Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba. Ife History, Power, andIdentity c. 1300
In this book, Suzanne Preston Blier examines the intersection of art, risk and creativity in early African arts from the Yoruba center of Ife and the striking ways that ancient Ife artworks informsociety, politics, history and religion. Yoruba art offers a unique lens into one of Africa's mostimportant and least understood early civilizations, one whose historic arts have long been of interestto local residents and Westerners alike because of their tour-de-force visual power and technical complexity. Among the complementary subjects explored are questions of art making, art viewing and aestheticsin the famed ancient Nigerian city-state, as well as the attendant risks and danger assumed by artists, patrons and viewers alike in certain forms of subject matter and modes of portrayal, includingunique genres of body marking, portraiture, animal symbolism and regalia. This volume celebratesart, history and the shared passion and skill with which the remarkable artists of early Ifesought to define their past for generations of viewers.