The photographs, shot by Mario Testino, show Nyong'o dancing with fellow Luo women in western Kenya and walking through Lake Victoria's Dunga Beach.
"Being able to use my platform to expand and diversify the African voice," was "meaningful" Nyong'o told Vogue. "I feel very passionate about that" she said.
Nyong'o was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents and raised in Kenya. She stars in Disney's upcoming film "Queen of Katwe" that tells the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from Uganda who becomes an international chess champion.
In her interview Nyong'o said she wanted to "create opportunities for other people of color because I'm fortunate enough to have a platform to do that."
She added, "that is why 'Eclipsed' and even 'Queen of Katwe' are so important, to change the narrative, offer a new lens on African identity."
Nyong'o also recounted being taunted about her dark skin color when growing up. "I came home from college in the early two-thousands and saw ads on TV with a girl who can't get a job. She uses this product. She gets her skin lighter. She gets the job," she said. "The lording of lighter skin is a common thing growing up in Nairobi. Being called 'black mamba.' The slow burn of recognizing something else is better than you."
Earlier this month Nyong'o spoke out on Oscar diversity.The actress won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2013 for her role as Patsey in "12 Years a Slave".
As an Academy member she is trying to be more involved she told CNN at the Toronto International Film Festival. "We have to be conscious of the dearth [of black actors] and work consciously to change that," she said. "It's about baby steps," she told CNN, "it's about everybody playing their part."