Bronze head by Benin

This was one of a group of about twenty known sculptures in what is regarded as the only provincial substyle of the Benin art tradition.


21 cm
Art Fund grant:
£800 ( Total: £4,000)
Acquired in:
Charles Ratton

Likely to have been made during the 17th or 18th centuries, this woman's head has three tribal-marks incised over each eye. She has an ornament in the hair above each temple and at the end of each of the two plaits which fall down on either side of her head, and she wears four necklets. The head is thought to have been used like the uhumwelao heads of the Benin court-style, which have been made throughout the last four and a half centuries and stood on low altars dedicated to the cult of the king's ancestors.

Venue details

Pitt Rivers Museum Entry via Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, OXFORD Oxfordshire OX1 3PW 01865 270927

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