Medium: One of a Kind Hand Carved Bronze Dimensions: Height: 11 inches, 28 centimeters Length: 9 inches, 23 centimeters Region: Nigeria, West Africa Tribe: Benin Kingdom Approximate Age: 32 years (1988) Availability: In Stock, Available to Ship Immediately Item Number: BR001 Collection: Benin Kingdom Provenance Report: "Benin Kingdom Woman" Tear Sheet: "Benin Kingdom Woman" Condition: Excellent; Not previously owned; Undamaged Sourcing: Fair Trade Certificate of Authenticity Provided
Benin’s royal altar heads appear in a range of styles from highly formalized to the more idealized naturalism of this example. Works such as this head, with its distinctive roll of coral bead work at the neck and beaded strands hanging from the crown, are believed to date to the 16th century. It is possible that the naturalistic elements of this head may reflect a connection with the brass-casting traditions of the Ife Kingdom to the northwest.
When you purchase this piece, you are purchasing a piece of history, namely the fascinating and majestic history of Benin City. A little-known fact is the world’s largest man-made structure was made in Nigeria. Its length was over 9,900 miles, about four times that of the Great Wall of China. The Wall of Benin was used for defense of the historical Benin City, now the capital of the present-day Edo State of (southern) Nigeria. The Benin Walls were ravaged by the British in 1897. Other accomplishments of the Benin Kingdom are their disciplined army, infrastructure, and of course, royal artworks.
More significantly, perhaps, is that art from Benin has come to represent the achievements of the Nigerian peoples to reaffirm links to the autonomy of a precolonial past.
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