Late 18th-early 19th century
(Kingdom of Benin)
Miscellaneous Works of Art Fund
- Benin (BEN-een) kingdom was ruled by kings called obas (OH-ba) who were aided by town chiefs called iyases (EE-yah-she) and by
palace chiefs called ezomos (EE-zoe-mo).
- A popular Benin story honoring Ezomo Ehenua (ee-HEE-noo-a) celebrates his defeat of the evil Iyase n'Ode (EE-yah-she-n-oh-day).
images carved on elephant tusks reinforce the power of important people and remind viewers of Benin's history.