African Textiles


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Central and West African textiles in our collection were used in ceremonies and domestic settings. A highlight is raffia cloth from the Kuba kingdom in the central Congo basin. From North Africa, we have textiles from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, including Berber textiles.


Patterned tunic with fringe

Royal tunic, Bamum people, Cameroon, 1900-1925, 2007.30.3.

Textile fragment showing figure holding basket

Hanging with figure holding a basket, Egypt, 4th/5th century, 71.10.

Long red textile with floral and geometric motifs

Sash, Morocco, Fez, possibly 18th century, 74.5.

Detail of black and white textile

Tent panel (detail), West Africa, Mali, 1940s, 1977.23.2.

Beaded crown depicting a face

Crown, Benin, 20th century, 2017.14.12.

Blue textile patterned with white circles

Wrapped dress, Cameroon, Hausa people, c. 1950, 24.5.

textile with embroidered flower pattern

Curtain, Algeria, 18th/19th century, 76.1.

Red textile with tufts

 Woman's festive headcover, Tunisia, Kerkennah Islands, 1900-1950, 2003.26.2.


Keep Exploring

Learn more about the artworks featured on this page and other examples from our collections.