The apentema (aka Apentemma)- 18th century| The British Museum

The British Museum – Africa Collection

Object Type

drum

Museum number

Am,SLMisc.1368

Description

Drum (Apentemma) goblet shaped open drum with a hollow pedestal, the main body made of wood (Cordia africana), with six wood pegs (Baphia nitida), a skin head (deer or antelope?) and cord made of two main vegetable fibres (Clappertonia ficfolia and Raphia) – among others – which is around the head of the drum and attached to the pegs; there is a coating on the…

Production ethnic group

Made by: Akan

Production date

18thC

Production place

Made in: Ghana

Africa: sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana

Excavator/field collector

Field Collection by: Clerk

Findspot

Found/Acquired: Virginia (state)

Americas: North America: USA: Virginia (state)

Materials

camwood (Baphia nitida)

deer skin (?)

antelope skin (?)

african cordia

fibre (Clappertonia ficifolia and Raphia)

Dimensions

Diameter: 24 centimetres

Height: 41 centimetres

Width: 28 centimetres (at widest)

Inscriptions

· Inscription type: annotation

· Inscription position: on the drum’s surface

· Inscription language: English

· Inscription content: A Drum from Virginia

· Inscription note: Handwritten in pen

Curator’s comments

The apentema (aka Apentemma) was made in the early 18th century and would have been part of one of any number of drum groups or ensembles from West Africa – fontomfrom , Adowa, Kete or Abofoe. the drum is played with an open hand, not sticks.

Bibliographic references

Romanek 2010 / To the beat of the drum

King 1999 / First Peoples, First Contacts: Native Peoples of North America (p.79)

MacGregor 1994 / Sir Hans Sloane : collector, scientist, antiquary, founding father of the British Museum (p. 234, p. 243 (note 93))

Vlach 1978 / The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts (p.20, fig.5)

Watkins 1976 / A Plantation of Differences – People from Everywhere (p.75, fig.51)

Braunholtz 1970 / Sir Hans Sloane and Ethnography (pl. 17, pp. 20-27)

Braunholtz 1953 / The Sloane Collection: Ethnography (pl. VIII)

Bushnell 1906 / The Sloane Collection in the British Museum (pp. 676-678, pl. XXXV)

MacGregor 2010 / A History of the World in 100 Objects (86)

Location

On display (G26/dc3)

Exhibition history

Exhibited:

1976, National Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution; A Nation of Nations
1994-1999 Oct-May, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool; Transatlantic Slavery Gallery
1999-2010 25 Jun-9 Aug, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: “The Southeastern Woodlands”
2010 10 Aug-12 Oct, BM Room 3; Akan Drum: The…

Associated ethnic name

Associated with: African-American

Acquisition name

Bequeathed by: Sir Hans Sloane

Acquisition date

1753

Acquisition notes

The Sloane register records that this drum was acquired from a Mr. Clerk of Virginia, then a British colony, by Hans Sloane in the early eighteenth century. The records suggest that Clerk may have collected it from an “Indian” group, although its association with the slave trade is clear based on the African materials and origin.

Department

Africa, Oceania and the Americas

Registration number

Am,SLMisc.1368

Additional IDs

CDMS number: Am1753D10.1368 (old CDMS no.)

Conservation

Treatment

Treatment

Treatment

Related objects

Trump Rambles on Speakerphone During Fake GOP Voter Fraud Hearing: A Closer Look


Late Night with Seth Meyers

Seth takes a closer look at Trump and his gang of very bad lawyers laying the groundwork to spend four years baselessly claiming the election was stolen from him.

PA Lt. Governor To Trump Lawyer Giuliani: Where’s The Voter Fraud? | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

MSNBC

Nov 26, 2020

Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump are still attacking Pennsylvania’s election results. The commonwealth’s Lt. Governor John Fetterman says the evidence for that fraud simply does not exist. Aired on 11/26/2020.

Objects of Crisis: The Akan drum

The British Museum

Sep 7, 2020

In our penultimate episode of Objects of Crisis Hartwig talks with former deputy chair of the Museum trustees, Bonnie Greer, about an object that is very close to her heart- the Akan drum. To find out more about the Akan drum, visit Collection online on the Museum website: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collect…

You can also read Bonnie’s blog piece, ‘What we have saved from the fire’, here: https://blog.britishmuseum.org/bonnie…

Images: Plan of slave ship: Plymouth Chapter of the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade / Public domain Illustration of sailor on a slave ship suspending an African girl by her ankle from a rope over a pulley. Captain John Kimber stands on the left with a whip in his hand: Attributed to Isaac Cruikshank, 1756?-1811? / Public domain

Box | The British Museum – Africa Collection

The British Museum – Africa Collection

Object Type

box, gold-dust-box

Related objects

Museum number

Af1993,02.396

Description

Lost wax casting, in brass, in the form of a box (for gold-dust?) with decorated lid.

Production ethnic group

Made by: Akan

Production date

18thC-20thC

Production place

Made in: Ghana

Africa: sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana

Findspot

Found/Acquired: Ghana

Africa: sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana

Materials

brass

Technique

lost-wax cast

Dimensions

Height: 2.80 centimetres (a+b)

Height: 2.30 centimetres (a)

Height: 0.90 centimetres (b)

Width: 3.60 centimetres (a)

Width: 3.50 centimetres (b)

Depth: 3.30 centimetres (a)

Depth: 3.50 centimetres (b)

Location

Not on display

Condition

Good.

Acquisition name

Bequeathed by: William Buller Fagg

Acquisition date

1993

Acquisition notes

see Eth.Doc.121.

Department

Africa, Oceania and the Americas

Registration number

Af1993,02.396

Africa | British Museum

Discover Africa…

Our African collection represents the rich and diverse history of a continent, from the beautiful bronze-casting of Igbo-Ukwu, Ife and Benin to objects that delve into the ritual of masquerade – traditional performances that express the secret knowledge of local communities.

Explore the stories of Africa at the Museum.

Visit the Africa gallery
Search the Collection

William Ansah Sessarakoo, 1749 |The British Museum

The British Museum
Object Type
print
Museum number
1902,1011.1867
Title
Object: William Ansah Sessarakoo
Description
Portrait seen half-length to right within oval frame, eyes to front. 1749
Mezzotint with some scratched lines
Producer name
Print made by: John Faber the Younger
After: Gabriel Mathias
School/style
British
Production date
1749
Materials
paper
Technique
mezzotint
Dimensions
Height: 328 millimetres
Width: 225 millimetres
Inscriptions

Inscription type: inscription
Inscription content: Lettered (by scraping out the mezzotint ground) with production detail “G. Mathias Pinxt.” and “J Faber fecit 1749.” on oval frame within image, and with 6 lines of title, account of the sitter’s family, kidnapping and retrieval, a dedication in the name of the painter to the Earl of Halifax and “Price 1s: 6p”, all below image

Curator’s comments
See also Sheila O’Connell, ‘London 1753’, BMP 2003, no. 3.85.
Bibliographic references
Chaloner Smith 1883 / British Mezzotinto portraits from the introduction of the art to the early part of the present century (323.II)
Location
Not on display
Exhibition history
2007 Mar-Jun, London, National Portrait Gallery, ‘Between Worlds:…’
Subjects
black
slave/slavery
Associated names
Portrait of: William Ansa Sasraku
Associated with: George Montagu Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax
Associated places
Associated with: Ghana
Africa: sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana
Acquisition name
Bequeathed by: William Meriton Eaton, 2nd Baron Cheylesmore
Acquisition date
1902
Department
Prints and Drawings
Registration number
1902,1011.1867

Portrait of the King of Benin, Oba Ovonramwen, 1897 | The British Museum

The British Museum

Object Type
photographic print
Museum number
Af,A47.70
Description
Portrait of the King of Benin, Oba Ovonramwen, seated in a wicker chair with three soldiers standing beside and behind him. The Oba is wearing a velvet gown, and his feet are shackled together with chains. Soldiers wear uniforms; head-gear, short trousers, belts, jackets. Holding bayonets. Male at left and centre wearing medals.
Albumen print.
Producer name
Photographed by: Jonathan A Green
Production date
1897
Production place
Made in: Benin City (near)
Africa: sub-Saharan Africa: Nigeria: Edo State: Benin City
Technique
photographic process
Dimensions
Length: 20.82 centimetres
Width: 14 centimetres
Inscriptions

Inscription type: annotation
Inscription content: Album Title: “1st BENIN. WARRI. & SAPELE. 2nd NEW CALABAR. BONNY. OPOBO & QUA COUNTRY.” [manuscript note on album paper]. Original Description: “King of Benin” [manuscript note on album paper]; “J. A. Green, Artist Photographer Bonny, Opobo, &c. &c” [stamp on back of
print].

Curator’s comments
Photograph taken on board the S. S. Ivy, a British Government vessel, as the Oba was exiled and sent to Old Calabar in eastern Nigeria. The soldiers are British trained members of the Niger Coast Protectorate force. See F S Kaplan, History in Africa 18 (1991), pp.207-212. Some information provided by N F Barley, 04/06/1996.

Albums Af,A46 and Af,A47 were…

Bibliographic references
Kaplan 1991 (p 208 [image published])
Anderson and Aronson 2017 / African Photographer J.A.Green: reimagining the Indigenous and the Colonial (p.164, pl.7)
Location
Not on display
Exhibition history
Exhibited:

2015-2016 25 Nov-10 Apr, London, Tate Britain, Artist and Empire
Subjects
costume/clothing
boat/ship
prisoner
war
arms/armour
garment
soldier
king/queen
punishment
Associated names
Associated with: Oba Ovonramwen, King of Benin
Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Arthur Henry Prest
Acquisition date
1920-1960
Acquisition notes
Copyright: British Museum (?).
Department
Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Registration number
Af,A47.70

African Photographer J. A. Green: Reimagining the Indigenous and the Colonial (African Expressive Cultures): Martha G. Anderson, Lisa Aronson,, Christraud M. Geary, Tam Fiofori, Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa

J. A. Green (1873–1905) was one of the most prolific and accomplished indigenous photographers to be active in West Africa. This beautiful book celebrates Green’s photographs and opens a new chapter in the early photographic history of Africa. Soon after photography reached the west coast of Africa in the 1840s, the technology and the resultant images were disseminated widely, appealing to African elites, European residents, and travelers to the region. Responding to the need for more photographs, expatriate and indigenous photographers began working along the coasts, particularly in major harbor towns.

Green, whose identity remained hidden behind his English surname, maintained a photography business in Bonny along the Niger Delta. His work covered a wide range of themes including portraiture, scenes of daily and ritual life, commerce, and building. Martha G. Anderson, Lisa Aronson, and the contributors have uncovered 350 of Green’s images in archives, publications, and even albums that celebrated colonial achievements. This landmark book unifies these dispersed images and presents a history of the photographer and the area in which he worked.

Review

“[Green] practiced for only 14 years but the legacy of pictorial history that he created has been given proper focus by the impeccable, collaborative research and interpretative conceptualism of this volume of essays and commentaries edited with guidance from Prof. Alagoa.

The Guardian

“The publication of the book in 2017 has effectively peeled the layer of anonymity from Mr. Green who’s work was published in leading publications across the world but who remained largely unknown for decades. . . This landmark book unifies these dispersed photographic images of Jonathan Adagogo Green and presents a history of the photographer and the area and times in which he worked.”

Premium Times

Apart from bringing to light one of Africa’s underexposed photographers, this much-needed volume offers profoundly generative theoretical frameworks for considering the roles photography has played both on and off the continent in the colonial period and beyond.

African Arts

The pioneering role of J. A. (Jonathan Adagogo) Green’s photographic artistry is painstakingly resurrected and perceptively examined in this magisterial study, beautifully produced in large format by the Indiana University Press.

Journal of Folklore Research

Review

J. A. Green worked for colonials and locals in the Niger Delta circa 1891–1905. His images circulated regionally and internationally for 100 years, but his name and African identity had fallen into obscurity―until this beautifully illustrated and authoritative book. It thoroughly documents Green’s photography, considers it through multiple frames of analysis, and challenges simplistic notions of a “colonial gaze.”

  • ISBN-10 : 0253028957
  • Paperback : 400 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0253028952
  • Dimensions : 8.5 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Publisher : Indiana University Press; Illustrated edition (October 16, 2017)

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Living at peace with the land | Eveline MacDougall | The Recorder

By EVELINE MacDOUGALL
For the Recorder

Published: 11/24/2020 1:38:16 PM

Les and Susie Patlove at home in Charlemont. Contributed photo/Gillis MacDougall

During our unprecedented era, in a season of giving thanks, a visit to the home of Les and Susie Patlove offers a chance to shift gears. On a dead-end Charlemont road, serenity and mindfulness blossom.

Past the garden sits a small building with clean lines, built years ago to accommodate a teen’s need for extra space, and later converted to a workshop for the resident furniture maker. Les has retired from woodworking but retains broad knowledge about the beauty and mechanics of his craft.

Behind the their cozy home, chickens cluck near a wood pile. Three solar panels boost hot showers, supplementing a 30-gallon copper tank connected to their woodstove.

Symmetry abounds without fanfare in the main living quarters, the front door leading to a 16-by-24-foot room with the kitchen on the left and living room to the right. Colorful houseplants tended by Susie and Shaker-style furniture made by Les sit beneath handsome hewn beams and mortise-and-tenon joinery, lending an air of solidity and grace.

The Patloves’ parlor contains plants tended by Susie and furniture made by Les. Contributed photo/Gillis MacDougal

A kettle hisses comfortingly atop the woodstove and the fragrance of freshly ground grain draws the eye to an impressive grinder, next to a tiny basket holding three fresh eggs. An adjoining hallway is decorated with herbs hanging upside-down, destined for mugs of steaming tea: nettles, bee balm, tulsi holy basil. Garlic braids, too, adorn the hallway.

George, the ink-black cat, enters daintily on snow-white feet. The kitchen faucet dispenses clear well water and homegrown vegetables garnish countertops.The window above the sink opens onto a greenhouse where geraniums, swiss chard and butternut squash provide a yummy palette of colors. The view out the greenhouse glass reveals a meadow, treeline and mountain.

Originally built to provide additional space for teens, this small post-and-beam building became a workshop for Les Patlove. Contributed photo/Gillis MacDougall

A custom-built bookcase reflects a wide variety of interests: apple trees, mushroom identification, ginseng, natural pest control, wildflowers. Titles like “Five Acres and Independence” share a shelf with “Feasting Free on Wild Edibles” and “Living More on Less,” as well as books about birds, bonsai, natural healing and the agricultural treasures of chicken manure. A massive red volume stands out: an encyclopedia of music.

A small bathroom contains a flush toilet, recently installed to replace a longtime composting toilet — one concession to advancing age. The last of autumn’s colorful fresh flowers, along with muted dried ones, brighten each room, including the loo.

One section of the Patlove’s compact cellar has a concrete floor, while the root cellar area has a stone floor, allowing for higher moisture levels. Root crops winter over, to be incorporated into soups and stews.

The Patloves grow food year round in their greenhouse. Contributed photo/Gillis MacDougall

Les, 77, and Susie, 73, have been together for over 50 years, most of them on what’s known as Windy Hill, an 80-acre enclave established as an intentional community. Of several households, five residents of the original group remain. Other founders moved on, replaced by folks who share their love of the land and cooperation.

“We designed our community so that our homes are close to each other, so most of our land can remain undeveloped,” Susie says. “I feel like the land is responsible for our success.”

“The land has shaped us more than we’ve shaped the land,” remarks Les. “Our first love here was the landscape, the wildlife, so much beauty. I don’t think I’ve taken it all in yet.”

Drawing a connection to their community’s longevity, Susie muses, “People ask why this community has lasted. I think it has something to do with the mountain, and streams coming down. It’s like living in a magnificent bowl. It’s humbling to live in such beauty.”

Les built their home in 1973 — originally as an ell to the community’s farmhouse — and moved it to its current spot in 1978. “I modeled it after one-room schoolhouses popular in this region,” he explains. “What’s now our parlor,” he says, gesturing through a doorway, “used to be my workshop, so I added our home onto that.”

A glimpse into the parlor reveals more gorgeous hand-built furniture, another riot of houseplants, an ancient sewing machine and a turntable for jazz, folk, and classical records. “Les hand-split the red oak shakes that cover this room’s roof,” Susie says admiringly. Nodding, Les adds, “I used a froe,” referring to a hand tool.

The Patloves’ home in Charlemont. Contributed photo/Gillis MacDougall

Born in Brooklyn, Les says, “It never crossed my mind as a child that I’d live like this.” Glancing fondly at his mate, he adds, “Susie was the motivator. She always wanted to grow all her own food. And she’s good at it. The closest I got to a garden in Brooklyn was the one belonging to our Italian landlord. He grew tomato plants and peach and plum trees. That seemed fine, but I never thought it would have anything to do with me.”

In addition to her horticulture prowess, Susie, who grew up in Hingham, is a published and prize-winning poet. She’s also worked as a librarian and pre-school teacher, among other forms of paid employment in order to support her homesteading urges.

Les is known as “the guy with the French horn,” referring to his years in local ensembles. The couple’s skills and talents seem endless, but perhaps it’s their shared practice of Zen Buddhism over five decades that provides the most significant unifying theme. “We got into Buddhism together after college,” Les explains. He had studied sciences, and she, Chinese history.

Reflecting on the experience of raising children in community, Susie says, “Of course there were struggles, but we all had lots of support. I’m grateful that the kids who grew up here had extra parents. I think it worked well.”

The Patloves’ three grown sons live geographically distant from their parents and each other, but remain close. Will, 43, is the nearest, living with his wife, Katie, in Burlington, where he works for a wine distributor and pursues his love of visual art. Several of his pieces hang on his parents’ walls.

When asked about growing up in a homesteading family, Will says, “I have a belief that I can do things myself, a sense of self-reliance that permeates my life. My parents rarely called in plumbers, electricians, or carpenters. It was taken for granted that we did those things ourselves. Self-reliance now extends to all aspects of my life, from relationships to artistic endeavors and spirituality. It’s an understanding that I’m responsible for my experience and that, yes, I can fix the fuel pump in my car.”

Younger brother Sam, 39, runs Bud’s Recording Services, a studio in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Gloria, and their 3-year-old son, Arlo. Photos of Arlo adorn his grandparents’ fridge and walls, his shining eyes and chubby cheeks imparting as much warmth as the woodstove during a time when the toddler is unable, due to pandemic risks, to visit Western Massachusetts.

“We took full advantage of all the fun that could be had on 80 acres,” Sam says of his early life. “It gave me a strong connection with nature, which I carry to this day, along with an appreciation for the taste and nutrition of high quality food and an understanding of hard work and chores, among many other things.”

Sam admits there were challenges. “I think our parents, in their rejection of society’s standard path of trying to accumulate monetary wealth, left me with some baggage. Maybe there was an assumption that we would live as they did. It’s a minor thing, though, and I’m grateful for the perspectives that led me to where I am. Even though I desire more financial stability than my parents did, I also understand the value of things that financial markets have traditionally struggled to put a price tag on, whether it’s music, art, or a 300-year-old tree.”

Eldest brother Silas, 46, is a physician’s assistant in emergency medicine living in Oakland, Calif., as well as a semi-professional clarinetist. His father beams in recalling, “Some of my fondest memories are of playing in musical ensembles with Silas.” The family also benefits from medical information shared by Silas during the pandemic.

The family looks forward to a time when they can reunite, but until then, they make do with other forms of contact, knowing they’re in the same boat with people the world over. In the meantime, Les and Susie bring in the firewood, share a new book about trees, and enjoy the view.

“We’re growing old together,” Susie says. “We’ve gone through intense things since our twenties. I don’t want to idealize it, because some things were hard. But living in community — having people who can help, and who we can also help — that’s a real gift.”

It’s a story of harmony: his music, her poetry, his creations from wood, her green thumb. In a lovely spot, peace is allowed to flourish.

Eveline MacDougall, who has lived in Franklin County since 1987, started Greenfield’s Pleasant Street Community Garden in 1999. She coordinated the community garden for about 15 years and is now a member of the current project, but no longer serves in a leadership position.