Yorùbá in Africa and Beyond." The garment in the window is worn in what's called a Masquerade.
Henry Drewal is a professor of Art History, Afro American Studies, and an Adjunct Curator of African Art at the Chazen Museum. He and his students are the curators of the exhibit. The whirling garment in the window welcomes visitors into a world where the the living and dead are bound together by cloth.
In this edition of Radio Chipstone, Professor Drewal spoke with contributor Gianofer Fields about the Yorùbá peoples of West Africa, and how they connect with their ancestors through Masquerades:
Material culture contributor Gianofer Fields curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.