Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher African Ceremonies Collection
The African Ceremonies Collection is a comprehensive selection of images covering more than 30 years of fieldwork carried out by U.S.-born Carol Beckwith and Australian Angela Fisher, two photographers who have dedicated their lives to recording traditional cultures throughout Africa. Their work has taken them to some of the most remote corners of the continent where they won the trust and support of people, thus gaining them access to sacred ceremonies and traditions little known to the outside world. The result is an unrivalled, joyful, and intimate photographic record of African traditional life.
Images on this website are taken from these photographers universally acclaimed books.
Maasai (Carol Beckwith, 1980)
The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania have made their way into the 21st century with their ancient customs preserved to an unusual extent. The photographs document their living story and vividly portray the traditional stages of life. Here are the feasts and ceremonies of the tribe; the daily work of maintaining the herds, beading skirts, and building huts and kraals; the warriors games, dances, and flirtations; and the elders quiet moments of contemplation.
Nomads of Niger (Carol Beckwith, 1983)
This study follows the Wodaabe of Niger tall, handsome, nomadic desert dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa through the cycle of a year, focusing on the herdsman Mokao and his family. The journey takes us to their dry season encampment, the well, the marketplace, and on their long northward rainy season migration, ending with the amazing round of dance pageants that culminate in the selection of their most handsome and charismatic young men.
Africa Adorned (Angela Fisher, 1984)
This seven-year study of jewelry and body decoration across the African continent illustrates the adornments of both everyday life and major ceremonial events. Among the peoples of Africa, even those who eke out a nomad's existence, one sees objects of great beauty and style, often of extraordinary craftsmanship and great value cast in gold or wrought in silver, inlaid with semi-precious stones, ivory, and coral. Jewelry is also often of important symbolic significance and can reveal a wealth of information about the wearer.
African Ark (Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, 1990)
For centuries, the Horn of Africa has sheltered an astonishing variety of human societies against the storms of the world. Images selected from this book include Amhara Christian and Falasha Jewish ceremonies of the Ethiopian highlands, Afar warriors dangerous ball games in the low-lying Rift Valley, ecstatic pilgrims at the shrines of Sheikh Hussein and the caves of Sof Omar, and extraordinary jumping the bull and stick-fighting scenes in the Omo river region of Southwest Ethiopia.
African Ceremonies (Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher, 1999)
A 10-year field project documenting African rituals and rites of passage from birth to death across the continent, this landmark work portrays 93 ceremonies from 26 countries, including initiations, courtship and marriage, the coronation of an Ashanti king, healing practices, fantasy coffins, and voodoo rituals. It has won numerous awards, including the U.N. Award of Excellence [f]or vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace .