African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Yoruba Bronze

Yoruba Bronze (N° 22704)

Metaphor of royal power in African art from the Benin Kingdom.
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, mainly bronze sculptures, celebrating their power. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chiefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, anklets and recades were produced in quantity in numerous foundry workshops using the lost wax casting technique. Placed on the altar dedicated to the queen mother from the 16th century in Benin City in Nigeria, the bronze depicting a rooster, Okpa, glorified royal power with its haughty appearance. This type of sculpture has a finely striated surface evoking the plumage of the bird. The animal is represented perched on a quadrangular base with great attention to detail. Black patina. If poultry in Benin were offerings for the god Olokun, the rooster also symbolizes the oldest wife of the Oba, and this is still present in family harems. The expression "the rooster crows the loudest" indeed describes the authority, wisdom and experience of the eldest wife. This type of sculpture, a metaphor for pride and self-confidence, therefore sat on the altar of the Oba and that of his mother.  

 


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Originex-collection française
EthnyBénin
Countrynigéria
Material(s)alliage de bronze
Height cm63
Width45 cm
Weight6.00 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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