Antique Authentic African Art Tribal Benin Bronze King Head Estate Find For Sale
BENIN KINGS HEAD
BRONZE AFRICAN ART
Highly stylized Ife bronze head made using the lost wax method. Head shows incised parallel lines and is adorned with a crown. This is a powerful, expressive piece with some aged surfacedark patina.
An outstanding piece of history, these altar heads depicting an Oba or King are a major feature of Benin art, just as the head itself is a central focus of Benin ritual. Brass heads like these were, according to tradition, were introduced in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century by Oba Oguola, the fifth oba, and represented royal ancestors.
These heads were typically placed on altars dedicated to each of the past Oba's of Benin. The altars are semicircular mud platforms that have been packed hard and rubbed smooth and are located in open coutyards of the palace. The royal altars are setting for one of the two most important rites of divine kingship in Benin, when the Oba honors the spirit of his late father and performs sacrifices to the royal ancestors and to the earth in which they are buried. Acknowledging his role as his fathers successor, the chiefs pay homage to the king and greet him in order of seniority. The rite expresses the continuity of diving kingship, and the altar before which it takes place provides the means by which the connection between the living king and his predecessors in made
Ethnic Group: Edo People, Benin Kingdom
Country: Old Benin Kingdom, Nigeria
Size:15" tall X 7 3/4"
Estimated Age: 18th/19th century
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Antique Authentic African Art Tribal Benin Bronze King Head Estate Find: $2,900