Benin Kingdom Leadership Regalia
by Kathy Curnow
Cleveland State University
In 1977 the British Museum, in possession of an ivory pendant representing Idia, refused to loan the piece to Nigeria during its 1977 international festival for black arts and culture (FESTAC). Idia's image became a national rallying point as a reminder of the colonial legacy. The pendant has inspired many Benin artists and patrons since, its image occurring on gates, doors, cloth and buses.