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Altar Sculpture of a Rooster

18th century

Placed on the altar of ancestors in the Oba’s palace, this rooster pays tribute to the Iyoba or Queen Mother of Benin. It represents the sacrificial offerings made during the rites devoted to ancestors. This animal also alludes to the powers of the Iyoba, which she shares with men. From a formal viewpoint, it illustrates the high level of artistic and technical development attained in the old kingdom of Benin. The incisions simulating feathers and the mastery of casting techniques contribute to the aesthetic and symbolic power of this work.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Title: Altar Sculpture of a Rooster
Geography: Edo peoples, Nigeria, formerly Kingdom of Benin
Date: 18th century
Medium: copper alloy
Classification: cult item
Dimensions: 42.5 x 41 x 18 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2012.113
Contact for images: [email protected]
Permalink: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/Explore/online-collection/altar-sculpture-of-a-rooster
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