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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Benin : Benin Style Ivory Hip Ornament
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Benin Style Ivory Hip Ornament - PF.2877
Origin: Southcentral Nigeria
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 6.625" (16.8cm) high x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide
Collection: African
Medium: Ivory

Location: United States
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To the Benin people, ivory was more precious than gold. Since the elephant was the most powerful warrior in the wild, it was believed that the elephant and Benin warriors shared the same conceptual space. From this belief, ivory came to represent the great warriors of the Benin culture. This small, stunning mask would have been a part of an "orufanaran" ensemble. Pieces such as this would have been tied to a warrior's ceremonial dress to illustrate his valor. - (PF.2877)


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