African art is the visual arts of native Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa. It encompasses media such as as sculpture, painting, pottery, rock art, textiles, and masks. It is often assumed that the African artist is constrained by tradition. But, although there are traditions of art in which the expectations of patrons demand repetition of a set form in African art, there are also traditions of precolonial origin that demand a high level of inventive originality. The important point is that particular traditions encourage creativity.