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University of Oregon

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Program Name

Senegal: National Identity and the Arts


Defining the term “artist” in one’s own culture is challenging and can be even more difficult in a foreign culture. In Senegal, the practice of wood sculpture can be both artistic and practical. Because of this, Senegalese artists who work with wood sculpture end up asserting their identity as artists through their collective actions. In this study, I follow the life and craft of a Senegalese wood sculptor, Serigne Mor Gueye, by making my own sculptures and listening to his anecdotes about life as an artist in hopes of discovering how the Senegalese define such ambiguous terms, “art” and “artist”.


Art and Design | Arts and Humanities | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures