Three children explore near the entrance to the Africa exhibition. In the foreground is a sign with a drawing of the bust of a man wearing glasses and a suit and tie with the words “Leopold Sedar Senghor” written underneath.


Category: Exhibition

Exhibition Summary


Included with Basic admission

Targeted age groups

All ages


Anchor: #explore-this-vast-continent-rich-with-history-and-cultural-complexity

Explore this vast continent rich with history and cultural complexity.

There are 54 countries in Africa—home to more than a billion residents who communicate in as many as 2,000 unique languages. Our Africa exhibition offers a glimpse into the varied cultures and environments across this vast continent.

Experience the sights and sounds of life on the African continent, from a bustling city in Senegal to the rainforest of Rwanda, from a camel caravan deep in the Sahara to an industrial workshop in Ethiopia. Collection artifacts, cultural displays, and scientific findings come together to shed light on Africa throughout history.

The Bamum (baa-MOOM) have lived for centuries in western Cameroon. The double-headed snake became their royal symbol in the 1800s, a reminder of King Mbuembue’s heroic army that fought enemies on two fronts at the same time—and won.

Broad, flat sandals provide extra support on soft, hot sand for the Tuareg, nomadic people who live in the North African desert.

Sights and sounds tell small parts of a huge story.

Exhibition highlights:

  • Experience a Muslim Tabaski celebration in Dakar, Senegal
  • See beaded masks and carved ivory tusks
  • Peek inside a nomadic Tuareg family’s goatskin tent
  • Learn from scientists who work to protect African animals and preserve their habitats

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