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Subject: Indigenous repair practices

Indigenous repair practices

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo<-at->
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Ed FitzGerald <fitzed [at] gmail__com> writes

>Can anyone recommend a scholarly source for information on
>"indigenous (or native) repair" practices and philosophies such as
>those commonly seen on artifacts from certain African tribes (e.g.
>the Dogon of Mali)? Perhaps someone can suggest another name for
>ritual or traditional repair activity. A search for these terms in
>anthropological literature databases was not fruitful.

I gave a general outline of the history of conservation in an
article that appeared in the Journal of the American Institute for
Conservation in v. 26, 1987:85-104.  I list most of the source
material up to that time that you might find of interest.  Stanley
Fried's article, Research pitfalls as a result of the restoration of
museum specimens." Annals of NY Academy of Sciences 1981 presents us
with a dilemma as many specimens in museums have been restored as if
done by natives but there were often done not by conservators
(called preparators in the past) but by field researchers,
collectors and artists.  These cycled back via the idea of the
object in collections to the native artist and resulted in "new"
pieces being made to look like restored pieces.  Several examples
are cited in my paper.

Niccolo Caldararo, Ph.D.
Dept. of Anthropology
San Francisco State University


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Received on Wednesday, 11 March, 2009

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