Located in the Portland Art District one block west of Monument Square.
Tuesday - Friday 10:30 - 4:00.
Saturday 12:00 to 4:00
Phone: (207) 871-7188
Who's Who at MofAC
Museum Director: Oscar O. Mokeme
Vice-President: Katie Pulsifer Martin
Secretary: Lorraine Kardash
Gail Edgerly, Ann Serafin
Mr. and Mrs. Christy Achebe,
Arthur Aleshire, Mark Bessire, HRH Chief P.C. Ezenwa, Judy Ellis Glickman,
Larry Irish, Christopher Lee,
Marta Morse, Sir CC Okafor, Simon Ottenberg, Ph.D, Erin Saveall, RN,
Molly Castro, Kathleen Coffin
About the Museum
The Museum of African Culture was founded by Oscar Mokeme and Art Aleshire August 8, 1998 in Portland Maine. It is the only institution in northern New England devoted exclusively to sub-Saharan African arts and culture. There are over 1,500 pieces in the collection of the Museum, ranging from large-scale, elaborately carved wooden masks to smaller scale figures, cast copper alloy (bronze) figures, textiles, utilitarian objects, ceramic, bone, ivory and composite objects.
The oldest mask in the collection dates back to 1600 AD. Many of the bronzes are 1,000 years old and the ivory flutes and clay vessels are up to 2,000 years old. These pieces are important as they preserve the religious and cultural legacy of Africa that is fast disappearing in a globalized world.
Our permanent exhibit features an extensive display of African masks. African masks have many different functions. They are used for initiations, rites of passage, funerals, agricultural ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, harvest festivals, and veneration of the ancestors. They are used to enforce laws of the land and exemplify good moral behavior. In traditional Africa, masks are central and essential to the spiritual and cultural life of this continent.
In addition to the Permanent Gallery, we have a Heritage Gallery with rotating exhibits featuring themes that include art from all over Sub-saharan Africa. Our Contemporary Gallery has rotating exhibits as well, featuring art inspired by the African Diaspora, and home of the Black Artist Forum.
Oscar O. Mokeme
Oscar Mokeme is the Founder and the Executive Director of The Museum of African Culture in Portland Maine. He has spent most of his adult life collecting, preserving and interpreting African humanistic art. He also conducts workshops on traditional healing practices of the Nigerian Igbo people.
Mokeme comes from a long lineage of Igbo Royal family healer practitioners called "Umu-dibia" He is a direct inheritor of this sacred ancient wisdom. He holds the traditional priesthood title of Ugo-Orjiand Ozo-dimani of Aborji-Oba in his native country Nigeria. He has been awarded the traditional Arts Master, as a Traditional Healer by The Maine Arts Commission and was awarded the Jefferson Award for Cultural diversity in the State of Maine. His workshops and presentations blend traditions and have touched millions of people worldwide.