What are characteristics of Benin art?

The general aesthetic principles of Benin art, according to Kathryn Gunsch (2018), are triadic symmetry, frontality, alternation, and decoration in the round. Triadic symmetry in the royal arts of Benin commonly appears, for example, as two figures flanking a central figure on a carved ivory tusk.

What do Benin bronzes represent?

A key element of the Benin Bronzes are the plaques which once decorated the Benin Royal Palace and which provide an important historical record of the Kingdom of Benin. This includes dynastic history, as well as social history, and insights into its relationships with neighbouring societies.

What is Benin art culture?

Primarily made of cast bronze and carved ivory, Benin art was produced mainly for the court of the Oba of Benin – a divine ruler for whom the craftsmen produced a range of ceremonially significant objects.

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Who stole the Benin bronzes?

Germany has agreed to return to Nigeria priceless artefacts that were stolen during the colonisation of Africa. British troops looted thousands of artworks known as the Benin Bronzes from the Kingdom of Benin, in present-day Nigeria, in 1897.

What is the Queen Mother of Benin called?

THE QUEEN MOTHER, or “Iyoba,” was a powerful figure in the Edo kingdom of Benin, which ruled parts of the West African coast for seven centuries. This statue of the Benin Queen Mother named Idia was cast in bronze using the lost wax process, PM object AF5102.

What is the Benin dialogue group and why is it important?

The Benin Dialogue Group is a multi-lateral collaborative working group that brings together delegates from Western museums with representatives of the Nigerian Government, the Royal Court of Benin, and the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments to discuss the cultural restitution of stolen West African

What is the spiritual role of the Oba in Benin?

The Oba and his court He was the head of the kingdom as both political and spiritual leader. The Oba derived his power not just from the social and political world of Benin, but also from the spiritual world through his link to the great god Olokun, ruler of the sea.

Why is Benin important?

In the early modern era, Benin was also heavily involved in the West African slave trade. They would capture men, women, and children from rival peoples and sell them into slavery to European and American buyers. This trade provided a significant source of wealth for the kingdom.

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What does the leopard symbolize in Benin iconography?

The leopard was once the emblem of power for the exclusive use of the oba or king of Benin, representing triumph of people over the wild. It was a symbol of fear as well as a leader in the animal kingdom.

What are the characteristics of Igbo Ukwu art?

Its delicate beaded lines, concentric circles, quatrefoils, and handles and bosses imitating twisted wire are typical of the ornate Igbo Ukwu style. Several similar bowls were found, and all are highly ornamented on the outer surface but smooth inside.

What was life like in ancient Benin?

Many people in Benin lived in villages in the rainforest. They cleared away the trees to grow vegetables and they built their houses from mud, wood and palm leaves. Benin was famous for its craft workers. Specialists in a craft ( like ivory-carvers) formed groups called guilds.

What is the difference between Ife and Benin?

– apart from bronze, Ife art included terra-cotta and stone while Benin art included ivory and wood. – Ife heads and figures have profuse scarification while Benin heads and masks have marks on their forehead. – Most Benin art works are stylized while Ife art works are naturalistic.

Why won’t the British Museum return the Benin Bronzes?

Neil Curtis, head of museums and special collections at the University of Aberdeen, said the decision was driven by ethical concerns over the item which – like most of the bronzes – originated from a punitive military campaign in 1897 when British forces sacked the city of Benin in south-east Nigeria, looting thousands

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What is the meaning of ESIE art?

Esie sculptures are made from Stearite (soapstone) and come in various designs and sizes – depicting various social roles – but mostly feature men and women who are seated or kneeling while holding on to agricultural or musical instruments.

Why did Britain invade Benin?

In the 19th century, disputes over trade led to strain between Benin and its chief trading partner, Great Britain. In quick order, a large British military force—deemed the Punitive Expedition—was assembled, and on February 18, they arrived in Benin City under orders to invade and conquer it.

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