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Like many other places in the world, the African continent is a landscape that has been interconnected with a larger global dynamic for centuries. While there are communities on the African continent that seem to be isolated from the rest of the world, if we take a closer look we might find that a small, seemingly isolated, community has been connected to a larger world as much in the past as it is today.

A closer look must be undertaken when analyzing the materials used by many examples of various African creative traditions. There are instances when materials, found close to home, are used.  Other materials have traveled hundreds, if not thousands of miles, to ultimately be transformed or incorporated into what we call traditional African art.


This series is led by museum assistant curator, Edwin Hamilton Johnson, Ph.D.

All classes and lectures are free to the public by registering through the Eventbrite links below or by joining our Facebook Live feed. 

All of our classes and lectures are held on the second floor of the Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery and are stair access only. To accommodate guests with mobility issues, an online version of this lecture will be provided through Facebook Live.

If you plan on attending the class in person, seating is limited, so you must register through the individual Eventbrite links below. 

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A pdf of this presentation will be available after the lecture to download by clicking the image above.

Beads and Silk

Friday, January 20, 2023    |    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This two-session series will begin with an overall look at the history of global trade in the continent of Africa. We will then take a closer look at the role that specific elements have played in the types of trade networks that were established and the art that would be made from these materials. The first session will begin with a general examination of African isolation as a trope in fiction and the global realities that would tangibly shape a multitude of traditional cultures. We will then take a close look at the role that beads and silk played in the development of aristocratic arts in traditional African societies.


Click on the Eventbrite button to be directed to the registration for this workshop. 

Click on the Facebook button to be directed to the 

Livestream on Facebook. 

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