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Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue)

Arts of Africa

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.
MEDIUM Copper alloy, iron
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)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Beatrice Riese
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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
IMAGE overall, 1994.143_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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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.
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Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue)