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This piece is a hip ornament, designed to be worn on the left hip by aristocratic members of the Oba’s (Ruler's) court as evidence of their high social status. It may have been made for and worn by the Oba himself, as the leopard was the animal with which the Oba was most strongly associated.


Almost all Benin art was created to honour the king. Bronze leopards were also often used as royal water vessels. Water was poured from the mouth over the hands of the king in cleansing rituals.


This West African vintage bronze leopard head statue from Benin is handmade using the traditional and complex hollowed lost-wax-casting technique.

Benin Bronze Leopard Mask

  • Origin: Benin

    Material: Bronze

    Size: 4" W x 7" L

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