The peoples in current-day Africa have, of course, also given shape to their beliefs in an artistically impressive manner. Statues and masks, weapons, prestige items, objects for everyday use and many more are witness to the imagination of their makers and users. For the benefit of the visitors, this part of the exhibition has been divided up in two parts. To wit, one part dealing with (formerly) non-Portuguese Africa and one part with (formerly) Portuguese Africa. Not all the peoples of Africa are as yet represented in The Berardo Collection, but the present display gives an excellent overview of what has been – and still is – achieved artistically all over the continent.
Although many of the traditional artistic expressions are still very much alive in Africa today, new art forms have also come to flourish. Some artists, such as Cherno T. Camará from Guinea-Bissau, have opted to continue with their local art – albeit for the benefit of interested outsiders. More particularly, this artist has reproduced the masks and statues that were – and still are – used by local societies. Others, such as the Makonde sculptors from Mozambique and Tanzania, embarked on the production of totally new forms with a traditional subject matter. Their shetani and ujamaa sculptures are a vivid portrayal of the beliefs that are very much alive today.