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The Dynamics of Gender
January 26, 2018 to April 3, 2018

As in cultures across the globe, African societies have distinct interpretations of gender that are specific to the customs of each cultural group. This exhibition explores how the gendered body is expressed, represented, and reinforced in traditional, sub-Saharan African art from Chatham University’s exceptional collection, and how these objects embody discrete functions within social, economic and religious systems. Works of art in the exhibition include a Gelede mask from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria used in rituals that honor older women, Mende Sande Society initiation masks that feature the their ideal of femininity, and male and female sculpture pairs from the Ewe of Togo, the Fang of Central Africa, and the Dogon of Mali.