Brass Manillas

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There is no doubt that the great communication between Benin and Portuguese encouraged the Benin people to develop their brass casting. However, Benin didn't have enough metal for such development although its people were the inventors of the molding of copper and zinc as well as the brass casting. Thus, the Portuguese supplied Benin with brass ingots shaped as bracelets and they were called manillas. These brass manillas were made and used as currency by countries such as modern Holland where they were sent to Benin and melted by the Benin craftsmen. The quantities of brass manillas sent to Benin were huge. Moreover, the Portuguese were apparent in the plaques with manillas in their hands. Oba was also apparent with his officials…show more content…
Furthermore, leopards, which are the kings of the forest, were also depicted in the plaques to symbolize the authority that the Oba had over the city and villages where the Benin people lived. Leopards were also killed as offering for the god. Therefore, animals on the plaques served as more than just decorative objects. To demonstrate, crocodiles, which were regarded as the policemen of the water, were represented on the artworks to depict the power of the king against any sinful person. The bird, who is said to have warned Oba Esige before he occupied the Ibo people and the king didn't listen to him and went to the battle and defeated those people, was depicted on the plaques to symbolize that the Oba is over any ordinary danger or bad auguries. The king was the most important person in the government and treated with great respect by his subjects. However, his rule was dependable on other chiefs who dominated the city and the villages where the people…show more content…
(The British Museum. Benin: an African kingdom). The document of the seventeenth century illustrates that Benin was a wealthy and major kingdom. The centralization of its wealth is completely reflected on the magnificence of its capital city. Benin City enjoyed a great and skillful archeology which is apparent in the grandeur of the Oba's palace. The palace was great in shape and size. To demonstrate, it was as large as any city in Portugal at that time which led the Portuguese to respect the amazement of Benin civilization when they first saw it. In the middle of the palace and on a wooden roof, there was the tall tower which was decorated with an enormous brass snake. Right above the python there was the bird with its wings out-stretched. For its great archeological civilization, Benin was regarded as important as the capital cities of the most prominent countries in Europe. All of this wealth of Benin is dependable on the trade with the Europeans. Because of their ships that travel overseas, the Europeans were able to provide goods from all over the world. This was regarded as completely valuable by the

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