Political Space

By Mary Nooter Roberts
University of California, Los Angeles

 Oba of Benin’s palace, Benin KingdomNigeria, 1995. Photo by Kathy Curnow.


The palace was rebuilt in 1914, although not to its 1897 dimensions, and has since been augmented. An amalgamation of office buildings, shrines, and living quarters for the Oba and family, this walled labyrinth of cement and traditional clay remains a ritual and political theater for Benin chiefs and their ruler.