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Ochre, art and ritual in southern Africa, ancient and modern

Class finishes
20:30
Speaker(s)
Description

The artist Ann Gollifer will talk about the ochres she uses, and how she obtains these in collaboration with Herero artist and healer Motsei Nkwemabala, and from traders in letsoku in Botswana. Letsoku is make up/face and body powder, most likely originally used in both male and female initiation ceremonies but now used as a daily foundation but also during dance performances. Ann will discuss the range of colours, where they come from and how she hopes to catalogue them all.

Ian Watts will give an introductory overview of the role of earth pigments in the southern African Middle Stone Age emergence of our species, talking about why he thinks this traces a ritual tradition.

We will also run video of interviews between Motsei Nkwemabala and Tumelo Nkwe. Motsei is one of a few women who still annually paint their earth buildings with ochres collected from traditional dig sites in the landscapes around her village Mochudi. She is also a healer, specialising in women's health. Originally from Mochudi, Tumelo lives and works in Gaborone, where he is a production manager for a film production company, ‘Visual Expression’. He is currently the Secretary of the Art Residency Centre, Gaborone.

 

 

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Talk location

Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton St, off Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square

51.525144001996, -0.13145656201327


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