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Glasgow Museums has a collection of approximately 20,000 objects relating to non-European cultures. These date from AD 50 to the present. Asia is best represented, followed by Africa, Oceania, the Middle East and the Americas.
This collection encompasses a vast array of material, including South Asian textiles, jewellery, furniture, religious items and weapons; Japanese arms and armour and domestic items such as ceramics, textiles and paper; and a small number of Korean artefacts. In addition, there are also objects from the Middle East and Central Asia; African cultural artefacts such as ceremonial masks, weapons, body ornaments, costume, musical instruments and ritual objects; a South East Asian collection; and Oceanic material consisting of carved figures and totems, weapons, domestic implements, ritual apparatus and body ornaments. Also represented are South and Central American ceramics, textiles, tools, mummy wrappings and stone carving; Peruvian pre-Colombian archaeological material; and North American costume, tools, ceramics, body ornaments, masks, toys, hunting and fishing equipment, contemporary artwork, crafts and domestic tools.
Significant items include an ancestral screen form the Kalabari people of the Niger River Delta in Nigeria, ceremonial turtle posts from Dauar Island in the Torres Straits and a replica Ghost Dance shirt presented by a descendent of a noted Lakota warrior.