Since the beginning Africa Art has played in integral part in American history. Such variety includes rock art, images, wood sculptures, pottery masks and paintings to name a few. .
Africa contributed largely to one of the world's greatest civilizations that of ancient Egypt and Islamic Art. .
Africa is a large continent covering nearly 12 million square miles. There are approximately 40 countries in Africa such as Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Ghana, Algeria, Libya, Arabia and Somalia to name a few. .
Historically, the earliest coastal communities practiced iron working, and were mainly subsistence farmers and river fishers, who supplemented their economy with hunting, keeping livestock, fishing in the ocean, and trading with outsiders. Between 500 and 800 A.D. they shifted to a sea-based trading economy and began to migrate south by ship. In the following centuries, trade in goods from the African interior, such as gold, ivory, and slaves stimulated the development of market towns such as Mogadishu, Shanga, Kilwa, and Mombasa. By around the 9th century A.D., Africans, Arabs, and Persians who lived and traded on the coast had developed a lingua franca, Swahili, or Kiswahili, a language based on the Bantu language Sabaki that uses Arab and Persian loan words. They had also developed the distinctive Swahili culture, characterized by the almost universal practice of Islam, as well as by Arabic and Asian-influenced art and architectural styles.
However, the scramble for Africa of the late 19th century, during which the European powers divided East Africa among themselves, the hegemony of the sultan in Zanzibar gave way to European overrule. The colonial powers began to control trade in the interior, bypassing the Swahili middlemen. Today Salaam and Mombasa are the biggest port cities on the Swahili Coast; both have been significantly transformed by industrial development as well as by the migration of upcountry Africans.