An Essential Part Of Ghana African Culture

1301 Words Nov 30th, 2016 6 Pages
Waist pendants were an essential part of the Benin African culture. Benin was located in modern day Nigeria, and they had a very advanced culture with various resources. The Benin Kingdom mainly existed between the years 1440-1897 before the invasion from British soldiers, and is the capitol of the former Edo Kingdom. The city of Benin still exists today. The head of the Benin kingdom was called an oba, which translates to King, and was highly revered.1 Many brass and ivory carvings of the oba were made. Along with the oba, another highly revered figure in Benin culture was Iy’oba, or the queen mother. She was the oba’s mother and was almost as revered as the king oba himself. Benin also enjoyed great wealth from its trading of coral beads. The Benin traded greatly with the Portuguese, who in turn would protect the Benin. The relationship with the Portuguese is reflected in many pieces of art, including the pendant I choose to analyze. In the pendant the oba is wearing pendants around his waist, some of which portray Portuguese soldiers. Now that we know a little bit of background about the Benin kingdom, we can now talk more specifically about the pendant picture above.
These pendants were often made to commemorate an important event or person. It was a way for the obas, or kings, of Benin to wear a piece of their cultures history and to remember important figures in their life. The pendant I have chosen tells the event of the oba Ovonramwen and his priests when they…

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