Oku'Oba (Oba's Emissary)

The ownership of this object was transferred to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in November 2022.

A bronze plaque. Benin City. The plaque is depicting a war chief and royal military priest carrying a leather gift box, ekpokin. The chief wears a high collar, odigba, beaded anklets and bracelets, a rounded lead helmet and scabbard. His dress indicates that he was the Imaran, the fourth in the hierarchy of Benin war chiefs.

The braided hairstyle of the other figure holding the leather gift box, with his three-stranded bead necklace and celt stone tied to the diagonal stripe running the length of his apron, strongly suggest a priest of the royal order. Both Benin historical records and palace oral tradition identify this functionary as either Ohen Okheghe, the priest doctor of the royal army, or the priest of the Udo Lake chiefdom, Ohen Odighi N'Udo.

Collection Information

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