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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Central Africa

The Hood’s Central African collection consists of about two hundred objects, many of which came to the museum as gifts from Evelyn A. and William B. Jaffe, Dartmouth Class of 1964H, the Harry A. Franklin Family Collection, and Claire and Frederick R. Mebel, Class of 1935. This collection includes canonical examples of colonial-era sculpture such as a Punu mukudj mask from Gabon, an exquisite Kongo power figure (nkisi), a Yaka divination witness and power figure, a Kuba oracle board and a Pende oracle figure, a Vili staff, and a Yombe memorial figure of a clan leader (mfumu kanda), all from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Also of special interest is the collection of about forty-five knives and daggers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, many of which were given to the museum by Dana Mead, Ernst Anspach, and Paul S. Cantor, Class of 1960, and Robert L. Ripley, Class of 1939H. Due to the collecting efforts of Tamara Northern, former curator of ethnographic art and a leading scholar in Cameroonian art, the collection is especially strong also in the arts of Cameroon and includes a striking Banyang Ekpe Society medicine mat (orongbe), a Bamileke beaded elephant mask, and a male mask from the Eastern Grassfields.

Last Updated: 5/24/07