Typical of art from the eastern regions of the continent, the Hood’s collection of over three hundred East African objects is made up primarily of body adornment and utilitarian objects, such as a coiled basket from Sudan, a Nuer ceramic pot, a Kikuyu snuff box and beaded apron, a Nyoro drinking pot from Uganda, and a Maasai woman’s iron neck ornament. The few religious items in this collection include Coptic scrolls from Ethiopia and an Islamic prayer board from Uganda. Among the objects acquired by Dartmouth College from the Museum and Art Gallery of Reading, England, in 1939, almost half originated from Uganda, including two ceremonial scepters made for King Mwanga II (1868-1903), the last monarch of an independent Buganda. Many of the Ugandan objects were collected by the Reverend R. H. Leakey (father of the famous anthropologist Louis S. B. Leakey), who traveled to Uganda in the late nineteenth century. Recent acquisitions from Tanzania extend the scope of this collection to include figurative sculpture such as a Shambaa healer’s staff and a figure of a slave, a variety of Tanzanian medicine gourds, a rare Makonde breastplate, and a Gogo initiation post.
Last Updated: 5/24/07