Oba Surrounded by Attendants

This brass plaque shows the Oba (ruler) of Benin surrounded by his attendants, two of whom are holding up their shields in a formal protective stance. Only the Oba was allowed to be shaded in this way within the city. There are over 900 of these plaques in various British museums, collected during the British Punitive Expedition in 1897.

British Museum RES 2590A (16th century)
Copyright © The British Museum


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