African art > African bronze > Head Benin
Head Queen Mother Benin Uhumnwun elao (N° 14972)
The African art of Benin is described as a court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as Oba. The tradition of bronze classroom objects from the Benin Kingdom dates back to the 14th century. The many bronze alloy heads and statues created by the artists of Benin were reserved for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of the royal palace and, more often than not, placed on altars consecrated by each new Oba. These rectangular altars were surmounted by heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and sticks. They were used to commemorate an oba and to get in touch with his spirit. This late sculpture, which was made on the death of the Queen, depicts a queen mother of Benin named the Iyoba , whose neck is surrounded by multiple necklaces of coral beads. Her high curved hairstyle was also made up of a beaded sill falling on either side of the face.
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Dark patina, moist, golden reflections.
. After the birth of the future king the queen was ", the u-0022 from power and could no longer give birth. But at the end of the 15th century Oba Esigie refused to comply with this practice and wanted to attribute the city of Uselu to his mother. She also received a palace and many privileges. In recognition she raised an army to go and fight the Northern Igala. The Oba poured a head in his effigy, among many works cast with lost wax, to place them on his altar after his death.
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