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African Art

The Museum holds over 125 objects representing most of the traditional tribal styles of the peoples of West Africa. Many of the objects are either carved wooden masks or three-dimensional wooden sculptures. There are, however, a few items that take the form of various utilitarian items such as brass weights for measuring gold dust, loom heddle pulleys, hair combs, and an impressive carved wooden door. Some of the West African peoples represented are the Yoruba, Ibibio, Asante, Baule, Senufo, Bamana, Dogon, Dan and Mende. The African collection also includes a small number of works from central Africa, such as a finely-carved "Lovely Maiden" mask (mwana pwo) with raffia hair from Angola, and a number of woven raffia and reed mats from the Congo.

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Poro pounders
Children of Poro (A Pair of Ritual Pounders) (71.141 a and b)

Seated Female Shrine Figure
Seated Female Shrine Figure (71.144)


"Lovely Maiden" Mask (mwana pwo) (67.4)

Seated Figure
Seated Figure (74.50)

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Museum of Art and Archaeology | College of Arts and Science | University of Missouri
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