Every kingdom has a hierarchy of power. The King stands supreme, and then there are various levels below that.
This mask is a depiction of the second in command in the Benin Kingdom, Iyasere. It is a title of the highest ranking chief. This title is not hereditary as most chief titles are, but is an appointment by the King himself.
Iyasere stands as an agent of the king in many palace duties, and often stands in for the king in public ceremonies in order to limit the exposure of the King to the common people.
We had asked Owie to make five unique masks for us, of which this is one. The amount of detail in the ceremonial beadwork is wonderful. The animals on the hat lapels are alligators representing the power of the post.
Carefully carved from white ebony this substantial mid sized piece stands about 18 inches tall, and weighs over 7 pounds. It can stand on its own, or be hung on a wall.
All carvings are coated with a wax in order to moderate the humidity changes of the wood. Most typical a clear, black, or brown wax polish is used, depending upon the effect the artist desires. This piece was polished using a black wax, then the smooth parts were sanded to provide a lighter and smoother look to those parts. The color is permanent, but will lighten somewhat over time.
Price - $400.00
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