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Can anyone tell me what this is please?

by 9 months ago
6

Let me know if you need more information please!  I'm just curious..

8 months ago
The Iconography of fish in Benin is as follows: The mudfish was an important image of kingship, for it suggested the mythological origins of the Oba, as well as his divine spiritual powers. (Look at the slide again). There are several species of mudfish, some of which are capable of surviving for extended periods out of water, symbolizing the Oba's power as ruler of land and sea. Some mudfish are capable of delivering electric charges, pointing to the Oba's terrifying power. It is also among the most robust fish, and an apt image for the prosperity which the Oba brings. The image of the mudfish can also be seen in the ceremonial staff of the Oba, its curled fins wrapping around the Oba's hand at the top. The mudfish also identifies the Oba with the God of the Sea, Olokun, the ancestor of the Obas of Benin. The living Oba, then, is considered the counterpart of Olokun. Like Olokun, he provides for the prosperity of the kingdom. In many plaques, the Oba is depicted as a human whose legs end in the curled legs of the mudfish. (slide) This image not only conveyed the power of the Oba, but also reminded him of his own obligation not to overstep his authority. According to legend, the fifteenth century Oba Ohen, who was paralyzed, attempted to hide his malady from his followers. The paralysis was reported as a manisfestation of divine power. When the deception was discovered, the Oba ordered the perpetrator killed. Because the Oba had deceived his subjects, he too was stoned to death. Thus the universal order occasionally took precedence over the divine power of the Oba. This reminder of the oba's obligations is also seen on ivory bowls and on cermonial staffs.. quoted from http://www.faculty.de.gcsu.edu/~dvess/ids/fap/benin.htm
8 months ago
Wow thanks. Any idea of age: country/ material
7 months ago
Tutor
Elspeth... one last bit.. The piece is African but Cris will have to tell us what material it's made of. Hi Cris! Happy to see you here, long time to chat, I hope all is well with you!
7 months ago
Ooh you know each other! Super!
7 months ago
Tutor
We met eons ago over some lovely Royal Doulton Flambe ceramics.... remember Cris?
7 months ago
Of course Erin, in Cleveland! That was long ago. The above piece is Bronze. :)

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