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Displaying Traditional Yorùbá Religious Objects in Museums: The Western Re-Making of a Cultural Heritage

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Title: Displaying Traditional Yorùbá Religious Objects in Museums: The Western Re-Making of a Cultural Heritage
Author(s): Catalani, Anna
Subject(s): Cultural heritage preservation Museums
Abstract: This paper, based on doctoral research carried out from January 2003 through July 2005, addresses the interpretation and representation of non-Western religious material culture in Western museums and offers a comprehensive view of the way traditional religious Yorùbá objects are displayed in contemporary museums in Britain. Museum exhibitions can be conceived as a visual narrative, which absorbs the religious essence of traditional religious non-Western objects into broad categories. At the same time, these categories are still strongly affected by Western aesthetic appreciation, understanding, and classificatory systems. In museum displays, traditional Yorùbá religious material culture loses its distinctiveness and is absorbed into global pan-African representations. Therefore, in order to be able to reach more informed or “authentic” interpretations, museums should include the memories and voices of the people who are “closer” to the original meanings of traditional religious objects.
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In Library Trends 56(1) Summer 2007: 66–79.
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/3786
ISSN: 0024-2594
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright 2007 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS: 2008-03-14
 

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