A celebration for the presence of African Art at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, turns into a reflection of its negative aspects.

TWO HOURS was the reported wait time to get in: one could assume that it might have been an exaggeration. On arrival to the location housing the de Young museum at San Francisco’s Golden Gate park, any thought of getting in sooner than said time diminished rapidly. It seemed like it took indeed two hours just to find the end of the queue wrapped around numerous blocks and bends. After about two and a half hours of cuddling, singing, dancing, talking, whining, warding off chills emanating from the bay, all in the name of queuing to get in, it was finally sounds and yelps of joy as adults hopped in, like kids into a sea of toys.

Although the main highlight of the night: a dance performance by the Alafia dance group had been about 2 hours into history, the sounds of African drums coming from a mysterious location in the spacious and multilevel de Young building served as a guide to a location calling out to an African soul. With a renewed surge of energy and purpose channeled into jogging…we happened on a dance and drum circle that had could immediately set the thump to any heart, stomp to any feet, and whine to every waist. This joy was cut short as we only happened to catch the end of the music and dance celebration, which was followed by a prayer to the ancestors employing the statues of ancestral gods.


As the adrenaline slowed to a base level, there was the opportunity to finally take a look around the museum and explore the displays. The act of looking at displays, which brought about a feeling of mixed emotions: a feeling of pride, and identification with names and places that one could call her own.

But on second thought, a faint knowledge of how these items ‘traveled’ here. A question of why these items are here. What purpose they serve encased in clear cubes, with a description plate that is meant to narrate its existence to a looker seeking knowledge…or not.

A trip that started out with excitement, happiness, and purpose was marred with visions of blood and oppression, of greed and weapons, confusion and a seed of anger in the soul of this African child.

Email Nkeiruka at Nigentnk@gmail.com

» NE's Top 5 of 2005 » Event Coverage
» Music » Movies
» Art and Stage » Lifestyle
» Penned » Playlist
» Forum Talk » Event Calendar
» Links


©2002-2005 Nigerianentertainment.com