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Brass oba sculpture from Benin, 16th century

Brass oba sculpture from Benin, 16th century

C048/0249

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31.5 MB (2.6 MB compressed)

2966 x 3707 pixels

25.1 x 31.5 cm ⏐ 9.9 x 12.4 in (300dpi)

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Credit

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Brass oba sculpture from Benin, 16th century. Cast brass sculpture of an oba, or king, of the Edo people in the kingdom of Benin (in present-day Nigeria), during the early half of the 16th century. The king is shown wearing a woven cap of coral beads. This sculpture would have held a place of honor on an altar in the king's palace. The Edo people consider the head to be the locus of of a person's character, knowledge and authority. These sculptured heads were a visual point of reference from ruler-to-ruler, reinforcing familial succession within a dynasty. Both brass and coral were items of wealth obtained by Benin's leadership from Europe through the coastal trade.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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