Rare Ceremonial Artifacts Made Public for the First Time at City of Mud

Friday, October 14, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

City of Mud

1114A HICKOX ST., SANTA FE NM 87505, Santa Fe NM 87505


No Cost | No cost


Phone | 505.954.1705

CONTACT: Nancy Nichols, nancy@cityofmud.com, 505.954.1705; or Julie


Santa Fe collectors will enjoy a rare opportunity to view and buy authentic African

ceremonial objects at collaborative artspace City of Mud, as the focus of a new

"Neo•Tribal" show which opens on Friday, October 14th, with a reception from 5 to 8

that evening at 1114A Hickox (across the street from TuneUp Café). The show will

juxtapose modern paintings and mid-century décor with a variety of artifacts from the

Burleigh 1997 Collection, brought to the United States by Dr. Elizabeth Burleigh, an

anthropologist who lived and worked for years in Zambia and Namibia in maternal,

infant and child health, and prevention of TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria. She worked

closely with the Bemba, Lozi, Tonga, Ngoni, Mbunda, Chewa, Lunda, Lovale, Himba,

Owambo, Herero, Damara, Nama, Bastars and Kavango peoples. Her husband worked

with the tribes in wildlife preservation efforts during the same years.

This collection has never before been seen by the public, who will be able to purchase

artifacts, as the collection is currently being downsized.

"These are not items made for the tourist trade," explains City of Mud artist and curator

Sasha Pyle. "They were actually made to be used in tribal ceremonies. Many were

rescued from certain destruction when local police departments were rounding up and

burning artifacts which missionaries has deemed dangerously pagan. Some of these

artifacts had been hidden in the tops of trees to keep them safe. Many are quite old, but

even those from the 70's and 80's were created in very traditional forms. We are honored

to show this rare and beautiful collection for the first time, and will be rotating groups of

artifacts, along with contemporary artworks that we have curated to harmonize with the

tribal motif, throughout the winter months. You'll see diverse items including textiles,

masks, chairs, drums, spears, arrows, spoons and fetishes. They are elegant and dramatic

when paired with modern art."

Dr. Burleigh says, "These things are tactile, and we encourage people to touch them.

Some items, like the spoons, show wear from prolonged use, which is interesting to see.

This show can be of interest to collectors, of course, but equally to artists and creative

people. Because African art is so rooted in archetype, it speaks to everyone, and it is

particularly inspiring to artists. Think of Picasso and Giacometti whose art drew on

African forms and integrated them into Western culture." Dr. Burleigh and her husband

will both be on hand at the opening to answer questions, and the artifacts will be

displayed with information about their provenance and use.

"The gallery is named City of Mud not just to celebrate our own area's earthen

architecture, but also to evoke a thread of kinship which binds the Southwest to other

places in the world that maintain indigenous arts and building styles," Pyle adds. "The

combination of handmade tribal objects with contemporary work by local artists perfectly

captures our design aesthetic."


CITY OF MUD, 1114A HICKOX ST., SANTA FE NM 87505  cityofmud.com