The FIA began collecting African works of art in 1973 with a generous gift of 65 works by Justice and Mrs. G. Mennen Williams. The collection is predominately made up of objects of everyday use, ceremonial, and ritual functions from the different regions and tribes throughout Africa with the majority of the works dating from the 19th and 20th century.

Highlights of the African Collection


Akua ‘Ba, early 20th century
Fante peoples

Wood with white bead necklace
1973.51


Ancestral Mask, 1927
Punu peoples

Wood with black, white (kaolin) and red pigment, leather, and fabric
2011.319


Animal Mask, n.d.
Guro peoples

Wood
1973.16


Body Mask, Ndimu, n.d.
Makonde peoples

Wood
2010.283


Bride's Hat, 20th century
Zulu peoples

Textile and pigment
2006.124


Divining Board, n.d.
Yoruba peoples

Wood
1973.47


Doyo Pibou Mask, Do Society, n.d.
Bobo peoples

Polychromed wood
1973.21


Face Mask, n.d.
Afikpo peoples

Wood and pigment
2007.121


Face Mask with Superstructure, n.d.
Dogon peoples

Polychromed wood
1973.55


Face Mask, Poro Society, 20th century
Guere peoples

Wood with fragments of leather, cloth and hair
1973.17


Flywhisk, Early–mid-20th century
Yombe peoples

Wood, metal and buffalo tail
2015.67


Game Board (Mankala), n.d.
Senufo peoples

Wood with thirty-nine nuts
1973.11


Helmet Mask, n.d.
Bobo peoples

Wood and twine
1973.66


Helmet Mask, Poro Society, 20th century
Senufo peoples

Polychromed wood
1973.9


Horseman (Jagunjagun), n.d.
Yoruba peoples

Wood
1973.64


Ibeji Figure (Twin Cult) - Male, n.d.
Yoruba peoples

Wood
1973.36


Ibeji Figures (Twin Cult) - Female, n.d.
Yoruba peoples

Wood
1973.35


Mask, early 20th century
Chokwe peoples

Wood, fiber and metal
2002.48


N'Tomo Mask, late 19th-early 20th century
Marka peoples

Wood and metal
2009.192


Ngil Mask, ca. 1900
Fang peoples

Wood and white kaolin
2011.321


Powder horn, ca. mid-1890's
Zulu peoples

Horn, brass and leather
2002.20


Snake Cult Mask, Gelede Society, n.d.
Yoruba peoples

Polychromed wood
1973.28


Yoruba Beaded Coronet, Orikogbofo, 20th century
Yoruba peoples

Natural fiber, cloth, and beads
2013.4