The New Orleans Times-Picayune meets Drissa Sanogo, a dealer in African art out of the French Market:
Foreign tourists are often surprised to discover antique, tribal art in New Orleans, and sometimes stay in touch to buy more. “European people know African art, but they don’t know how to get it, ” Sanogo said. He is able to obtain unique pieces through a network of old friends in West Africa who regularly send shipments of goods varying in value from $60 to $2,500 or more. The trades are based on trust, he said.
Sanogo specializes in tribal art from Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin and Zaire, including ceremonial masks, wood carvings, bronze sculptures and beadwork. In Ivory Coast alone there are 67 tribes, although only 35 or 40 make masks, said Sanogo, who descends from the Senoufo tribe. A civil war since 2002 has made it difficult to obtain artwork from Ivory Coast.