Africa Pavilion

A village of round huts representing 24 nations of sub-Saharan Africa stood on a broad platform erected on stilts above water. A giant model of a banyan tree towered above the platform. Built into the branches of the tree were small huts that made up the pavilion's restaurant. Its multi-level rooms were reached by a winding staircase that girdled the tree's massive trunk. The restaurant featured special delicacies of a number of regions.

Inside the pavilion's main gate were cages of lions, leopards and other animals lined the path to the movie theater. Around the theater was an exhibit area that displayed samples of Africa's natural resources, including copper, tin, rubber and diamonds.

Near the theater entrance were photographs, flags and a huge map. Inside was a 10 minute film that presented a geographical survey of Africa's scenic wonders and industrial development.

Huts sheltering antelopes, zebras, giraffes and exotic birds were interspersed among exhibits and sales huts. They displayed works of art in gold, silver and ivory from each of the participating nations. And in the pavilion's open-air entertainment area, tall graceful Watusi men from Rwanda performed spirited dances and demonstrated their prowess at high-jumping. Burundi drummers and West African dancers also performed.

Copyright © Jeffrey Stanton 1997
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