Percy Talbot's text In the Shadow of the Bush is an absorbing read. Written in 1912, its his exhaustive account (642 pages) of travels among the Ekoi in Cross River State and his analysis of their beliefs and customs, centring around the Leopard soul and the Egbe secret society (and its system of Nsibidi writing). There are many beautiful illustrations, such as those of long-forgotten hairstyles among Ekoi women (pictured).
Friday, September 17, 2010
You can download the 30MB PDF (and other formats) of the book here.
From research elsewhere, I gather that Nsibidi was a performative language among members of the leopard society- a form of mime-drama, where the signs were danced out by movements of the arms, hands and head.
How fitting then to see Victor dance out his artwork in the previous post..