Art and Rule in the Benin Kingdom
by Barbara W. Blackmun
Professor Emeritus, San Diego Mesa College
Ohen Igharo is assisted by an attendant who wears a red wrapper honoring Shango, the temperamental deity of thunder and lightning. On the left, another attendant holds a bowl of powdered orhue, pure white kaolin chalk that symbolizes coolness, peace, and spiritual harmony. The bell resting inside the bowl is used to summon spiritual forces during worship.