Dressing Up! - Featured Collection

Fetish garments at Douglas Dawson Gallery in association with "Keeping Secrets" at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, through May 30

Ritual, art and costume are inseparable in traditional African culture.  In the West the preference is to isolate each for aesthetic purposes and ignore the total picture of all three integrated into a single statement. The fetish object often required ceremony to become fully animated. These ceremonies usually included a performer with relevant garment such as those shown here.  Like the fetish objects to which they relate the costumes are encrusted with meaning.  They incorporate the same kinds of potent material found on the fetish such as human hair, bones, mirrors, bells, amulets, feathers and other items deemed necessary to empower the scene.