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History made Timeless with Art:Queen Mother of Benin Empire
cnsofo1 wrote in lsuart1001
Queen Mother of Benin Empire

The Ivory Head above is a representation of a recognized powerful woman who was given the title of "Queen Mother" in the Western African region of Africa(Nigeria).By her given name Idia- she was married to Ozolua an "Oba" (King) during the 15th century, with whom she had two son Esigie and Arhauran .Both of whom were heirs to their fathers throne who had passed away.There was violent dispute between the two brothers.The powerful political and strategic role Idia played which enabled the favored son Esigie to defeat his brother in battle could not have otherwise without his mother presence.The Queen mother's role cannot be overstated as she was considered warrior,leader and controller,mobilizer of Esigie's army and even doctor(herbalist and medicinal expert).Upon Esigie's victory, his mother was crowned "Queen Mother",and was given her own palace  and political power.As such the artifact is a representation of power of a woman.Converse to what many in the west may conceive of early African societies-That a woman was given a King-like role.Revolutions of this sort(which is rather new to the west), is seen as old news in African chronology and societies as woman had power to own property,ensure peace, and even provide political rule in ensuring success of kingdoms.


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