Art is a major political weapon of our times. Today, peoples around the world use art to boost their own identity and to attack the ways others represent them. At a time of increasing intercultural exchange, art has become a primary means through which groups reinforce their challenged sense of culture.This pioneering book breaks with the tradition of the anthropology of art as the depoliticized study of aesthetics in exotic settings. Transcending artificial distinctions between the West and the Rest, it examines the increasingly significant relations among art, identity and politics in the modern world.Among the themes investigated by the contributors: * how African painters undermine racist stereotypes yet remain dominated by the Western art market * the role of anthropology museums in the perpetuation of the Western market in 'tribal art' * the internal and external political disputes underlying the 'repatriation' of cultural property.
Contents: Jeremy MacClancy, Anthropology, Art and Contest -- Maruska Svasek, Power, Identity and Style: Defining Self and Other through Ghanaian Art -- Barbara Saunders, Contested Ethnie in two Kwakiutl Museums -- A. David Napier, Losing One's Marbles: Cultural Property and Indigenous Thought -- Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Art, Argument and Anger on the Northwest Coast -- Jeremy MacClancy, Negotiating 'Basque Art' -- Ian Fowler, Tribal and Palatine Arts of the Cameroons Grassfields: Elements for a 'Traditional' Regional Identity -- Murray Satov, Catalogues, Collectors, Curators: The Tribal Art Market and Anthropology