The Mande Blacksmiths

The Mande Blacksmiths

Knowledge, Power, and Art in West Africa
Patrick McNaughton
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/22/1993
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-20798-2
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 


... finely crafted scholarship. Elegant and graceful, yet packed with knowledge and information, it embodies the aesthetic qualities which it describes and explores." —American Ethnologist

The text is detailed and informative, and enjoyable reading... " —Choice

The Mande Blacksmith is an important book... sensitive, sympathetic, multifaceted, and thorough... " —African Arts

McNaughton's Mande Blacksmiths is undeniably the most profound study of African artists yet published." —Ethnoarts

... penetrating... McNaughton boldly grapples with the thorniest issues related to his subject and articulates them with clarity and precision." —International Journal of African Historical Studies

... a work in the best tradition of ethnographic research.... critical reappraisal, innovative inquiry, and fresh observation... make this book an invaluable fund of new material on Mande societies... " —American Anthropologist

McNaughton... provides an important interpretation of these artists' conceptual place as members of a complex culture." —Religious Studies Review

Examining the artistic, technological, social, and spiritual dimensions of Mande blacksmiths, who are the sculptors of their society, McNaughton defines these artists’ conceptual place as extraordinary members of a complex culture.

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

Note on Orthography

I. Blacksmiths in Mande Society
The Mande Social System
The Nyamakala Special Professionals
Nyamakala and the Smiths’ Ambiguous Status

II. The Mande Smiths as Craftsmen

III. Smiths and the Shape of Civilized Space

The Principles of Medicine and Sorcery
A Hierarchy of Practitioners
Amulets and Secret Devices
Social Instrumentality
The Relative Roles of Blacksmiths and Hunters

IV. The Blacksmiths’ Sculpture
The Character of Sculpture and the Other Roles of Smiths
The Smiths’ Iron Art
Tamaw: Spear Blades
Fitinew: Iron Lamps
Negemusow and Negesotigiw: Iron Women and Iron Horse Masters
Komokunw: The Power Masks of the Mande Smiths

V. The Mande Smiths as Men of Means
The Problem of Explanations
The Unity of Enterprise
The Resolution of Movement
The Contradiction of Position
The Responsibility of Artists