In honor of Halloween, the Day of the Dead, Samhain, or whatever other mystical holidays you may be celebrating this season, we would like to  present a few books featuring spirits.

Face of the Spirits: Mask from the Zaire Basin, is one such book. It features photographs of masks that “are dynamic incarnations of omnipresent spirits”. Tribesman utilize the masks in their everyday culture as a medium between themselves and their ancestors. This connection to the spiritual world has important significance to the entire culture and is their connection to their legacy.

While the mask are beautiful, they are not art pieces as we might think of masks, but are influential tools to the tribes of the Zaire River Basin. Each image in the book features some history, cultural significance, and meaning of the featured mask as well as structural discussion.

Secondly, Yoshitoshi’s Thirty-Six Ghosts examines the woodblock prints of (you guessed it) ghosts. Each full size/full color print comes accompanied by the story on which each design is based. Some explain spirits relationships to nature, others depict ghosts of war.

Both these titles, and more are available at our library for check out. Come explore the afterlife through varied art forms.

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