These colorful beaded dolls are from the Ndebele people in Southern Africa. One of the smallest tribes of the region, the Ndebele are noted for their brightly colored clothing and bead work.
During courtship, a suitor will place a doll outside a young woman's hut, indicating his intention to propose marriage to her. When a young woman is preparing to marry, she is given a doll that she names and cares for. Her first child is then named for the doll.
The Benin Bronzes are a group of more than a thousand commemorative metal plaques that decorated the royal palace of the Benin Kingdom in modern-day Nigeria. Collectively, the Bronzes form the best known examples of Benin art, created by the Edo people from the thirteenth century, which also included other sculptures in brass or bronze, including some famous portrait heads and smaller pieces.
The metal pieces were made using lost-wax casting and are considered among the best sculptures made using this technique.
While the collection is known as the Benin Bronzes, like most West African "bronzes" the pieces are mostly made of brass of variable composition. There are also pieces made of mixtures of bronze and brass, of wood, of ceramic, and of ivory, among other materials.
The Yoruba are one of the largest African ethnic groups south of the Sahara Desert. They are, in fact, not a single group, but rather a collection of diverse people bound together by a common language, history, and culture. Within Nigeria, the Yoruba dominate the western part of the country.
Yoruba beadwork is considered to be among the most intricate and complex of the world. For the Yoruba people, beads are not only used to decorate ceremonial items such as headpieces, necklaces, drum aprons and sheaths, but also used for spiritual purposes by priests and diviners.