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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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Collectors see beauty in African art

Collectibles used in American homes come from many countries. Crafts from Africa have been especially popular since the 1960s. Many modern European and American artists were influenced by traditional African pieces.


By Ralph and Terry Kovel, King Features Syndicate. Found at Orlando Sentinel  July 31, 2005

Yoruba chairMembers of the Yoruba tribe made this 35-inch beaded chief's chair circa 1960. In May, it sold for $644.

Old pieces are in museums and are expensive, but newer pieces of African art are affordable and are being imported and sold in the United States. Carved wooden statues, canes, fertility symbols, colorful woven textiles in traditional designs, pottery, clothing and beaded pieces such as hats, figurines or chairs are available.

The most popular pieces in gift stores are masks, figures, textiles and pottery. The Yoruba people of Nigeria, Bénin and Togo have a special talent for beadwork. Hats, figures, baskets, belts, masks, aprons, crowns and several types of chairs are covered with beads. The beads are woven into designs showing animals and geometric symbols. Many colors are used.

The resulting art shows the talent of the craftsmen. Recently a beaded chief's chair made circa 1960 sold at auction for about $640.

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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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