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A resource from the Horniman Museum

Midnight Robber

Midnight Robber 1996–1998

Charles Harrington

Horniman Museum and Gardens

This resource was created by Horniman Community Action Researcher, Scherin Barlow Massay, who is researching the connections between the Horniman Museum's collections and Guyanese masquerade. The resource engages learners with the history and music of African-Caribbean masquerade, and the characters of Guyanese masquerade. It can be downloaded here as a PDF, or viewed on the Horniman Museum's website.

We asked Scherin Barlow Massay about her spelling of 'Afrika' in this resource. She told us: 'author and educator Haki R. Madhubuti wrote From Plan to Planet Life Studies: The Need for Afrikan Minds and Institutions (1973), in which he explained that most vernacular or traditional languages on the continent spell Afrika with a 'K'. Those in the Afrikan diaspora who use that spelling acknowledge that much of their culture had its origins in the traditions and ideologies that enslaved people took to the Americas. By actively reclaiming their cultural identities, they aim to reconstruct the authentic self that is then aligned to an Afrikan worldview.'

Objects included in this resource


Objects from West Africa

The resource looks at the masquerade traditions of African cultures including the Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo peoples. More objects from these cultures can be found on Art UK, from collections across the UK.

Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is an inspiring, surprising, family-friendly, free attraction in South London's Forest Hill.

The Horniman has diverse collections of musical instruments, anthropology, and natural history, including a famous walrus. As well as the Museum's Galleries, there are 16 acres of Gardens, a live Animal Walk, and an acclaimed Aquarium to explore.

The Horniman has a well-established and popular learning programme, with around 40 schools session on offer, covering a range of topics. A fantastic Handling Collection of approximately 3,000 objects forms the backbone of the school programme, giving the pupils the opportunity to handle amazing objects, from part of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, to a whale's vertebra, to an armadillo charango!

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