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The Okapi: watercolor and ink

Popculture, colonialism, cultural assimilation and appropriation all have something in common. Can anything become mainstream? The African wears Victorian garb with European pith helmet. The Victorian dons the West African Fulani straw hat. This karmatic exchange is the Okapi of our brave new world.

An Okapi, once a speculation of myth, called the African Unicorn, was a mysterious Congolese animal, a relative of the giraffe. An English colonial administrator, Harry Johnston, was shown pieces of the Okapi's striped skin and skull by pygmy inhabitants of the Congo. The pygmies fed his curiosity of the creature for saving them from being abducted by a showman for exhibition. Jonston's discovery became a media event in 1901.

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