The 81 images in this folder are a glimpse into the bizarre initiation rituals and undertakings of secret societies, cults, and gangs. Pictures feature members of groups such as the Polish Falcons of America, Lion’s Club, Scientology, the KKK, Heaven’s Gate, Freemasons and its many Orders (Order of the Masonic Jesters, Order of the Royal Jesters, Woodmen or the World, Shriners, Red Men of America, Fraternal Order of the Police, Order of the Moose, Job’s Daughters, Order of the Rainbow for Girls) and of course, the Anti-Masons.
See also (related folders): Circus – Clowns (for Shriner Clowns), Ceremonies, Symbols & Symbolism.
From the UCLA African Arts homepage:
“African Arts presents original research and critical discourse on traditional, contemporary, and popular African arts and expressive cultures. Since 1967, the journal has reflected the dynamism and diversity of several fields of humanistic study, publishing richly illustrated articles in full color, incorporating the most current theory, practice, and intercultural dialogue.”
Utilizing raw materials like straw and palm fronds, the artists represented here display an uninhibited mastery of caricature. They distort the literal human image with a sense of humor and playfulness into an iconic and sometimes frightening archetype.
Our current holdings of African Arts begin in 1976. Here are some selections from the earlier issues: