Benin Kingdom Leadership Regalia

by Kathy Curnow
Cleveland State University

Chief’s house, Benin KingdomNigeria, 1994. Photo by Kathy Curnow.

The cement wall of this chief's house is painted to resemble the older use of earth, and follows an interlaced pattern associated with royalty and aristocratic status.  The wooden door, made by guild artists, represents chiefly activities but centers on the image of Idia, mother of sixteenth-century Oba Esigie, flanked by the ada and eben.