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About This Object

Benin was ruled by two important dynasties. The first, named Ogiso, was established around 900 and was then supplanted in the 13th century by Oranmiyan. This dynasty rebuilt the royal palace; further rebuilding was undertaken in the 15th century when it was enlarged. The pillars in some of the palace compounds were covered with brass plaques which illustrate past Obas (rulers), merchants, famous priests, warriors and royal councils: a history of the kingdom sculpted in metal.
This plaque depicts Agban, a general in the Benin army in the 16th century. In about 1577 towards the end of Oba Orhogbua’s reign, while the Benin army was campaigning in the Atlantic coastal region between Whydah (Ouida) and the Ga country, the Ika chiefdoms on the western side of Ohinmwin (Niger River) revolted. On his return from the coast, Oba Orhogbua sent Ezomo Agban to quell the revolt. The Ika campaign lasted more than two years during which time Oba Orhogbua joined his ancestors and was succeeded by his son, Oba Ehengbuda r. 1578-1608. Ezomo Agban returned in triumph to Benin City with war booty and the rebellious chiefs as captives.

See full details Description

Rectangular brass plaque depicting Agban, the Ezomo (Deputy Commander in Chief of the Benin army), towards the end of the reign of Oba Orhogbua (circa 1550 - 1578) and the start of the reign of Oba Ehengbuda (circa 1578 - 1608).


plaque (art)

1 item (description level: whole)
Broad category
Anthropology: Ethnography
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  plaque (art)
object name (Horniman Ethno.):  plaque
common name:  bronze plaque

Benin City, Nigeria, West Africa, Africa
Additional place information
made or collected:  Benin City 
Date made
before 1897
Additional date information
date made:  before 1897 
Date collected
Additional date information
date collected:  1897 
Additional culture information
maker or user:  Edo 

Materials & techniques
Additional material & technique information
material: brass (overall)
overall: 530 mm x 410 mm x 110 mm
Additional measurement information
overall: 530 mm x 410 mm x 110 mm

vendor:  Tingley, J.  Undefined - 1899-10

One of the plaques that covered pillars in the palace compounds at the royal palace in Benin.

Related subjects
maker or user: Edo
object name: plaques (art)
material: brass

Record created 2000-01-22
Record last updated 2018-06-28

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