The Benin Bronzes: A Tragic Story of Slavery and Imperialism Cast in Brass | Ancient Origins

Subsequent sales[ edit ] The two largest collections of Benin Bronzes are located in the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and in the British Museum in London, while the third largest collection is located in several museums in Nigeria principally the Nigerian National Museum in Lagos. Often, their return has been considered an icon of the repatriation of the African continent. The artifacts have become an important example in the international debate over restitution, comparable to that of the Elgin Marbles. In , the museum’s curator Hermann Braunholtz declared that, although made individually, of the plaques acquired by the Museum in , 30 were duplicates; because they were identical representations, he determined that they were superfluous for the museum and were sold. The bronze surfaces are designed to highlight contrasts between light and metal. The descendants of these artisans still revere Igue-Igha , as the person who introduced the art of casting to the Kingdom of Benin. In general, only the king could own objects made of bronze and ivory, however, he could allow high-ranking individuals to use such items, such as hanging masks and cuffs made of bronze and ivory.

The Authenticity of African Sculptures – Henri Kamer

Akan people came from societies who practiced a strict adherence to a hierarchical power structure. Many plantation owners believed this made them less likely to revolt. The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade was officially outlawed in although some ships sailed illegally for many years after. Slaves were forcibly encouraged not to pass on their African culture and identity which helped to solidify the notion of African Americans as a slave class.

Sep 14,  · The Art of Benin Essay Sample. I. Introduction By contrast the eyes in a brass head of an Oba (Plate ), again dating from the early sixteenth century, gaze straight ahead at the viewer. and one tusk from every elephant hunted in Benin was appropriated in tax by the Obas. C. Benin Bronzes.

Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. The trade in objects in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries 2. The imperial confrontations of the late nineteenth century 3. The engagement with ideas about art in the twentieth century B. European Contacts with Benin Europeans first became aware of the existence of Benin through Portuguese traders in the fifteenth century.

The accounts left behind indicate that the first contacts between Europeans and the people of Benin were based on the exchange of goods, which included ivory carvings. Direct European contact with Benin was limited during the era of the slave trade approximately — and little more was learned about the kingdom until British imperial forces conquered it in The encounter between British and Benin culture continues.

Migration and globalisation have made people more aware of the way that their different histories are interlinked. In this spirit the British Museum now displays its treasures, including the Benin artworks, as an archive of global, intertwined histories kept in trust for all mankind. On the other hand, some African leaders and scholars argue that the looted Benin objects fulfil a different function in Nigeria from that represented in European museums and galleries.

Obaseki rallies EU museums, others for return of Benin stolen artefacts – Vanguard News Nigeria

Archaeology of Igbo-Ukwu Human and ram’s head pendants from Igbo-Ukwu in the British Museum Igbo-Ukwu is notable for three archaeological sites , where excavations have found bronze artifacts from a highly sophisticated bronze metal-working culture dating to 9th century AD, centuries before other known bronzes of the region. The first, called Igbo Isaiah, was uncovered in by Isaiah Anozie, a local villager, who found the bronze works while digging beside his home.

Five bronze artifacts from the original excavation are now in the British Museum ‘s collection. Formal excavations by the archaeologist Thurstan Shaw in at the request of the Nigerian government, resulted in the discovery of two other sites, Igbo Richard and Igbo Jonah, containing the remains of an ancient culture.

The Benin Empire was a pre- colonial empire located in what is now southern Nigeria. Its capital was Edo, now known as Benin City, Edo. It should not be confused with the modern-day country called Benin, formerly called Dahomey. The Benin Empire was “one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal hinterland of West Africa, dating perhaps to the eleventh century CE.

Nigeria Museums and Art Galleries Nigeria, NG, West Africa Nigeria has a total of more than 30 museums and galleries, which are spread throughout the country and in particularly good supply in Benin City, Calabar, Kaduna, Kano and around Lagos Island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. Together, they help to preserve the culture and history of Nigeria. Several of these museums focus on specialist subjects, such as archaeology, history, art and transport.

Visiting one of Nigeria’s many museums is the best way to really understand the country’s rich heritage and cultural traditions. National Museum of Lagos Address: This leading West African cultural attraction was originally set up in the s by Kenneth C. Murray and is home to numerous examples of rare Nigerian art work and ancient sculptures, including statues and carvings.

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Nigeria History Much has been said and written about Nigeria, her people and culture, economy and politics, that sheds light on the tremendous potential of this African Giant. However, little is known to the outside world about the many exciting tourist attractions available in Nigeria: Historic sites nestled amid rivers and rain forests, breathtaking mountain vistas, remote creek villages, miles of pristine beaches and exotic national wildlife reserves.

There are also museums, festivals, music and dance, a rich cultural melange right down to everyday traditional markets. These are just some of the spectacular sights and sensual delights awaiting the traveler to Nigeria. Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa about million , and the greatest diversity of cultures, ways of life, cities and terrain.

Bronze deer figurine dating from between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, National Archaeological Museum of Sofia, Bulgaria Chinese ritual bronze, Ding form, Western Zhou (– BC) A hoard of bronze socketed axes from the Bronze Age found in modern Germany.

Lucy , an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton discovered 24 November in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia ‘s Afar Depression Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth , with the human species originating from the continent. Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis radiometrically dated to approximately 3.

Around BC, due to a tilt in the earth’s orbit, the Sahara experienced a period of rapid desertification. A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa. Since this time, dry conditions have prevailed in Eastern Africa and, increasingly during the last years, in Ethiopia. The domestication of cattle in Africa preceded agriculture and seems to have existed alongside hunter-gatherer cultures. It is speculated that by BC, cattle were domesticated in North Africa.

Around BC, the Saharan climate started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace.

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Old Syrian; corresponding to the Middle Bronze. Middle Syrian; corresponding to the Late Bronze. The term Neo-Syria is used to designate the early Iron Age. The Akkadian conquered large areas of the Levant and were followed by the Amorite kingdoms , c. The earliest known Ugarit contact with Egypt and the first exact dating of Ugaritic civilization comes from a carnelian bead identified with the Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senusret I, — BC.

However, it is unclear at what time these monuments got to Ugarit.

The mudfish, like Benin royalty, was also said to live in two worlds, having one foot on earth and one foot in divinity. The mudfish can also can emit a shock when disturbed, elevating its .

Images History Bronze was the first alloy that was used by humans. The first nation that used Bronze was Egypt about years B. This gave the name for the Bronze Age. Bronze is stronger than copper or tin alone. Bronze lasts longer than copper. Pure copper can be oxidized by air and also by water. When copper is oxidized by air or water, it turns green the color of “copper oxide” , and falls apart.

When people learned how to make and work iron , the Bronze Age ended, and the Iron Age started. Iron can be made harder than bronze, but is susceptible to corrosion see rust. Iron also wears away faster than bronze, when different pieces are moving against each other. Iron is very common, and easy to make.

Nigerian images – William Buller Fagg, William Fagg, Herbert List – Google Книги

History[ edit ] Although forms of brass have been in use since prehistory , [39] its true nature as a copper-zinc alloy was not understood until the post medieval period because the zinc vapor which reacted with copper to make brass was not recognised as a metal. Many have similar tin contents to contemporary bronze artefacts and it is possible that some copper-zinc alloys were accidental and perhaps not even distinguished from copper.

There is good archaeological evidence for this process and crucibles used to produce brass by cementation have been found on Roman period sites including Xanten [66] and Nidda [67] in Germany , Lyon in France [68] and at a number of sites in Britain. The fabric of these crucibles is porous, probably designed to prevent a buildup of pressure, and many have small holes in the lids which may be designed to release pressure [68] or to add additional zinc minerals near the end of the process.

Benin Bronze figures which served as royal ornaments are the indigenous cultural art of the Benin people in Edo State, Nigeria, dating back to as far as the 13th, 15th & 16th centuries. Bronze casting in Edo was established in the 14th century by Oba Oguola.

A brief review of possible reversal treatments used in the past is provided. Unexpected complications that occurred during the reversal treatment due to the different solubilities of the two components of the applied wax blend are described, along with the final successful treatment of the object. In conclusion, it is suggested that the routine coating of ethnographic metals be reevaluated. Consequently, ethnographic conservators must form treatment protocols by extrapolating information from this literature and from more general publications on conservation.

Recommendations within these sources are rarely accompanied by warnings of the potential for interfering with the remnant casting material, indigenous coatings, or aesthetic aspects associated with ethnographic objects. Since the era of Plenderleith, the use of protective wax coatings on metal objects has been advocated widely with several objectives in mind: In order to render a more homogeneous appearance on a metal surface, both clear and pigmented wax have been applied ostensibly to enhance objects aesthetically Organ The majority of these authors recommend the use of wax blends e.

Using a case study of a copper alloy Benin commemorative head, this paper will show that wax applications can create unforeseen problems when attempts at removal are made.

Exhibiting the Benin Bronzes – The Arts Past & Present