Chapter A frica The continent of Africa spans 11.7 billion square miles, contains 54 countries, and is home to more than 1.2 billion people (16 percent of the world’s population). In addition, most of the continent was colonized during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These British, German, French, Belgian, and Portuguese settlers brought their cultures with them and left their distinct marks on African decorative arts. Decorative art in Africa is a mélange of tribal design, colonial influence, and modern style. 1

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