Memorial Altar ("Asen")
Africa, Republic of Benin, Ouidah region
60 x 13 x 13 in. (152.4 x 33.02 x 33.02 cm)
Cut sheet-iron, with pigments and strips of fabric
Gift of the Franklyn and Evelyn Clerk Trust
Currently On View
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Religion originating in West Africa, combining theological and magical beliefs and practices with ritual and iconographic elements from Roman Catholicism, practiced in West Africa, Haiti and other areas in the Caribbean, and some cities and regions of North and South America, primarily by populations of African origin. [July 1998 lead-in term added, "vod˙". November 1994 related term added; descriptor moved. October 1994 scope note added; lead-in terms added.]
Class within the nobility consisting of those who are descended from or related to a monarch or line of monarchs. [February 1993 alternate term deleted, was 'royal'. January 1993 related term added. December 1990 descriptor added.]
Art or practice of foreseeing future events or obtaining secret knowledge through divine sources, omens, or oracles; it is based on the belief that revelations are offered to humans in extrarational forms of knowledge. CCE [November 1994 alternate term added. January 1992 descriptor added.]
Use for constructions upon which religious sacrifice is offered. Includes both small, tablelike fixtures and larger, free-standing, outdoor structures. For the surface at which communion is celebrated in Protestant churches, use "communion tables." [September 1993 related term added. March 1993 descriptor moved. October 1991 scope note changed.]
Structures built to preserve the memory of beings or events. For other objects created, issued, or worn to commemorate persons or events, use "commemoratives." [January 1995 scope note added; related terms added.]
Sculptures of the Fon people of Benin, Africa, consisting of a staff surmounted by a disc-like platform decorated with a tableau of cut-out or forged metal figures, often with pendants hanging from the edge; they function as commemoratives to deceased relatives, and are prayed to and offered sacrifices in ceremonies of mourning and ancestor worship. [March 1998 descriptor added.]
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Last updated: 01/26/2021
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