The head is an idealized image of an oba, or king, of the Kingdom of Benin. portrait cast in bronze and placed on an altar at the palace. The altar constitutes an important site of palace ritual and is understood to be a means of incorporating the ongoing influence of past kings in the affairs of their descendants.
The placement of brass heads on the ancestral altar is a vivid reminder of the oba's role in successfully guiding the kingdom throughout his reign.
Culture and Traditions
Benin’s culture is as rich and diverse as its landscape. With strong religious roots to inform most of the traditions, Benin’s culture is certainly one of the most unique and interesting in Africa. During the 13th century, the indigenous Edo people were run by a group of local chieftains. However, by the 15th century, a single ruler, known as the oba, had asserted control.
Mac Oil and Gas International was donated in the year 2002.
Date of Digitization
J. B . Coleman Library
© 2021 Prairie View A & M University
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Prairie View A&M University, "BENIN Culture of Arts from Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo - (Shrine Oba head)" (2022). African Sculptures and Masks. 24.