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Artist/Maker: Fon people (Benin)

Date: 20th century
Medium: wood and ivory
Overall: 4 x 2 1/4 x 16 5/8 in. (10.2 x 5.7 x 42.2 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Thomas Wilson
Object number: 94.0056
DescriptionIn Africa, lions, in contrast to leopards, tend to have quite specific reference to individual leadership in a worldly rather than spiritual sense. Among the Fon, it is a symbol of Gele, a nineteenth century king of the Empire of Dahomey. Not surprisingly, Africans found it easy to relate to the colonial British use of the lion as a symbol of royal authority. African images of lions often have a European look about them.
Not on view
In Collection(s)