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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Art of Africa

Lobi Peoples (Burkina Faso), Stool, 20th century, wood, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Dileep and Martha Mehta, 2013.17.21

The Museum collection holds examples of the traditional arts of Africa that were produced by makers from many ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa during the 20th century. Masks, figurative sculpture, stools and chairs, textiles, and a variety of other objects provide vivid evidence of the lives and diverse religious beliefs of the people who made and used them. While art could serve as a static display, in most instances it would have been part of a larger multi-media event that involved processions, music, and dance. Many of the cultural traditions for which these objects were created have changed significantly, as people now choose to live lives impacted by national and international political structure, western-style educational systems, and conversion to religions such as Christianity or Islam.