Original artwork.
“La Griotte II” - 14 x 17 in. (36 x 43 cm), graphite on bristol.

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La Griotte II

14x17 graphite on bristol.

For the Malinké, dancing plays a very important role. Music exists for dancing; in fact the word for song, donkilo, is made up of the root words don (dance) and kilo (to call), so could be loosely translated to “come dance.” The music calls both young and old to participate in a joyful and healthy act of expression and joy. Here, a griotte woman shows her joy for the music at one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year.

Drawing on Culture

An Artist’s West Africa Travelogue


In Drawing on Culture, Kobrenski shares his artwork, stories, and insights about culture and worldviews with the keen eye of an anthropologist so that we might, in turn, see our own cultural worldview with new eyes.

More than thirty new artworks from his time in Guinea are compiled here alongside his own field notes and essays. His portrait drawings inspire conversations about diversity, tradition, and why ancient ways of knowing are now more relevant than ever.

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“Dave Kobrenski is a gifted artist and musician, and a better anthropologist than many of the PhDs I know. Here is a fine text that depicts people as they are, illustrates their essence, and demonstrates the importance of appreciating, without appropriating, their lives and ways of being.”

Katherine Donahue, Ph.D, Professor Emerita, Anthropology