Marilyn Houlberg Nigeria collection, EEPA 2005-002, 1961-circa 2005
EEPA.2005-002

Summary
Collection ID:
EEPA.2005-002
Creators:
Houlberg, Marilyn
Dates:
1961-circa 2005
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
6,567 slides (photographs)
11 Binders
color
14 documents
1 Binder
Repository:
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
The collection consists of 6,567 color slides taken by Dr. Marilyn Houlberg during various field studies among the Yoruba in southwest Nigeria between 1961 and circa 2005. The images depict Yoruba art and culture with a special focus on artisans, art objects, body arts, costume, festivals, hairstyles, indigenous photography, weaving and textiles. Cultural events depicted include Balufon festivals, Egungun and Gelede masquerades, social events (weddings, christenings, funerals), and religious ceremonies (initiation and animal sacrifice). Also included are various scenes of daily life, architecture, food preparation, markets, portraits and landscapes. Houlberg extensively documented Yoruba artists in the process of creating their art, including carvers Yesufu Ejigboye, Runshewe, and Lamidi Fakeye, as well as the final pieces themselves. Houlberg documentated art in situ, such as Yoruba house posts, shrines, wall art and wood doors and art objects, including Gelede masks, Ibeji (twin) and Eshu figures, Osanyin staffs, and Ogboni and Shango shrines. Manuscript and printed materials, including Houlberg's resume, thesis, and numerous published articles are also available in this collection.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This 6,567 slide collection documents Houlberg's studies in Southwestern Nigeria spanning from 1961 to circa 2005. The collection primarily includes photos of people, including the Ogboni, Pokot, Yoruba, Turkana and Igbo, shrines, festivals and rituals, art objects, and artists. A particular strength of the collection are photos of Balufon festivals, Egungun and Gelede masquerades, social events (weddings, christenings, funerals), and religious ceremonies (initiation and animal sacrifice). Also included are various scenes of daily life, architecture, food preparation, markets, portraits and landscapes. Houlberg mostly photographed in Ilishan, Ikenne, Ilara, Shagamu, Lagos, Ijebu-Ode, and Egbe.
Houlberg extensively documented Yoruba artists in the process of creating their art, including carvers Yesufu Ejigboye, Runshewe, and Lamidi Fakeye, as well as the final pieces themselves. Houlberg documentated art in situ, such as Yoruba house posts, shrines, wall art, wood doors and art objects, including Gelede masks, Ibeji (twin) and Eshu figures, Osanyin staffs, and Ogboni and Shango shrines. Several Yoruba art forms, including photography, scarification tattoos, and textiles (both cloth and dress), are represented in the collection. Additionally, there are numerous slides of Yoruba hairstyles, many of which she published in her article,
Social Hair: Tradition and Change in Yoruba Hairstyles in Southwestern Nigeria
.
Yoruba ritual specialists, such as Ife-olu Solaru, Olufunke, and Yesufu Ejigboye, appear frequently throughout the collection. Houlberg documented her many stays with these individuals over the years.
There is also one binder of manuscript and printed materials, including Houlberg's resume, thesis, and numerous published articles.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is organized into 29 series according to subject. The series descriptions correspond with particular subjects used in Houlberg's teaching and lectures. All slides were kept in the order in which they were donated.
Series 1: African Hairstyles, circa 1973-1994 (Binder 1; 212 slides)
Series 2: Egungun Festival, 1961-circa 1988 (Binder 1; 362 slides)
Series 3: Gelede, circa 1969-circa 1989 (Binder 2; 301 slides)
Series 4: Ibeji Twins, circa 1969-circa 1990 (Binders 2-3; 854 slides)
Series 5: Ogboni Art Objects and Shrines, circa 1969-circa 1982 (Binder 4; 92 slides)
Series 6: Art Objects Depicting Ogun, circa 1969-circa 1983 (Binder 4; 56 slides)
Series 7: Olojufoforo Art and Festivities, circa 1968-circa 1975 (Binder 4; 21 slides)
Series 8: Yoruba People, Architecture, and Art, circa 1969-circa 1985 (Binder 4; 260 slides)
Series 9: Carving, Art Objects and Artists, and Scenes of Daily Life, circa 1973-circa 1988 (Binder 4; 201 slides)
Series 10: Yoruba Art, circa 1971-circa 1983 (Binder 5; 49 slides)
Series 11: Yoruba Textiles, circa 1973-circa 1983 (Binder 5; 84 slides)
Series 12: Yoruba, Miscellaneous, circa 1967-circa 1989 (Binder 5; 251 slides)
Series 13: African Art, Textiles People, and Dwellings, circa 1963-circa 1983 (Binder 6; 58 slides)
Series 14: Ibo Mbari and Igbo Peoples and Artwork, circa 1967-circa 1985 (Binder 6; 212 slides)
Series 15: Art and Ceremonies, circa 1967-circa 1991 (Binder 6; 493 slides)
Series 16: Body Arts, Nuba People (Sudan) and Fulani and Bororo People (Niger), circa 1973-circa 1979 (Binder 7; 64 slides)
Series 17: People, Scenic Views and Animals of Kenya, Sudan, Angola, and Ghana, circa 1972-circa 1985 (Binder 7; 168 slides)
Series 18: Peoples and Arts of Ghana, Mali, and the Ivory Coast, circa 1966-circa 1992 (Binder 7; 406 slides)
Series 19: Published Maps and Photos, circa 1968-circa 1985 (Binder 8; 70 slides)
Series 20: Nigerian Masks and Art Objects, circa 1967-circa 1978 (Binder 8; 396 slides)
Series 21: Yoruba Festivals, People, and Art in Nigeria, circa 1967-circa 1988 (Binders 8-9; 128 slides)
Series 22: Yoruba Photography and Textiles, circa 1975-circa 1983 (Binder 9; 54 slides)
Series 23: Ife-Olu, Ilishan, circa 1980-circa 1988 (Binder 9; 87 slides)
Series 24: Yoruba Festivals, People, Hairstyles, Ibeji Objects, Eshu Figures, and Oya and Orishala Priests, Priestesses, and Shrines, circa 1966-circa 1988 (Binder 9; 168 slides)
Series 25: Shango, circa 1970-circa 1983 (Binder 10, 162 slides)
Series 26: Ara Festival, 1975 (Binder 10; 174 slides)
Series 27: Ceremonies and Festivals, Portraits, Art and Ceremonial Objects, Domestic and Market Scenes, circa 1969-circa 2005 (Binders 10-11; 759 slides)
Series 28: Yoruba Art Objects, and Domestic, Work, and Festival Scenes, circa 1971-circa 1983 (Binder 11; 104 slides)
Series 29: Manuscript and Printed Materials, 1973-circa 2005 (Binder 12)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Artist, anthropologist, and art historian Dr. Marilyn Hammersley Houlberg was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1939. Houlberg received an Associate of Arts degree from Wright Junior College (1959) and a BFA from the University of Chicago (1963). After graduating, she traveled to North Africa, and explored Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. In 1964, Houlberg researched Haitian art, religion, and indigenous photography in Haiti and in 1965 was awarded a scholarship for graduate study from the University of Chicago. There she completed her MAT in Art History in 1967. Following graduation, Houlberg worked at the Nigerian Museum in Lagos, where she documented Yoruba sculpture, masquerades, religion, body art, and indigenous photography.
She began her teaching career at the University of Chicago as a lecturer on African art and African civilization, working there from 1971 to 1973. At the University of London, Houlberg earned her Masters degree in Anthropology, producing the thesis
Yoruba Twin Sculpture and Ritual
(1973). She also extensively photographed her travels abroad in Yorubaland. Between 1974 and 1990, Houlberg taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, Kalamazoo College, and Northwestern University. From 1974 to 2008 she continued teaching at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, lecturing on Yoruba art and ritual in West Africa and the New World, and the art and ritual of Vodou in Haiti.
Houlberg has lectured worldwide at numerous museums and symposiums since 1972, including in Lagos, Nigeria; Jacmel, Haiti; Toronto, Canada; Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; and Cologne, Germany. Her essays have been published in several issues of
African Arts
. Some of Houlberg's signicant publications include
Arts of the Water Spirits of Haitian Vodou,
in
Sacred Waters: Arts for Mami Wata and Other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora
(2008) and
Water Spirits of Haitian Vodou: Lasiren, Queen of Mermaids,
in
Mami-Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and the African-Atlantic World
(2008). The exhibition
Mami-Wata
at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (2009) featured her photographs.

Administration
Processing Information note
Processed by Aubrey Eiko Walter, NMAfA Intern, on June 1 - August 7, 2009. Encoded by Rihoko Ueno, December 2011. Edited by Eden Orelove, December 2016.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Aubrey Eiko Walter and Eden Orelove

Marilyn Houlberg Bibliography (* = Copies of articles available in the EEPA, See Series 29)
Marilyn Houlberg Bibliography (* = Copies of articles available in the EEPA, See Series 29)
*Cordwell, Justine M. Review of the March 1990 meeting of the Primitive Art Society of Chicago: Marilyn Houlberg on Art and life: the Ritual Cosmos of the Yoruba. Origins. 14(4) (1990): 1-2.
Houlberg, Marilyn.
Arts of the Water Spirits of Haitian Vodou.
In
Sacred Water Arts for Mami Wata and other Divinities in Africa and the Diaspora
. Bloomington [Ind.] Indiana UP, 2008.
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Collecting the Anthropology of African Art.
African Arts
9(3) (1976): 15-19, 91.
* Houlberg, Marilyn. Curriculum vitae (CV).
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Egungun Masquerades of the Remo Yoruba.
African Arts
. 11(3) (1978): 20-27, 100.
*Houlberg, Marilyn Hammersley.
Feed Your Eyes: Nigerian and Haitian Studio Photography.
Photographic Insight
. 1(2-3) (1988): 3-8.
* Houlberg, Marilyn. Foreword in
The Black Trans-Atlantic Experience: Street Life and Culture in England, Ghana, Jamaica, and the United States
. Stephen Marc, Photographer. Chicago, Il, University of Illinois Press, 1992.
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Haiti through Haitian Eyes.
Faces
. 8(6) (1992): 30-31.
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Headdress (Epa) Hunter, Nigeria, Yoruba.
In
For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Tishman collection
. Susan Mullin Vogel, ed. Pp. 119. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981.
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Ibeji Images of the Yoruba.
African Arts
. 7(1) (1973): 20-27, 91-92.
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Notes on Egungun Masquerades among the Oyo Yoruba.
African Arts
. 11(3)(1978): 56-61, 99.
* Houlberg, Marilyn.
Social Hair: Tradition and Change in Yoruba Hairstyles in Southwestern Nigeria.
In
Fabrics of Culture: The Anthropology of Clothing and Adornment
. Justine M Cordwell and Roland A. Schwarz, eds. Pp. 349-397. The Hague; New York: Mouton, 1979.
Houlberg, Marilyn.
The Texture of Change: Yoruba Cultural Responses to New Media.
Cultural Survival Quarterly
. 7(2) (1983): 14-16.
*Houlberg, Marilyn.
Twin figure with jacket, Nigeria, Yoruba.
In
For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Tishman collection
. Susan Mullin Vogel, ed. Pp. 100-101. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981.
Houlberg, Marilyn.
Water Spirits of Haitian Vodou: Lasiren, Queen of Mermaids.
In
Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas
. Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2008.
Houlberg, Marilyn.
Yoruba Twin Sculpture and Ritual
, 1973.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Access by appointment only. To make a research appointment, contact Archives staff at elisofonarchives@si.edu.
Conditions Governing Use note
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. For terms of use, contact Archives staff at elisofonarchives@si.edu.
Preferred Citation note
Marilyn Houlberg Nigeria Collection, EEPA 2005-002, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
Donated by Marilyn Houlberg, 2005.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Africa Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, African Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clothing and dress--Africa Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color slides Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Domestic scenes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egúngún (Cult) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ere ibeji Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ethnology--Nigeria Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Festivals Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fulani Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gelede (Yoruba rite) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hairstyles--Africa Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Igbo (African people) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lagos (Nigeria) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marketplaces Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Masks Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Masquerades Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nigeria Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nigerians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nuba Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographic prints Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pokot Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rites and ceremonies--Africa Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shrines Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tuaregs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Turkana Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vernacular architecture Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weavers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art in situ Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yoruba (African people) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
National Museum of African Art
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 708
Washington, DC, 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-4690
elisofonarchives@si.edu