an OSR aesthetics of ruinewal? - Pende art in decay

  Eastern Pende kishikishi rooftop finial, produced by an unknown master-carver* "The artisan-poet is not concerned to make a work for eternity. The work of art is perishable. The style and the spirit are preserved, but the old work is quickly replaced and realized anew as soon as it becomes antiquated or is destroyed" - Léopold Sédar Senghor, The General Nature of African Art Every poster gets three annoying neologisms and I'm striking one off right now .   Also, Ramadan Mubarak, y'all! Despite my questionable orthodoxy ("wallahi bro law-bearing dreams are canonical just read the Futuhat and also enter khilwa for 40 days") and general laziness, I do love the month. Hard to beat free chai every night and group singings of vaguely sexual Sufi odes at 3am. Def don't think that they're for everyone, but ritual austerities have been surprisingly helpful in supplementing my mindfulness excercises and the like. Anyways, I hope everyone has a peaceful mo

Better Sword-Singers - my greater jihad against the worldly love of games

  I love Makela Leki so much. But One Way, baby.  "That said, when I started writing Redguard I really thought about how unique the black people of Tamriel were: they came in and kicked ass and slaughtered the indigenes while doing so. They invaded. It was the first time I had encountered the idea of "black imperialism"...and it struck me big time, as something 1) new, 2) potentially dangerous if taken as commentary, and 3) potentially rad if taken as commentary…Which is a long way of saying: panther-love." - an actual factual Michael Kirkbride quote It's my birthday and my gift to myself is posting about Elder Scrolls.  Panther Love I'm a little annoyed by all the discourse around how much ESVI is going to flatten all the weird cool parts of Redguard lore. Not that they won't, ofc, but because people don't realize that this has already happened; earlier representations of Redguards were considerably less beholden to the faux-Sahelian vibe (if even

Sex-Ed in the House of Becoming

  Apologies for the janky phone photos - it will happen again CW: Sexual violence. Nothing lurid, but the topic is unavoidable if you're talking about sexuality in the '30s Belgian Congo.  I talked a big game about micro-blogging, but this barely counts. At least it's focused? Zoe Strother's Humor and Violence: Seeing Europeans in Central African Art is an incredible book, maybe even a perfect book; the quality of the work done in the field almost makes up for the tiny size of Congo Studies today. For this post, I want to spend some time with her discussion of a particular set of carved wooden panels and offer a few comments. Nkanu Nkanda   The panels we're looking at are from an nkanda boys' initiation house - Annemieke Van Damme, a Nkanu culture and history expert who has written extensively about the paired gendered initiations of the Yaka-Nkanu-Mbeko cultural complex, introduces nkanda in Nkanu and Mbeko Art and Ritual :  "The word nkanda has various