Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue)
Arts of Africa
Benin court officials have long worn a variety of brass ornaments as part of their elaborate regalia for ceremonial occasions. Such ornaments were worn on the left hip, covering the closure of a wrapped skirt. The three metal scarification marks on either side of the forehead identify the individual portrayed as a royal Edo man. Similar items of regalia are worn by Benin court officials today.
Copper alloy, iron
18th century (possibly)
6 13/16 × 4 5/16 × 2 1/4 in. (17.3 × 11 × 5.7 cm) (show scale)
faint evidence of a number in white along the PR side of the base, possibly "B60(?).8.513"
Gift of Beatrice Riese
Prior to 1965, provenance not yet documented; by 1965, reportedly acquired by John Hewitt of London, United Kingdom; by 1965, acquired by Merton D. Simpson Gallery, New York, NY; 1965, purchased and traded for by Beatrice Riese of New York, NY; 1994, gift of Beatrice Riese to the Brooklyn Museum.
Human face with ornate adornments. Semi-circular "crown" extends above forehead with lattice-like area and three 5-lobed decorations at center. Small, globular forms around edge. At forehead, five strands of "beads." Above each eye, three vertical incised lines. Band of incised lines from center of brow to tip of nose. Seven strands of beads represented around lower edge of face. Extending from beaded strands, series of conical projections, resembling ruffled collar; loops attached to each flaring element. Five small, figure-eight shaped wires attached to loops.
This item is not on view
Edo. Hip Ornament with Human Face (Uhunmwun-ekue), 18th century (possibly). Copper alloy, iron, 6 13/16 × 4 5/16 × 2 1/4 in. (17.3 × 11 × 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Beatrice Riese, 1994.143. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.143_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1994.143_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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