Wall Plaque

by Benin Kingdom, Nigeria

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Wall Plaque at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Credit: Courtesy Penn Museum

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The two figures on this plaque from the Nigerian Benin Kingdom are high officials of the king. The one on the left presents the head of an ox. Besides the king, only a few of the highest officials were allowed the privilege of sacrificing oxen to the ancestors. This is one of an exceptional group of rare Benin bronzes from Nigeria, on display in the Penn Museum’s African Gallery, which features artifacts from diverse cultures throughout that vast continent.