Africa, Republic of Benin
41 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. (105.4 x 21.6 x 21.6 cm)
Iron, brass, aluminum, wood chip
Gift of Janice Hecker
Currently On View
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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.]
Weapons in the form of a single, long shaft, like a quarterstaff, that serve ceremonial or ritual functions, for instance as symbols of office or public regalia. [July 1998 descriptor 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: 05/13/2021
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