to the Exhibit
University of Pennsylvania Museum (UPM) has engaged in
archaeological and ethnographic research and collecting in
Africa since the late 19th century. The UPM's African
Collection, which dates back to the late 19th Century,
consists of more than 10,000 artifacts from all regions of
the continent. Some of these artifacts are on permanent
exhibition to the public. The rest are available to approved
scholars by appointment.
Henry Usher Hall, Curator of General Ethnology, led the first Museum-sponsored
expedition to sub-Saharan Africa. He spent seven months conducting ethnographic
research among the Sherbro peoples of Sierra
During Hall's research trip to Sierra Leone, he collected many artifacts
that are today considered to be one of the UPM's major ethnographic collections.
Several of the objects seen in Hall's photographs are on display in the
images presented here have been selected from a larger collection of photographs
and records in the University
of Pennsylvania Museum Archives.
The Archives include a broad selection of papers devoted to ethnographic
and linguistic research in Africa, as well as photographs, films, maps,
drawings, and tape recordings.
include field notes, bibliographies, and textual commentaries that provide
ethnographic information about the way of life of the Sherbro people and
others--including the Mende, Krim, and Temne peoples--who lived among
them. Hall also published a book on the results of his work, The
Sherbro of Sierra Leone
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1938).