Christine Price emphasizes that African art is an art of action, a necessary and integral part of African life, and her photos of woven and printed textiles, gold jewelry, beadwork, decorated calabashes and palace furnishings -- even the clay and metal sculpture which has a spiritual or ceremonial function -- attest to the enrichment such integration brings to daily existence. Occasional photos of craftsmen at work and objects in action further demonstrate the continuity, and a final chapter on contemporary African art reminds us that ""an art that does not change becomes as dry and dead as modern copies of old African masks."" From the forceful, 2,000-year-old terracotta Nok culture head. . .to the tie-dyed fabric which will astound any dabbler in Rit-dipped T-shirts. . .to the delightful small metal figures of the Dahomey court, it's a breathtakingly impressive compilation, handsomely arranged and concisely, intelligently annotated.