An immense and magnificent survey of African art, this large volume contains 1,000 illustrations, 248 in color, of sculptures, masks, fetishes, and other three-dimensional creations. The highly refined and intellectualized text is worth wading through for its careful approach to defining African aesthetics. Ever aware of the biases and blind spots outsiders bring to the art of other cultures, the authors methodically analyze art's role in the structure of more than 100 different African ethnic societies. Various essays discuss art and myth, magic, cosmology, religion, and community standards and codes of behavior. Although most tribal artists of the past have become anonymous, the authors do their best to describe the artists' inspiration, techniques, and styles, and establish criteria for the categorization and study of their work. Photographs and drawings that document the use of masks and sculptures in ceremonies help readers visualize these stunning works within the context they were meant to grace, but even on their own, with little commentary, these figures resonate with awesome power. No matter how familiar readers may be with African art, this outstanding collection will take their breath away.