Artistry of the Everyday: Beauty and Craftsmanship in Berber Life

Miller, Susan Gilson, Burger, Hillel S. and Craig, Mark, Bernasek, Lisa (ed.) (2008) Artistry of the Everyday: Beauty and Craftsmanship in Berber Life, Cambridge, US, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 128pp.


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Artistry of the Everyday presents the Peabody Museum’s collection of arts from the Berber-speaking regions of North Africa. The book gives an overview of Berber history and culture, focusing on the rich aesthetic traditions of Amazigh (Berber) craftsmen and women. From ancient times to the present day, working with limited materials but an extensive vocabulary of symbols and motifs, Imazighen (Berbers) across North Africa have created objects that are both beautiful and practical. Intricately woven textiles, incised metal locks and keys, painted pottery and richly embroidered leather bags are just a few examples of objects from the Peabody Museum’s collections that are highlighted in the color plates. The book also tells the stories of the collectors--both world-traveling Bostonians and Harvard-trained anthropologists--who brought these objects from Morocco or Algeria to their present home in Cambridge in the early twentieth century. The generosity of these donors has resulted in a collection of Berber arts, especially from the Tuareg regions of southern Algeria, that rivals that of major European and North African museums.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Reviewed by Cynthia Becker in International Journal of African Historical Studies 43 (1), 2010.Reviewed by Myriem Naji in Museum Anthropology Review 4(1), Spring 2010.
ISBNs: 0873654056 (print)
9780873654050 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
N Fine Arts > NM Artefact
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
ePrint ID: 172259
Date :
Date Event
December 2008Published
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 10:32
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 03:24
Further Information:Google Scholar

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