The items in this part of the collection come from a wide range of locations in western, eastern and southern Africa. They mostly date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the types of objects include weapons, domestic and ceremonial items, musical instruments and personal items such as jewellery.

This collection mainly documents the activities of people from the Inverclyde area during the era of colonialism in Africa. It includes a collection of ironwork from West Africa and items from the battlefield of Isandlhuana, the great battle between the Zulus and the British Army. Other items of interest include a manuscript from Ethiopia and ceremonial adzes of the Tiv people of northern Nigeria.

See thousands of images and records from the collections of the McLean Museum and Inverclyde Archives on our Collections Online website. Use the link on the left of this page to take you there.
Pwo mask made by the Chokwe people, Congo - 20th century - 2006.15 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Small Zulu shield from the site of the battle of Isandlhuana, South Africa - 1993.25 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Asante wooden stool from Ghana - 19th century - 1987.271 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Headrest from Ethiopia - 19th century - 1981.927 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Fan from northern Nigeria - circa 1910 - 1987.232 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Detail of the head of a ceremonial adze - Tiv people, northern Nigeria - 19th century - 1987.273 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Woman's cloak made from antelope hide from South Africa - Early 20th century - 2005.78 ©McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock.