Although the Hearst Museum now has about 16,800 artifacts from Africa, the Museum had very little from the continent until the directorship of pioneering Africanist William Bascom (1957–79). The ethnographic holdings are particularly rich in documented collections from Nigeria and other areas of West and Central Africa, and include wood sculpture, basketry and pottery, musical instruments, brass castings and other metalwork, and textiles. The largest single cultural collection comes from the Yoruba of Nigeria—numbering about 1,300 items—making it one of the largest and most comprehensive in North America.
The Online Collections database of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology contains records for over 210,000 objects from our collections.
Click on image to the left or enter a keyword to start the search (opens new browser window).