DREWALL, Henry John and John MASON (1997). Beads, Body, and Soul: Art & Light in the Yoruba Universe, Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, ISBN-13 978-0930741631, 288 pp. fully illustrated in colour, with bibliography. Price: US$150 (new).
The sights and sounds of the Yoruba cosmos are made manifest through the use of beads. This book is a collaboration between the art historian, Henry Drewall, and the Yoruba priest, John Mason. The Yoruba religion has used beads for many centuries to portray the Yorubas' artistic spirit and the deep connection to a spiritual world that its practitioners feel. The book is split into different sections focusing on specific traditions, regions and the human interaction with beading and the bead industry. The book combines an understanding of people from among the Yorubas as well as other parts of the world with a technical understanding of materials and design methods used.
Recommendation: A book full of beautiful, informative photographs of bead work. It is very useful for those looking for visual inspiration, or with a specific interest in spirituality and traditional rituals relative to beadwork.