Tribe of the Week: The Benin People

October 26, 2017 By

We’ve added some additional information to our Benin tribe page! Check it out here.

The Benin are known for their bronze statues (see images above), specifically their gorgeous bronze leopard statues. Leopards appear in Benin art more than any other animal or other motif. As “king of the forest,” the leopard is as honorable as the Oba, or king, in Benin culture. They represent the Oba’s authority, high status and the loyalty of his people and are often displayed guarding palace doors.

Unlike most African cultures, the people of the Benin kingdom did not freely create tribal art, they were ordered to make specific art by the Oba, such as brass heads, plaques and leopard statues, to decorate and guard the palace. The Benin made their art using the lost-wax casting method and often used brass, ivory and terracotta as their materials.

The opulence and royal influence certainly comes through in nearly every Benin piece created, don’t you think?

Check out more of our Benin art collection here.

And be sure to get inspired on our Pinterest page; we have a Benin board with some incredible pieces.

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