TRANSITION (1920-1945)

EXPANSION (1945-1960)

CULMINATION (1960-1980)

The Americas
01. Shango dance wand

02. Divination bowl, woman with chicken

03. Divination tray

04. Stool

05. Royal foot cushion, beaded

06. Colonial figurine: polo player

07. Crest mask

08. Painted drum

09. Double-face helmet mask

10. Cosmetics container, tortoise shell and ostrich eggshell beads

11. Woman's shawl, embroidered silk (detail)

Oceania and Australia

RECENT YEARS (1980-2001)


The museum's substantial African collections are due primarily to William R. Bascom. When he arrived in Berkeley in 1957 as professor of anthropology and director of the museum, there were about 1,500 catalogue entries from Africa; by the time of his retirement in 1979 the total had grown to 14,000. This included hundreds of objects that he and his wife had donated, as well as those from his graduate students at Northwestern and the University of California. Bascom's own focus was the Yoruba peoples of Nigeria. His Yoruba collection, one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country, is rich in daily and household items, in addition to the fine ritual sculpture more commonly found in art museums.

Stages in the carving of the Shango staff by Duga.
Photographs by William Bascom, 1950 (HMA).