About Twiga Mbunda

Twiga Mbunda is an African Art collector, curator and dealer. She’s lived in San Francisco for thirty years and for 18 years, she is one of the few women in the US to own and run a Tribal Art gallery, the eponymous Twiga Gallery.

Twiga is from Tanzania and began collecting African Art in 1987. Her first piece was a mask from the Makonde tribe. At that time, very few people were familiar with Makonde art other than the work made in ebony. Twiga shared her knowledge of the Makonde works with other Tribal Art dealers who purchased important works from her. This helped establish her reputation as an important dealer of Tribal Art with an emphasis on African art.

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Her passion extends to educating visitors and collectors about the power, energy and history these artworks contain. As an African woman who grew up in a small village in Tanzania, her heart and soul is connected to these works. Her personal collection contains works that are as controversial as Africa itself. Twiga will correctly tell you that not all works needed to be used in order to be important as some people contend. This includes carved ivories from the master carvers of Benin that were commissioned by the Portuguese and are housed in museums all over the world. Or incredible Chieftan stools that were carved by the master carvers specifically to give to visiting dignitaries. The Chiefs would never give their personal thrones as some suspected. Tribal art works were intended to solve problems, heal wounds, celebrate life passages, love and death. Tribal artworks brought peace and united people. Twiga feels honored to share her collections with you as she sees her job as one who bridges cultures with stories, history and art. Twiga invites you to visit her gallery in San Francisco.