Collections: Arts of Africa: Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue)

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    Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue)

    Benin court officials have long worn a variety of brass ornaments as part of their elaborate regalia for ceremonial occasions. Such ornaments were worn on the left hip, covering the closure of a wrapped skirt. The three metal scarification marks on either side of the forehead identify the individual portrayed as a royal Edo man. Similar items of regalia are worn by Benin court officials today.

    • Culture: Edo
    • Medium: Copper alloy, iron
    • Place Made: Benin, Edo State, Nigeria
    • Dates: 18th century (possibly)
    • Dimensions: 6 1/2 x 4 1/8 x 2 1/4 in. (16.5 x 10.5 x 5.7 cm)
    • Collections:Arts of Africa
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 1994.143
    • Credit Line: Gift of Beatrice Riese
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Edo. Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue), 18th century (possibly). Copper alloy, iron, 6 1/2 x 4 1/8 x 2 1/4 in. (16.5 x 10.5 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Beatrice Riese, 1994.143. Creative Commons-BY
    • Catalogue Description: Human face with ornate adornments. Semi-circular "crown" extends 2 1/4 in. above forehead with lattice-like area and three 5-lobed decorations at center. Small, globular forms around edge. At forehead, five strands of "beads." Above each eye, three vertical incised lines. Band of incised lines from center of brow to tip of nose. Seven strands of beads represented around lower edge of face. Extending from beaded strands, series of conical projections, resembling ruffled collar; loops attached to each flaring element. Five small, figure-eight shaped wires attached to loops. Condition is good. Small hole in proper right cheek.
    • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
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