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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Yoruba Bronze Ijebu Bracelet
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Yoruba Bronze Ijebu Bracelet - PF.5762
Origin: Nigeria
Circa: 16th th Century AD to 18th th Century AD
Dimensions: 5.25" (13.3cm) high x 4.5" (11.4cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Bronze


Location: United States
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Description
Yoruba bronze pieces are characterized by refined and intricate metalwork. Spirit deities appear on a vast variety of objects from diviner plates to bracelets, such as this remarkable example. The bracelet is of a type found in the Ijebu realm along the southern coast of Nigeria, not far from Lagos. The Ijebu were a powerful and highly organized kingdom and the first Yoruba speaking tribe mentioned in European texts. Surely it must have adorned the bodies of power Ijebu persons in life or death, or both. The composition centers around the faces of four figures, probably spirit deities. Their features resemble those of the ancestral Onile, with their bulbous eyes, broad noses, and intense expression. Being both human and divine, their bodies alternate between realism and abstraction as they revolve around the bracelet, propelled by their own inner energy. This bracelet would have been seen as both an ornament of prestige and also an object of power, worn by someone who possessed sufficient authority to warrant wearing images of divine beings. Whether worn or displayed, this bracelet combines art and religion in a work of art of mystical proportions. - (PF.5762)

 

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