Clare C. O. Hart M. Sc., is a graduate of Lady Mabel College,
Yorkshire, England  from where she received her diploma in
Physical Education from the University of Sheffield. At Lady
Mable College Clare specialized in Art and English Language and
obtained certification to coach at the olympic level in long jump and
hurdles. She is a silver medalist in Ballroom Dancing from the Ballroom
Dancing Institute of Great Britain. Following graduation she taught
High School in England and, in 1960, moved to Moscow, USSR, where she
taught at the Anglo-American diplomatic school for a year. In
1961 Clare moved to Johannesburg, South Africa and taught at the Haring
School of Swimming and the Johannesburg School of Physical Education.
Her three sons Vaughan, James and Anthony were all born in South Africa.
Clare Hart's special interests include African masks, and fabrics from Peninsular India.
Moving to the USA in 1966 Clare completed a combined Master of Science degree in Dance and Anthropology at Louisiana State University , presenting a thesis on:
"The most common form of African sculpture is the mask. The thesis was an attempt to demonstrate the function of the mask and describe the several types of masks and masked costumes used in masquaerades. The multiplicity of function served by masquerade performances was illustrated by describing the masked dances performed by several different ethnic groups in Black Africa."
"Cultural practices associated with the masking tradition were noted for all the groups studied and cross cultural comparisons made among them to determine whether any common practices exist."
"The major findings of the study were that masquerades are less powerful instruments of government than they were fifty years ago, and they are now performed mainly as a method of catharsis and for entertainment. Masquerades are performed today mainly by groups adhering to traditional animistic beliefs; the advent of Islamization or Christianization has tended to discourage the use of representational art. The most common cultural traits are that masking is predominantly a male role; sculpturing is a totally male profession; all groups studies are agriculturalists; and descent is traced patrilineally in almost all cases."
Clare [top] at rock climbing school, Derbyshire, England, 1955