Early African Art

African Art before the 18th Century

Tile fragment that has a floral setting.
Ushabti of Senkamanisken's sarcophagus shows the influence of Egyptian burials had spread to Sudan. Uses hieroglyphic inscriptions on the sarcophagus.
The Spacer Bead would have likely been on a necklace at one point. The hieroglyphics also show that the Egyptian culture was spreading.
This piece has the king on one side and a god on the other. This shows how closely the two were related to the people of the time. Use of Hieroglyphics.
Records of 11 deeds of sale, wills, and other valuable papers. The recording of monetary transactions was not as important at the time and was different from the ideas of recording the food supply or important events.
Necklace with two seated Nommo figures and rectangular pendants hanging from the necklace.
Head of Nigerian court woman, with cutting of designs into the skin to mark identity, status and beauty.
Terracotta crowned head. The calm face, as well as the elaborate crown, suggests that this head represents an Ife king. Designs in skin also help identify him.
This depiction shows the importance of animals in African culture. Arrow shaped nose
Depending on the actual date of the piece the person may be a christian that is praying.
A wealthy individual in the prime of his life on horseback. Arrow shaped nose
Figure with a combination of male and female characteristics. Arrow shaped nose.
Depictions of Christian icons in Ethiopia was caused by the European colonization of Africa.
Intertwining and colorful Canon page found in Ethiopia. Also shows the prominence of Christianity in their society.
A display of both New and Old Testament Icons. All of the icons have halos indicating their religious value. There is also a use of geometric patterns above and below the icons.
Ethiopian brass processional cross. Indicative of the spread of Christianity.
A Nigerian copper plaque that depicts a European soldier that is holding a mace.
Plaque of a Benin warrior. The plaque would have been located on a palace wall.
A Benin warrior that looks to be prepared for war. He is wearing a leopard tooth necklace, coral bead collar, shield, and sword, which help identify him as a soldier.
This gong was used by the oba(king) during certain ceremonies. This one depicts the oba being supported by family and his general.
Ivory horn that was made in Africa, but then exported out to Europe, because ivory was a luxurious item.
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