"Decorative" collection is, perhaps, a misnomer. Africans rarely
decorated for the sake of decoration as we in the Western world
might . Decoration conveyed instead religious rites, tribal identity,
connections to ancestors, etc. The masks and sculptures were, and
still are, used in ceremonies. However, we recognize modern design
that lends itself to our aesthetics and, as such, blends easily
to placement with furniture of all styles. The pieces selected here
are more affordable than those in the Museum Quality collection,
but that should not be taken as a reflection of poorer quality.
All are authentic, have been used in ceremonies, or have been created
for the use in ceremonies. Most of all, the pieces are striking
in their simplicity and animism and cry out to be displayed . These
pieces can form the nucleus of a collection of West African art
as the collector or decorator becomes familiar with them.