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Arts of Africa

2005.259 Zulu Vessel For Serving Beer Izikhamba
Vessel for Serving Beer (Ukhamba), Mid-20th century. KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Gift of Keith Achepohl. 

Encompassing intricate masks, statuary, jewelry, beadwork, textiles, carved reliefs, and stone and ceramic vessels, the arts of Africa collection reflects over 5,000 years of the continent’s great diversity and complexity. The collection of ancient Egyptian art features vibrantly painted stelae (stone slabs), a striking basalt statue of the falcon god Horus, and the richly decorated coffin of Paankhenamun. Works of art from across the continent dating to the 11th through the 20th century include a pair of Tyi Wara antelope headdresses from Mali, a carved elephant tusk from the Benin Kingdom in Nigeria, a royal veranda post carved by artist Olowe of Ise, and other significant wood carvings from West and Central Africa. The works in the collection attest to the creativity and aesthetic sensibilities of African artists and their patrons, showcasing the cultural, geographical, and historical expanse of Africa.

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