Exhibitions: African Innovations

Horn Blower

This figure probably stood on an altar dedicated to a deceased king, or oba. His conical hat and elaborately wrapped kilt with a projection on the left side all indicate that this is a court official. The necklace of leopard’s teeth was worn only by warriors. The horn this figure once held is believed to have been a type called an erere, blown during ceremonial sacrifices. A motif on the figure’s kilt depicting an elephant, whose trunk ends in a human right hand, identifies this work with the reign of the oba Esigie, thought to have ruled from 1504 to 1550.