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Plaque: Chief with warrior

Plaque: Chief with warrior

ca. 1600-1650

Filled with natural observation, plaques from Benin allow us to enter into a kingdom at its height over 400 years ago. In this example, we're introduced to a chief who is wielding a sword and wearing a leopard hip mask, as well as a leopard's tooth necklace. In Benin cosmology, the leopard is admired for its ability to match stealth with restraint and moderation. Such a mask is worn by a chief who served under the Oba (king).
Brass
17 5/16 x 15 1/2 x 2 13/16 in. (43.9 x 39.4 x 7.2 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
58.134
Provenance: Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection to SAM 1958
location
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum

Resources

Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, African Panoplies: Art For Rulers, Traders, Hunters and Priests, Apr. 20 - Aug. 14, 1988.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Benin Art: Collecting Concerns, Sept. 15, 2021 - ongoing.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM