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Dimensions: L:17.3in W:3.9in D:2.4in
These spoons are part of the wider collection of Benin bronzes, which includes various brass and bronze sculptures and objects created by the Edo people of Benin. The Benin Bronze Spoons were crafted using the lost-wax casting technique, a method in which a wax model is encased in a mold, and molten metal is poured into the mold, resulting in a solid bronze object. The spoons feature intricate detailing and designs, showcasing the exceptional artistic skill of the Benin bronze casters. The handles often depict human figures or animals, while the bowl-shaped ends can be adorned with various decorative motifs such as geometric patterns, scenes from daily life, or representations of mythological and spiritual subjects. They were used in royal and ceremonial contexts, often as part of the regalia of the Benin king (Oba) and other high-ranking officials.
About the Tribe
The Edo tribe, also referred to as the Bini people (derived from Benin), can be found in Edo State in the south of Nigeria, although they can also be found spread across the Delta, Ondo and Rivers states. The Edo/Bini-speaking ethnic groups include the Esan, the Afemai, the Isoko, the Urhobo among others. They are the descendants of the people who founded the ancient and mighty Kingdom of Benin which was founded around the year 900, but it reached the height of its power in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as a result of the conquests of new territories by two kings —Oba Ewuare and his son Oba Ozolua (Oba means “king”). The Obas of Benin amassed great wealth by controlling trade routes reaching from the river Niger in the East to the western border with the kingdom of Dahomey. In Benin City, craft workers were organised into groups known as guilds. There were guilds for wood carvers, ivory carvers, leather workers, blacksmiths and weavers. Most important of all was the brass casters’ guild. They were only allowed to work for the Oba (king). The name Benin was derived from “Ubinu” which was used to describe the capital of the kingdom. But was then mispronounced by the Portuguese as “Bini” and then further to Benin around 1485 when the Portuguese began trade relations with Oba Ewuare who was the traditional ruler at the time.
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