What does the Benin mask represent?
This type of mask was worn by the Oba, on the hip, during important ceremonies. The mask is said to represent Idia, mother of Oba Esigie who ruled in the sixteenth century. The top of the hip mask is decorated with heads representing the Portuguese, symbolizing Benin's alliance with and control over Europeans.
What element of the Benin Queen Mother pendant mask is evidence of the influence of trade with Europeans?
As a luxury good, ivory was Benin's principal commercial commodity and helped to attract Portuguese traders who, in turn, brought wealth to the kingdom in the form of copper and coral.
What is an Iyoba How was she important?
To reward and honor her, Esigie created a new position within the court called the iyoba, or queen mother, which gave her significant political privileges, including a separate residence with its own staff. As mother of the king, Idia and later iyobas wielded considerable power.
The pendant mask is believed to have been produced in the early sixteenth century for the King or ObaEsigie, the king of Benin, to honor his mother, Idia. The oba may have worn it at rites commemorating his mother, although today such pendants are worn at annual ceremonies of spiritual renewal and purification.
|Benin ivory mask|
|Height||9 3/8 in (23.8 cm)|
|Width||5 in (12.7 cm)|
|Depth||3 1/4 in (8.3 cm)|
|Created||Early 16th century|
Life. Emotan (real name Uwaraye), was born in Eyaen between 1380 and 1400.
Queen Iden offered herself as a sacrificial lamb for the restoration of the monarchy. She was given a befitting burial and her tomb lies close to Oba market (in Benin City) till date.
The premier web site of Edo speaking people.
|ILOI||Oba's wife or queen|
|IVIE||Beads ("I" pronounced as "e" and "e" as "a".|
|IWEBO||The most senior palace society|
|IWEGUEA||Palace society next to Iwebo in hierachy.|
The materials used to create the mask tell us more about Queen Idia—iron was used for the pupils and rims of her eyes as well as in the marks on her forehead, to show her inner strength, while the rest of her face was created from white ivory, which symbolizes purity.
The symbolism of the Mudfish in the Benin Culture covers prosperity, peace, fertility, and strength. The display of the Oba's power over land and water because of his connection to Olokun, the god of water, symbolises the king's semi-divine power between the spiritual world and the kingdom of Benin.
The Bwa make two different types of masks. The first type is made out of wild plant leaves, to represent nature and wilderness. The second type is made out of wood to represent multiple spirits who protect them. The masks all are representative of Dwo or (Do), which is the son of the creator spirit.
British troops looted thousands of artworks known as the Benin Bronzes from the Kingdom of Benin, in present-day Nigeria, in 1897. Following auctions, some of the bronzes ended up in museums and private collections across Europe.
The Benin Bronzes are a group of more than a thousand metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin in what is now Nigeria.
|Museum collections of Benin Bronzes|
|City||Museum||Number of pieces|
|Belgium||Royal Museum for Central Africa||1|