Head Of An Oba Essay

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The head of an Oba was created by artists within the city and only through the permission of their current Oba (king). No one artist is given credit for its creation , so we only know that this piece comes from the Benin culture , made through lost wax bronzing, and is from the 16th century. The head is made in the honor of an Oba who has passed by his successor.
The head of an Oba is a commemorative head somewhat the metal cousin to busts of roman culture. This head is made of brass and iron, brass being the basis for most of the head and iron only being used to form the eyes giving them a piercing almost intimidating stare. The cross hatching design at the top of the head is fashioned to resemble the coral headdress that royalty wore during
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The head was created at the commission of the current Oba of the Benin to honor his father who has passed away. Kings were the only ones allowed to ask for their creation and the only ones wealthy enough to pay for it. The head was a piece required for the shrine each king made for his predecessor and through this they would communicate with the deceased king (Metropolitan Museum of Art “Head of an Oba”). The Benin people believed that the head acted as a conduit in which the past king gave his power to his son and through this the new king is accepting the responsibilities of being the ruler (Metropolitan Museum of Art “Head of an Oba”). The people of Benin( the Edo people) saw the head as the focus of a man’s overall character, all that he knows, his authority, his success and leadership(Metropolitan Museum of Art “Head of an Oba”).. These heads were created with that belief in mind and are seen as a constant reminder of family and power to each ruler by reminding them of their fathers and the kings before them and how they ruled. The use of brass started during the 15th century during the oranmiyan dynasty as a way for that line to separate themselves from previous ruling lines and the style of the head changed as well to specifically represent the
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