Location: The Met

Illuminated Gospel
This 15th century manuscript is based on Egyptian Coptic sources, but its creators imbued it with local flair.

Illuminated Gospel

Detail, Crucifix, 16th-17th century, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Angola; Republic of the Congo, solid cast brass, 27.3 cm high (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
During its brief fling with Christianity, the Kongo kingdom merged western iconography with local aesthetics.

Crucifix (Kongo peoples)

Memorial Head (Ntiri), 17th century (?), Ghana, Adanse traditional area, Fomena, Akan people, 31.3 x 19 x 14.5 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Since the 16th century, Akan women potters have created ceramic heads to serve as the focus of funerary rituals.

Memorial Head (Akan peoples)

Feline-Head Bottle
Multiple points of view are combined in the decoration of this vessel, tip it and see!

Feline-Head Bottle

Detail, Helmet Mask, 19th-20th century, Sierra Leone, Moyamba region, Mende or Sherbro peoples, wood, metal, 47.9 x 22.2 x 23.5cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Masks like this represent a guardian spirit and allude to an idealized female beauty in Mende and Sherbro culture.

Helmet Mask