200935 - Tribal used Bronze BENIN BINI EDO head - Nigeria.


Nigeria: Tribal used Bronze BENIN BINI EDO head.
Height: 16 cm.
Despite the disappearance of the Benin kingdom, the Yoruba people living on its territory continued to produce artwork inspired by the great royal art of Benin.
For more than a thousand years the kingdom of Benin was a political power in the southern forests of present-day Nigeria. The bronzes of Benin are the outcome of a long tradition. The discovery of the Benin bronzes dates from 1897, when a British punitive expedition stripped the city of Benin of many objects, which were carried to London. The heads were placed on the altars of kings, of brass caster corporation chiefs and dignitaries. Royal altars were major shrines in the palace of the oba (king) of Benin. They functioned as a tribute to the deceased and a point of contact with his spirit. The Benin heads are assumed to portray Benin royalty. These works are distinguished in particular by their thicker casting and greater height and scale.