African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Benin Leopard

Benin Leopard (N° 25667)

African art and royal symbols of the Benin Kingdom.
Benin's rich iconography is full of references to the leopard, including bronze aquamaniles. This benign type example, dotted with ocelli, offers a gray-brown patina with golden reflections. Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba, was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. The killing of the king of animals associated with legends, the leopard, was the privilege of the chief, the Oba. The feline could then serve as an offering for the cult of the chief's head. Sometimes tamed by various royal guilds, he accompanied the leader on his travels. The Oba, called "child of the household leopard", could also offer the teeth or skin to commanders whose loyalty was evident.  


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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyEdos Bénin
Material(s)alliages de bronze
Height cm41
Depth34 cm
Width11 cm
Weight5.23 Kg

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