Welcome to the African Art Collection at FSU! This collection is dedicated for students to explore African arts, religions, philosophies, and cultures through ritually and socially significant objects such as masks, headrests, and utensils. Highlighting the diverse lives of groups from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the collection promotes a greater understanding of diverse cultures and their impact on the world. The collection is made possible by the generous donations of James and Beatrice Anderson and Thomas Carroll.

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  • Standing Figure

    Standing figure with a large head, ringed neck, long torso, short legs, and large feet. The head shows a stylized coiffure with hanging aluminum rings, simple facial features, and a notched nose as well as incised scarification. The upper torso shows incised scarification and arms and hands are held close to the body. The lower torso is composed of multi-protrusions simulating a dress or a costume. The figure is carved from dense hardwood, is stained, and is highly patinated. A cord with beads encircles the figure.
  • Face Mask

    Face mask with raised eyebrows, small, stylized ears, and a wide-open mouth. The mask displays extensive incised scarification on the forehead and cheeks. The entire mask is coated with an encrusted patina and the areas around the eyes show discolored white kaolin.
  • Mask

    Flat-panel mask with a raised upper section showing a carved v-shaped coiffure, incised reverse V-shaped eyes, and a wide nose. The lower section of the panel shows an incised small horizontal mouth. The mask which was hung in a shrine is painted with dark red and black areas of pigment. There are also traces of white paint.
  • Cult Figure

    A cult figure is composed of a head, torso, and flared base. The heart-shaped face has simple features including coffee-bean-shaped eyes, a long nose, and a simple horizontal mouth. The figure is carved from a light semi-hardwood and is coated with a mixture of white kaolin and palm oil.
  • Face Mask

    Face mask with domed forehead carved beard, coffee-bean-shaped eyes, prominent cheekbones, long nose, and open pursed mouth. The exterior of the mask is coated with a brown/gray patina which is encrusted. The interior is polished and patinated.
  • Ritual Object

    Soft stone panel carved in the form of a face with deep-drilled eyes and incised facial features. This very unusual ritual object has an oil/waxy surface; it shows great age and wear.
  • Face Mask

    Narrow face mask with a long-notched nose, oval eyes, and an open mouth with simulated teeth. Mask has incised scarification, areas of red and brown pigment, and an encrusted patina. The reverse side of the mask shows a dark, and shiny patina.
  • Narrow Fetish Mask

    Long, narrow fetish mask on a custom base. The mask has a high domed head, large coffee bean eyes, a large triangle-shaped nose, and a large open mouth. The mask is carved from light-colored hardwood and is highly patinated; it shows areas of repair by the hands of people who actually used the mask.
  • Figural Knife

    Figural knife with iron blade and hilt in the form of a kneeling woman. The figure shows a typical long coiffure, natural facial features a long neck, a long torso with vertical scarification, small breasts, and long arms touching the abdomen; she kneels on a pedestal. The figure is carved from semi-hardwood and is stained and patinated. The end of the metal blade is bent upward.
  • Standing Figure

    Standing hermaphrodite figure with a large flat head, star-shaped eyes, a thin nose, a horizontal mouth with simulated teeth, and a thick-ringed neck. The figure shows long arms joined at the abdomen, female breasts and male and female genitalia, short legs, and small feet. The figure is carved from hardwood and is stained, and highly patinated.
  • Fetish Figure

    Small fetish mask with incised coiffure and natural facialfeatures. The mask shows incised scarification on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. It is carved from light semi-hardwood and is stained and highly patinated.
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