This selection of African art is inspired by the San Diego Zoo’s new Africa Rocks exhibit! Continue your journey through Africa by exploring their new habitats, which spotlight the amazing biodiversity found on the African continent.

A significant portion of the Museum’s collection is dedicated to arts of daily life from the continent of Africa. Examples of furniture, utensils, apparel, musical instruments, ceramics, ritual and ceremonial objects and more are represented.

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Highlights

<em>Chiwara</em> Headdress thumbnail

Chiwara Headdress

20th Century
Mali

In Mali, a chiwara  is a mythological hero that is part human, part antelope.

Mask thumbnail

Mask

20th Century
Democratic Republic of Congo

This mask’s colors, and costume all have symbolic meaning…

Shoulder's Cloth (<em>Kente</em>) thumbnail

Shoulder's Cloth (Kente)

c. 1900-1932
Ghana

From the Ashanti people of Ghana, kente is a royal and sacred cloth and worn only in times of great importance.

Panel thumbnail

Panel

c. 1960
Benin

This appliquéd and sewn cotton banner is typical of the Fon people of Benin, whose textile tradition goes back some 300 years

Protective Figure thumbnail

Protective Figure

20th century
Nigeria

For the Yoruba, birds allude to creation and the mystical powers of women.

Chief’s Stool thumbnail

Chief’s Stool

20th Century
Cameroon

Stools in Africa carry social meaning signifying clan or rank or individual identification.

Butterfly (<em>Yehoti</em>) Mask thumbnail

Butterfly (Yehoti) Mask

20th Century
Burkina Faso

Can you guess the wingspan of this carved wooden butterfly mask?

Asafo Flag (<em>frankaa</em>) thumbnail

Asafo Flag (frankaa)

1950s
Ghana

These flags communicate complex company rivalries and secret emblems and share a violent history.

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Africa Rocks!

We’re inspired to partner with the San Diego Zoo to give away 4 passes as part of their #sdzooAfricaRocks grand opening!

Follow @mingeimuseum on Instagram to join in!