Unmasking Riverblindness

If you like African art, take a look at these masks, sculptures, and fashions from the Democratic Republic of Congo. All — plus an abundance of jewelry — will be on sale at a silent auction, part of the African Soiree to benefit the United Front Against Riverblindness on Saturday, March 3 at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Registration starts at 4, and the silent auction starts at 4:30. Your chances of a bargain are good — because only ticket holders can bid. The $50 ticket ($25 for students) also includes a sumptuous feast  (each cook does the specialty of his or her country) plus great entertainment — African dances and a fashion show

And if you like African art, you have probably perused the smallish but excellent collection at the Princeton University Art Museum. Kristen Windmuller (left), a Yale graduate now getting her PhD from Princeton, will give a tour of “Ghanaian Gold: Objects from the Treasury of the Asantehene” on Sunday, February 26, at 3 p.m. The Asante people are known for their proverbs, Windmuller says, and these proverbs relate to the art.. “Bu Me Be” is a collection of the proverbs, translated, by Peggy Appiah and her son Kwame Anthony Appiah, a professor at the university.So many African treasures in just one week — the expert’s view at the art museum and the buyer’s delight at the African Soiree. Here’s an overview of the items for Saturday, March 3. All proceeds go to help prevent the socially disruptive disease, riverblindness, which starts with an excruciatingly itchy rash, and when it leads to blindness, children must leave school to be full-time caregivers for family members. There is a drug for riverblindness, provided free by Merck & Co., but it is a challenge to get the drug to remote villages and ensure that every person takes the drug once a year for at least 10 years. Call 609-924-2613 or go to riverblindness.org to get tickets. Free offstreet parking is available. 

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