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- Ancestral Altar Screen (Duein Fubara), Early 20th century
Artwork Resource Packet: Ancestral Altar Screen (Duein Fubara)A Kalabari sculptor created this Ancestral Altar Screen as a memorial sculpture after the death of a trading house chief. It is one of many such screens made since the 19th century that memorialize deceased leaders, and their production is still an active practice today, although the role of trading houses continues to shift due to changing economic practices. The Art Institute of Chicago’s screen, which depicts a deceased house chief and his supporters, reflects the historical context of transatlantic trade and intercultural exchange between Kalabari and predominantly British peoples from Europe1. Serving as a status symbol, the screen functioned as an instrument of communication or exchange with the spirit of this ancestor. This teaching packet includes an essay, discussion questions, activity ideas, a glossary, and an image of the artwork.
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