little more than an anvil and a small box of tools, successive generations
of jewelers in West Africa have developed a style of working in
silver and gold renowned the world over. While many books have been
published documenting jewelry artifacts of Africa, few have documented
the makers, their process and their traditions until now.
guide, part anthropological study, Legacy offers a glimpse into
the daily lives and work habits of the jewelers of West Africa.
Author Matthieu Chiminée traveled to seven countries, interviewed
hundreds of craftsmen and took thousands of photographs over the
course of a decade to compile this comprehensive resource. While
metalsmiths in the West will be fascinated and humbled by the techniques
presented here, all readers will glean insight into African culture
and art as they stand today, a legacy from ancestors.
In this beautiful
and personal volume, readers are invited to visit the sparse market
stalls, examine the heirloom tools and meet the craftsmen responsible
for the living tradition of jewelry in West Africa. Legacy offers
step-by-step investigations into many working processes as well
as fascinating anecdotes and biographies of the artists. The book
is illustrated with hundreds of beautiful photographs and offers
access to a world not often visited by outsiders. Equally relevant
as an instructional guide and as a profound glimpse into the artistic
heritage of Africa, this book adds something fresh and dynamic to
the academic study of African art.