Relief plate: harvest of a sacrificial plant

Physical Chareteristics
The relief plate is part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the presumably 800-year-old Kingdom of Benin. The kingdom, which is located in what is now southwestern Nigeria, was conquered by the British in 1897 and the courtly works of art came to Europe as spoils of war. Bronze relief panels covered the pillars of Oba’s palace in Benin City. The panels show aspects of court life and bear witness to the history of the kingdom. The pictorial program of the relief panel shows two figures under a climbing, fruit-bearing plant (Telfairia occidentalis). The figure on the right cuts off a fruit with a long knife. She is dressed in a helmet, loincloth and a horn on her belt. The figure on the left wears a helmet with a cut fruit and a narrow hip cord to which a knife and a small bag are attached. In the background there is a floral pattern, which is complemented by the fruits and leaves of the climbing plant.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 60.5 x 41.0 x 6.5 cm