Commemorative head

Description
Cast copper alloy head of an Oba, into which a large carved tusk would have been placed. Probably made to commemorate the reign of Oba Osemwede which ended in 1848. It was placed on an altar in the Oba’s Palace in Benin.
Accession Loan No.
202/1915
Simple Name
sculpture
Full Name
commemorative head
Common Name
commemorative head
Production Country
Nigeria
Material
cast copper alloy
Collection Class
Religion and magic
Collection Contintent
Africa
Collection Area Region
W
Production Town
Benin City
Production County
SW Nigeria
Production Area Region
West Africa
Production Continent
Africa
Production Date
c1816
Cultural Group
Edo
Function Name
commemorative
Function Detail
would have been displayed in the palace shrine and used for ceremonies
Created At
2016-10-13 15:46:18
Updated At
2016-10-13 15:46:18

    There are 6 comments

    • Margaret Hammond, painter
      22nd March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      I’ve got some French friends from Rennes who work [in Benin] as missionaries. I painted a portrait from a photo of one of the little girls for whom the mission is named.

    • Richard from Exeter
      22nd March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      I did this in my Open University course last year – Art, Past and Present. There was a whole section on the Benin bronzes.

    • Margaret Hammond, painter
      22nd March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      Were they upset at things being taken away? If you get Africans coming round, they not be happy.

    • Anil Lee, moved to Exeter from Istanbul in 1988
      22nd March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      The craft, face is amazing. Look at the nose. When you look from a distance, it looks like straw. I presume it’s quite heavy.

    • (Margaret Hammond, painter, in a Moving Here session organised by RAMM Exeter)
      22nd March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      I would say it’s rather menacing, regal headwear, the eyes popping out like that, and the chin is all wrapped up in layers of beading…. They used a lot of copper, didn’t they?

    • (Anil Lee, moved to Exeter from Istanbul in 1988, in a Moving Here session organised by RAMM Exeter)
      22nd March 2017 | Permalink | Reply to this comment

      A lot of these ancient kingdoms, they specialised and developed their own techniques. It’s easy for Westerners to assume there was nothing there before Europeans arrived. Look at South America. People live there who haven’t had any contact with Europe and they’ve developed their own culture.

    Tell Us What You Think

    Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *