Waist Pendant with Oba and Two Attendants
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
The central figure on this pendant represents the oba, or king, of Benin flanked by important court officials. The scene symbolizes support for the oba, who in turn sustains the nation. The pendant was worn by the oba on a belt around his waist at state events.
mid-16th to early 17th century
8 x 6 1/4 x 2 1/4 in (20.3 x 15.9 x 5.7 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Beatrice Riese
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Edo. Waist Pendant with Oba and Two Attendants, mid-16th to early 17th century. Copper alloy, 8 x 6 1/4 x 2 1/4 in (20.3 x 15.9 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Beatrice Riese, 1998.38. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.38_front_PS2.jpg)
front, 1998.38_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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Semicircular lost-wax(?) cast ornament depicting 3 figures in high relief. They are dressed in skirted textured costumes with beaded high collars. Each wears a domed headdress with shoulder-length side flaps and a crown topped with dowel-like extension. Legs are adorned with multiple cast coral bead anklets. The edge of the ornament is finished with a row of small pierced circles. Overall condition is good. Back of plaque has the number 25601 painted in white and a cast-in image of a knife (maker's mark?). Small losses to metal structure, including fronts of feet of right figure and looped border element at top left corner. Extensions of crowns for right and left figures are broken off at top. Light surface dirt and some tiny white paint specks. To the left of the center figure's leg is a faint pale green corrosion drip.
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