Sabina Savage X ASAMA – A Partnership

Sabina Savage is delighted to partner with ASAMA for the launch of the SS21 collection, Divination Celebration.

Founded in 1996, ASAMA (the Association for the Protection of Masks), is a UNESCO credited NGO, working to promote and preserve traditional mask practices in West Africa. They help to maintain and educate around social practises, traditions and expressions, rituals and craftsmanship.

We will be donating 10% of the proceeds of online sales of the Divination Celebration collection to ASAMA to help further their important preservative, cultural and educational work.

As those who have explored the Divination Celebration collection will know, the designs are a colourful and energetic fusion of ancient and current divination rituals and techniques. One of the primary sources of inspiration was FESTIMA, a festival organised by ASAMA and held in Dédougou, Burkina Faso.

The Festival International des Masques et des Arts (International Festival of Masks and the Arts), or FESTIMA, is a cultural festival celebrating traditional African masks and rituals. Founded to help preserve traditional cultural practices in the modern age, FESTIMA features masks and traditions from several West African countries. It is currently held biennially in even-numbered years.

FESTIMA also includes seminars on historical and cultural topics, storytelling competitions, educational events for children, and a marketplace.

There is also a stationary exhibition of African masks at FESTIMA, created to raise awareness of the dire need for the safeguarding and conservation of the masks and costumes. The main theme of the exhibition is to show the diversity of African masks and the threats to this cultural heritage.

The display is aimed at two main groups: young people and businesses, so that both can better appropriate their heritage. The masks are always displayed mounted atop their costumes and accessories.

‘It is above all a question, in a context of so-called modernisation and religious intransigence, of reconciling the metastability of tradition with dynamic contemporary changes and the cultural aspect of masks and dogmas. – ASAMA

In 2020, ASAMA was awarded the Jeonju International Prize for the Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

‘This prize is not an outcome, far from it, but a challenge, an invitation to climb more levels in the promotion and safeguarding of ICH. ASAMA will always work with self-sacrifice to transmit this inherited or (re) created cultural heritage while making it a lever for endogenous development.’ – ASAMA