Oyotunji Village/Yemoja Priests

Image Not Available Due to Copyright Restrictions

Exhibition Label
In 1981, Nance traveled to Beaufort County, South Carolina, to photograph the people of Oyotunji Village, a small community founded in 1970 that combined Black Nationalist ideology with aspects of Yoruba and Fon (Nigerian) culture. The traditional apparel worn by the Yemoja priests and the markings on the buildings give an otherworldly feel to the scene. But in the center, between the structures, Nance included a car that identities the picture as a modern image. Nance shot and printed the photograph with the crisp tonality characteristic of the documentary style for which she is well known.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012
Oyotunji Village/Yemoja Priests
On View
Not on view.
sheet: 15 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (40.4 x 50.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase made possible by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment and the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program

  • Landscape – South Carolina – Sheldon
  • Figure group
  • Occupation – religion – clergy
  • Ceremony – religion
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI