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The Benin culture is known for creating superb bronze sculptures to honor its Obas (or kings). In this case, the Oba is shown wearing a hat and a multi-strand coral-bead necklace, with another coral bead on his forehead. Brought across the Sahara from the Mediterranean Sea, coral was the sole property of the king and symbolized his power through his control of international trade. Memorial heads such as this were meant to capture the essence of the Oba's power, and were placed on shrines with other important objects. A hole in the top of the head would have held a carved elephant tusk chronicling the activities of the honored Oba.
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10.5 in. H x 7 in. W x 7 in. D
27 cm H x 18 cm W x 18 cm D
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1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Stamford, CT
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