With lavish photographs and fascinating first-person interviews, the world s leading expert on the Guro culture examines the artistic accomplishments of this African people. The Guro people of Africa s Ivory Coast are renowned for their rich mask and sculpture traditions. These objects of joyful and sublime beauty are used in a variety of social and spiritual ceremonies. Art ethnologist Eberhard Fischer has spent decades researching the Guro traditions and documenting their way of life. In this book he presents a collection of hundreds of images, many of them published for the first time, of masks and woodcarvings, as well as lively scenes of Guro dances and artisans at work. Numerous interviews with prominent Guro, including religious officials, carvers, weavers, dancers, and cult masters, enhance the appreciation of this society. Eberhard s unique understanding of the Guro makes this volume a standard work on the art and culture of these people.
The book is about the causes and the ramifications of the political conflict in Ivory Coast from 2002 to 2009. Recent history of West Africa has shown that Nigeria, Chad, Liberia, Sierra Leone and now Ivory Coast have had their share of this predicament. Ivory Coast showed a remarkable political stability after its independence from France in 1960 until late 1999. The political instability in Ivory Coast began after the death of Felix Houphouet Boigny in 1993, the first post independent president of the country. From 1999 onwards, Government corruption and mismanagement led the country into the ambits of the calculated predicament of foreign aid trap. The country experienced its first military coup in December, 1999 under the leadership of General Guei. It revealed that the causes of the conflict were: competition for scarce resources, bad governance, media incitement, xenophobia, incessant political power struggle and the proliferation of small fire arms entering the country. Some of the effects experienced during the conflict were human rights violation, destruction of property including UN premises and displaced people both internally and externally.