Kingdom of Ife: Ife uncover

Kingdom of Ife: Ife uncover

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Professor John Picton en metallurg Paul Craddock bespreek die betekenis en die maak van die beelde in die uitstalling Kingdom of Ife -beelde uit Wes -Afrika
http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/all_current_exhibitions/kingdom_of_ife/kingdom_of_ife_videos/ife_uncovered.aspx


Bronshoof van Ife

Die Bronshoof van Ife, of As kop, [2] is een van agtien beelde van koperlegering wat in 1938 in Ife in Nigerië, die godsdienstige en voormalige koninklike sentrum van die Yoruba -mense, opgegrawe is. Daar word geglo dat dit 'n koning verteenwoordig. Dit is waarskynlik gemaak in die veertiende-vyftiende eeu G.J. [1] Die realisme en gesofistikeerde vakmanskap van die voorwerpe het Westerse opvattings oor Afrikaanse kuns uitgedaag. [ twyfelagtig - bespreek ] Die naturalistiese kenmerke van die Ife -koppe is uniek in Afrika, [3] [1] en word vandag beskou as die hoogste prestasie van Afrikaanse kuns en kultuur. [1] Die stilistiese ooreenkomste van die Ife -koppe "dui daarop dat dit deur 'n individuele kunstenaar of in 'n enkele werkswinkel gemaak is." [3] 'n Jaar na die bevinding is die Ife Head na die British Museum geneem. [4]


Laai nou af!

Ons het u maklik gemaak om 'n PDF -e -boek te vind sonder om te grawe. En deur toegang tot ons e -boeke aanlyn te hê of deur dit op u rekenaar te stoor, het u maklike antwoorde met Art In Ancient Ife Birthplace Of The Yoruba. Om aan die gang te kom met die vind van Art In Ancient Ife Birthplace Of The Yoruba, vind u tereg ons webwerf met 'n uitgebreide versameling handleidings.
Ons biblioteek is die grootste hiervan, wat letterlik honderdduisende verskillende produkte verteenwoordig het.

Uiteindelik kry ek hierdie e -boek, dankie vir al hierdie kuns in die ou geboorteplek van die Yoruba wat ek nou kan kry!

Ek het nie gedink dat dit sou werk nie, my beste vriend het hierdie webwerf vir my gewys, en dit werk! Ek kry my gewildste e -boek

wtf hierdie wonderlike e -boek gratis ?!

My vriende is so kwaad dat hulle nie weet hoe ek al die e -boek van hoë gehalte het nie, wat hulle nie het nie!

Dit is baie maklik om kwaliteitboeke te kry)

soveel vals webwerwe. dit is die eerste een wat gewerk het! Baie dankie

wtffff ek verstaan ​​dit nie!

Kies net u klik en dan die aflaai -knoppie en voltooi 'n aanbod om die e -boek te begin aflaai. As daar 'n opname is, neem dit slegs 5 minute, probeer 'n opname wat vir u werk.


As kop

  1. Klik op die prent om in te zoem. Kopieregtrustees van die British Museum
  2. Die agterkant van die koperkop. Kopieregtrustees van die British Museum
  3. 'N Moderne Nigeriese seël met die kop van Olokun en die Ife -museum. Kopieregtrustees van die British Museum
  4. Kaart wat wys waar hierdie voorwerp gemaak is. Kopieregtrustees van die British Museum

Hierdie kop beeld waarskynlik 'n Ooni uit, 'n heerser van die Wes-Afrikaanse koninkryk Ife wat tussen 1100 en 1500 nC floreer het. Die portretagtige realisme van Ife-koppe is uniek in Afrikaanse kuns. Hierdie naturalisme het kunshistorici verbaas toe die eerste Ife -koppe in 1911 na Europa gebring is. Een Duitse ontdekkingsreisiger het selfs voorgestel dat dit deur Griekse setlaars in Afrika gemaak is - die oorsprong van Plato se Atlantis -mite. Daar is altesaam 18 koppe gevind, en hul stilistiese ooreenkomste dui daarop dat dit deur 'n individuele kunstenaar of in 'n enkele werkswinkel gemaak is.

Hoe was die lewe in die Middeleeuse Afrika?

Die koninkryk Ife het die eerste keer omstreeks 800 nC ontstaan. Dit was een van verskeie mededingende Wes -Afrikaanse koninkryke wat gedurende die Middeleeue ontwikkel het. Die mag en rykdom van Ife is waarskynlik gedeeltelik afkomstig van sy toegang tot die winsgewende handelsroetes van die Nigerrivier en dit verbind met die wyer handelsnetwerke van Wes -Afrika en die Sahara. Vandag word Ife beskou as die geestelike hart van die Yoruba -mense in die suidweste van Nigerië. Ife word gevier as die oorsprong van die mensdom, waar die gode uit die hemel neergedaal het om die wêreld te bevolk.

Baie van die goud wat in Middeleeuse Europese en Islamitiese munte gebruik is, kom uit Wes-Afrika via die handelsroetes oor die Sahara

Die Koninkryk van Ife

Hierdie bekroonde kop van 'n heerser is 'n merkwaardige stuk messing wat belangrike aspekte weerspieël van die historiese kultuur wat ontwikkel is in Ife, aan die onderkant van die Nigerrivier, dateer uit ongeveer 2000 jaar en bloei in die twaalfde-vyftiende eeu.

Die tyd wat in Europa as die Middeleeue bekend gestaan ​​het, was die goue era van Wes -Afrika. Kragtige ryke wat groot gebiede beheer, floreer in die Wes-Afrikaanse savanne, met 'n groot impak op die geskiedenis en kulture van die hele subkontinent: die Ghana-ryk (800-100's), die Mali-ryk (1200s-laat 1300's) en die Songhay-ryk ( 1400 tot laat 1500's). In die ooste, in die Sentraal-Afrikaanse savanne, het die Kanem-Bornu-ryk uitgebrei rondom die Tsjaadmeer.

Handelsroetes kruis deur Wes-Afrika, wat die noordelike savannestede soos Gao, Timboektoe, Djenne en die suidelike bosentrums soos Begho, Igbo-Ukwu, Ife en Oyo verbind met die Hausa-state soos Kano en Zaria, en bereik Ngazargamo in Kanem-Bornu. Die streekshandel hou weer verband met die aansienlike handel oor die Sahara -woestyn in die noorde. Hierdie uitruilings suid van die Sahara wat Noordelike (saam met Andalusië in Spanje) en Noordoos-Afrika verbind met handelsstede in Wes-Afrika en aan die Tsjadmeer.

Verskeie plaaslike en mediterrane goedere is verhandel - geweefde en gekleurde lappe, kola neute, goud, yster, slawe, krale, koper en koperlegerings, ivoor, geborduurde lappe, ingevoerde luukse doeke.

Wes -Afrika was ook 'n groot verskaffer van goud aan Europa. Groot state en streekmoondhede het meegeding om die handel te beheer, wat enorme rykdom en mag aan hulle gebring het. Hierdie handel was 'n kragtige kanaal vir handwerk, vaardighede, nuwe idees en verbruikersgoedere, sowel as vir die verspreiding van Islam. Groot stede floreer as plekke van internasionale handel en lok handelaars, ambagsmanne, Moslemgeleerdes en geestelikes uit verskillende horisonne.

In hierdie konteks het Ife gegroei tot 'n bloeiende kosmopolitiese stadstaat, 'n handels- en handelsentrum wat vandag as die legendariese vaderland van die Yoruba-sprekende mense beskou word. Dit het 'n belangrike politieke en godsdienstige gesag in die onderste Niger -streek gevestig, in die huidige Nigerië. Sy heersers het handwerk bevorder, veral gietwerk, weefwerk en kralemakering van koperlegering. Die erfenis bevat uitstekende naturalistiese kunswerke in klip, terracotta en metaal.

Die metaal en die oorvloed krale wat in hierdie pragtige werk voorgestel word, vertel ons van die belangrike verbinding van Ife met die plaaslike handelsnetwerk. Dit is tekens van rykdom en die hoogste gesag, want koper en krale was krag en luukse materiaal wat slegs toeganklik was vir regte en welgestelde hooggeplaastes. Uit dit alles kan die gevolgtrekking gemaak word dat die kop gebruik is om belangrike en gesofistikeerde rituele seremonies uit te voer, waarskynlik op 'n heilige heerser.

Hierdie bekroonde kop van 'n heerser is 'n merkwaardige stuk messing wat belangrike aspekte weerspieël van die historiese kultuur wat ontwikkel is in Ife, aan die onderkant van die Nigerrivier, dateer uit ongeveer 2000 jaar en bloei in die twaalfde-vyftiende eeu.

Die tyd wat in Europa as die Middeleeue bekend gestaan ​​het, was die goue era van Wes -Afrika. Kragtige ryke wat groot gebiede beheer, floreer in die Wes-Afrikaanse savanne, met 'n groot impak op die geskiedenis en kulture van die hele subkontinent: die Ghana-ryk (800-100's), die Mali-ryk (1200s-laat 1300's) en die Songhay-ryk ( 1400 tot laat 1500's). In die ooste, in die Sentraal-Afrikaanse savanne, het die Kanem-Bornu-ryk uitgebrei rondom die Tsjaadmeer.

Handelsroetes kruis deur Wes-Afrika, wat die noordelike savannestede soos Gao, Timboektoe, Djenne en die suidelike bosentrums soos Begho, Igbo-Ukwu, Ife en Oyo verbind met die Hausa-state soos Kano en Zaria, en bereik Ngazargamo in Kanem-Bornu. Die streekshandel hou weer verband met die aansienlike handel oor die Sahara -woestyn in die noorde. Hierdie uitruilings suid van die Sahara verbind Noord-(saam met Andalusië in Spanje) en Noordoos-Afrika met handelsstede in Wes-Afrika en aan die Tsjadmeer.

Verskeie plaaslike en mediterrane goedere is verhandel - geweefde en gekleurde lappe, kola neute, goud, yster, slawe, krale, koper en koperlegerings, ivoor, geborduurde lappe, ingevoerde luukse doeke.

Wes -Afrika was ook 'n groot verskaffer van goud aan Europa. Groot state en streekmoondhede het meegeding om die handel te beheer, wat enorme rykdom en mag aan hulle gebring het. Hierdie handel was 'n kragtige kanaal vir handwerk, vaardighede, nuwe idees en verbruikersgoedere, sowel as vir die verspreiding van Islam. Groot stede floreer as plekke van internasionale handel en lok handelaars, ambagsmanne, Moslemgeleerdes en geestelikes uit verskillende horisonne.

In hierdie konteks het Ife gegroei tot 'n bloeiende kosmopolitiese stadstaat, 'n handels- en handelsentrum wat vandag as die legendariese vaderland van die Yoruba-sprekende mense beskou word. Dit het 'n belangrike politieke en godsdienstige gesag in die onderste Niger -streek gevestig, in die huidige Nigerië. Sy heersers het handwerk bevorder, veral gietwerk, weefwerk en kralemakering van koperlegering. Die erfenis bevat uitstekende naturalistiese kunswerke in klip, terracotta en metaal.

Die metaal en die oorvloed krale wat in hierdie pragtige werk voorgestel word, vertel ons van die belangrike verbinding van Ife met die plaaslike handelsnetwerk. Dit is tekens van rykdom en die hoogste gesag, want koper en krale was krag en luukse materiaal wat slegs toeganklik was vir regte en welgestelde hooggeplaastes. Uit dit alles kan die gevolgtrekking gemaak word dat die kop gebruik is om belangrike en gesofistikeerde rituele seremonies uit te voer, waarskynlik op 'n heilige heerser.

Claude Ardouin, kurator, British Museum

Kommentaar is gesluit vir hierdie voorwerp

Kommentaar

Daar is geen melding gemaak van die reeks klein gaatjies om die mond en nek van die Ife -kop nie, wat lyk asof hulle oorspronklik 'n beslaglegging of 'n anker gehad het. Dit is beslis belangrik.

Ek het 'n verwysing hierna gevind deur in te zoem op die prentjie van die voorwerp.

Hierdie merkwaardige werk herinner my aan die Benin -brons wat in dieselfde tyd ook uit Wes -Afrika kom en wat nie deur Ian gekies is nie. Deur die Britte in 'n strafaanval geneem, word hulle vergelyk met die Elgin -albasters as oorsake vir repatriasie. Geen wonder dat hulle nie vir hierdie reeks gekies is nie. (En wat opvallend is aan sommige van hulle, is die noue ooreenkoms tussen die kopuitsteeksels wat sommige van hulle gedra het met die? Goue hoede? Wat in die bronstydperk in Europa aangetref is. sou 'n perfekte gesprekstuk vir hierdie reeks gewees het..

As niemand anders kan dink nie, wie sou 'n positiewe invloed gehad het op die artistieke en tegnologiese ontwikkeling van die mense van Wes -Afrika, waaronder Nigerië, kan ek. Wat van die ou Egiptenare om mee te begin. Was die Egiptiese voorvoegsel en agtervoegsel? Jer nie bedoel om kolonie aan te dui nie, dit wil sê Jerusalem, Jerigo, en vandaar die woord? Reis ?. Miskien is daar 'n etimologiese -Jer in Nigerië wat herlei kan word na 'n vroeë Egiptiese invloed? Miskien was daar 'n kolonie genaamd Jeri (f) a? Aangesien goud en ivoor uit Wes -Afrika byna sekerlik 'n bron vir antieke Egipte was, volg dit dat 'n hele aantal ander kulture noodwendig hulself sou bevoordeel het tydens die handel tydens en na die Kemetyan -periode (Egipties). Na wie is dit beter om die vinger te wys as die Feniciërs, buitengewone handelaars in die see? Hulle het ook ivoor en goud verhandel deur relatief nabygeleë Kartago en van daar af ekspedisies oor die Sahara en om die Afrika -kus. Waar het Hannibal sy olifante gekry? Daarom vra ek, gegewe die veragtelike gierigheid en barbaarsheid van Rome, hoe onmoontlik is dit om te dink dat baie bevoorregte en slim Kartagoë eintlik die swaard of erger, slawerny, kon ontsnap deur die woestyn oor te steek na hul ou vriende in Wes -Afrika toe Kartago het die kennis dit saamgeneem?

A History of the World in 100 Objects bevat 'n program oor een van die Benin -plate later in die reeks. Hierdie program word uitgesaai in die derde deel van die reeks wat in September begin.

JD Hill Die Britse museum

Net 'n bietjie navraag. Is die voorwerp koper (koper en sink) of brons (koper en tin)? Dit is tydens die uitsending as beide verwys.

Frustrerend. Die grootste deel van die duur van hierdie episode is opgeneem deur die manier waarop die Westerse wêreld sy siening oor Afrika verander het na die ontdekking van hierdie koppe. Die kort tydjie was oor hoe Afrika nou trots is op sy verlede. Waar is die geskiedenis van die wêreld? Waar is die navorsing oor materiale, tegnieke en waarom is hierdie voorwerp so belangrik om deel te wees van slegs 100 voorwerpe waardeur ons ons kollektiewe geskiedenis kan definieer? Al genoeg van die 'rustige' kyk in die oë. Ons het regte geskiedenis nodig.
Wie was die vakmanne? Het hulle nog die tegniek in Nigerië? Waar kom die brons vandaan? Wat sê dit vir ons oor die sosiale toestande?
Laat die Westerse wêreld sy siening vir 'n ander reeks verander.

Ek deel die vorige kommentators se frustrasie. Dit sou regtig fassinerend wees om die tegniese besonderhede wat verband hou met die maak van hierdie voorwerpe, te verduidelik aan die materiaal, die oorsprong, die gereedskap wat hulle gebruik het en enige inligting oor die vakmanne wat dit maak - al was die meerderheid anoniem. Sulke inligting behoort saam met kontekste en betekenis deel uit te maak van enige goeie dekonstruksie van 'n voorwerp. My frustrasie is omdat ek geïntrigeerd is en meer inligting wil hê.
Dit gesê, hierdie reeks is uitstekend en ek geniet dit baie om te leer oor soveel nuwe aspekte van die geskiedenis deur middel van voorwerpe, die idee om dit in temas saam te voeg, werk baie goed. Dankie Radio 4

Dankie vir 'n paar interessante navrae - ek het dit aan die British Museum -kurators van Afrikaanse voorwerpe gestuur:

@Jaydyer - Die kop is gemaak van sterk lood sink -koper (koper ongeveer 70%, sink ongeveer 16,5%en lood ongeveer 11,3%).

@Matteela - Ons het nie genoeg argeologiese en historiese bewyse om presies te weet wie die vakmanne was nie. Weet ons? uit die bewyse van hul werk in Ife? dat hulle 'n hoë vaardigheid ontwikkel het om koper en suiwer koper te giet deur gebruik te maak van die hol verlore wasgietegniek. Die oorsprong van die tegniek in Wes -Afrika bly onbekend, maar dit was byna seker 'n inheemse tegniek wat onafhanklik in die streek ontwikkel is.

Ten tyde van die ontmoeting met Europa, bestaan ​​die tradisie van koper gietwerk met die verlore wastegniek nie meer in Ife self nie, hoewel dit elders wyd deur die Yoruba-sprekende mense beoefen is. Verlore waskoper en brons giet egter steeds floreer onder die Yoruba-sprekende mense in ander dele van Nigerië, in Benin-City, sowel as op die onderste Benue-rivier.

Waar kom die brons vandaan?

Ons is nie heeltemal seker waar die Ife -wiele hul metaalbronne verkry het nie. Daar was verskillende bronne van die koper wat in die Middeleeue in Wes -Afrika verhandel is. Metaal is beslis ingevoer via die trans-Sahara-roetes ('n karavaan van 2000 koperstawe is in Mauretanië gevind wat dateer uit die 11de-13de eeu). Koper kom moontlik ook uit Noordoos-Afrika en selfs uit Roemenië. Dit is dus waarskynlik dat ingevoerde koper en koper wat na Wes -Afrika verhandel is, gemeng is met lokaal gesmelte lood en dat dit in Ife gebruik is.

Wat vertel dit ons oor sosiale toestande?

Die gebruik van ingevoerde? Luukse? materiale soos koper en koper vertel ons dat Ife ryk was en op die hoogtepunt van sy invloed hoë status en plaaslike gesag geniet het (waarskynlik tussen die 12de en 15de eeue). Die Ife -kop wat hier verskyn, dra 'n komplekse kroon met pluim en beduidende hoeveelhede krale -juweliersware en verteenwoordig ongetwyfeld 'n heerser van Ife.

@jan goodey - As metaalbeelde gemaak is met 'n proses wat bekend staan ​​as 'hol verlore was'? giet. Koper is uiters moeilik om te giet en die toevoeging van klein hoeveelhede ander metale vergemaklik die proses. Blik (om brons te maak) of sink (om koper te maak) verlaag sy smeltpunt, terwyl lood die vloeibaarheid daarvan verbeter. 'N Paar gietstukke is in amper suiwer koper gemaak, wat die uitstekende vaardighede van hierdie kunstenaars bewys.

David Prudames, British Museum

Deel hierdie skakel:

Die grootste deel van die inhoud van A History of the World word geskep deur die bydraers, die museums en lede van die publiek. Die menings word uitgespreek en is nie die van die BBC of die British Museum nie, tensy dit spesifiek vermeld word. Die BBC is nie verantwoordelik vir die inhoud van enige eksterne webwerwe waarna verwys word nie. As u van mening is dat iets op hierdie bladsy 'n oortreding van die huisreëls van die webwerf is, moet u hierdie voorwerp merk.


Onontdekte Skotland

Die Kingdom of Fife beslaan die skiereiland wat gevorm word deur die Firth of Forth in die suide en die Firth of Tay in die noorde. Dit is nie 'n eiland nie, maar tot relatief onlangse tye het u 'n veerboot of 'n lang ompad nodig gehad om dit uit die meeste ander dele van Skotland te bereik. Die bestaan ​​van Fife as 'n aparte entiteit kan in die eeue na die vertrek van die Romeine teruggevoer word na die Pictish Kingdom of Fib. Dit is om hierdie rede dat daar gereeld na Fife verwys word as "The Kingdom of Fife ", of eenvoudig "The Kingdom ". Vir verblyf in die omgewing, sien die skakels in die spyskaart "See en Stay " hierbo. Sien die onderstaande kaart vir 'n uiteensetting van die gebied en skakels na omliggende gebiede.

Die westelike helfte van Fife is 'n gebied waarvan die karakter gevorm word deur drie baie verskillende invloede: geskiedenis, nywerheid en die see. Die historiese invloed is die duidelikste in Dunfermline en by Culross. Dunfermline het baie eeue lank as 'n koninklike woning en begraafplaas gedien. Daar word gesê dat dit die oorblyfsels is van agt Skotse konings, vier koninginne en verskillende prinse en prinsesse. Hierdie geskiedenis word vandag die opvallendste gesien in die Abbey Church en die nabygeleë ruïnes van die Dunfermline Abbey, later omskep in 'n koninklike paleis deur James VI's Queen, Anne van Denemarke. Dunfermline kan ook die uitstaande Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, The Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum en een van Skotland se ongewone besoekersattraksies, St Margaret's Cave, aanbied.

Ander vondste in die omgewing is meer 'n verrassing, soos die eerste kasteel van Skotland uit die artillerietydperk, Ravenscraig -kasteel, aan die rand van Kirkcaldy, of Rosyth -kasteel, nou amper omring deur die ontwikkeling van die werf. Intussen is Tulliallan Kirkyard die tuiste van een van die beste versamelings ou grafstene in Skotland. 'N Blik op 'n nog ouer geskiedenis kan gesien word by Balfarg Henge en Balbirnie Stone Circle aan die oostelike rand van Glenrothes. Naby albei is die indrukwekkende Balbirnie -huis, nou 'n uitstekende hotel.

Verder wes word 'n merkwaardige geskiedenisgeskiedenis bewaar by Culross, aan die oewer van die River Forth, 'n entjie oos van die Kincardine -brug. Hier vind u 'n tydkapsel uit die 16de eeu, kompleet met die oorblyfsels van 'n abdij, 'n fassinerende abdijkerk, 'n paleis (eintlik 'n groot saal) en 'n pragtige versameling ander geboue. Ten ooste is die tweelingdorpe Charlestown en Limekilns, wie se rustigheid vandag ook hul industriële begin verberg.

Die rykdom van die verlede was grotendeels gebou op die steenkoolmynbedryf. Daar was 'n tyd toe 'n groot aantal putte oor die hele suidelike Fife gewerk het, wat kenmerkende nedersettings soos Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, Cardenden, Kelty en Kinglassie nagelaat het. Twee voorbeelde van nogal verskillende voormalige steenkoolmyn- en uitvoerdorpe is Dysart en West Wemyss, albei oos van Kirkcaldy. Intussen het Levenmouth, die woonbuurt wat die dorpe Leven, Methil en Buckhaven insluit, ook 'n geskiedenis waarin steenkool groot was. Hierdie geskiedenis word in die Methil Heritage Centre vertel.

Aan die ander kant van die industriële spektrum is die "nuwe stad " van Glenrothes. Dit het 'n verskeidenheid moderne vervaardigings- en diensbedrywe aangetrek, 'n neiging wat hier en rondom die M90 ​​voortduur namate besighede voordeel trek uit die nabyheid van Edinburgh sonder die grondpryse van die kapitaal. Die westelike stad Leslie is onmiddellik wes.

Elders aan die Forth -kus meng toeristejuwele soos Aberdour, Limekilns en Culross met tradisionele vakansieoorde soos Kinghorn. Intussen meng die hawe en nywerheid van plekke soos Rosyth, Burntisland en Inverkeithing met die nuwe ontwikkeling van plekke soos Dalgety Bay: die huis van die ruïnes van St Bridget's Church. Verder langs die kus is die Aberdour -kasteel en die nabygeleë St Fillan's Church veral die moeite werd om te besoek, net soos die histories belangrike Burntisland Parish Church.

Die bou van die eerste Kincardine -brug in 1936 verplaas Stirling as die ligging van die verste stroomaf -brug oor die Forth (die tweede, die Clackmannanshire -brug, is in November 2008 voltooi). Dit is self verplaas deur die voltooiing van die baie meer skouspelagtige Forth Road Bridge wat Noord -Queensferry met South Queensferry verbind in 1964. In die omgewing is die uiters kenmerkende struktuur van die Forth Rail Bridge, voltooi in 1890. Aan die noordelike punt torings dit oor die ou steengroef wat nou gebruik word as 'n tuiste vir Deep Sea World. Die bouwerk aan 'n tweede Forth Road Bridge is nou aan die gang.

Die belangrikste nedersetting in die oostelike deel van Fife is St Andrews, die oudste universiteitsdorp van Skotland, miskien die bekendste as die tuiste van gholf. Dit lê aan 'n breë baai aan die noordoostelike kus van Fife. Die stad word maklik te voet verken. Daar is 'n mengsel van universiteitsgeboue langs winkels en restaurante, net soos in Oxford of Cambridge. Die stad is ook die eindpunt vir die Coast to Coast Walk vanaf Oban.

Die ruïnes van die St Andrews -katedraal, eens die grootste en mooiste katedraal in die land, lê aan die oostelike punt van Noordstraat. Behalwe die katedraal self, kan besoekers die uitstekende katedraalmuseum besoek of die St Rule -toring beklim, wat uitstekende uitsigte in alle rigtings bied. St Andrews het ontwikkel as die kerklike hoofstad van die land en het 'n pelgrimstog geword. In 1200 is 'n kasteel gebou vir die biskop, gedeeltelike woning, gedeeltelike vesting. In die 1450's was die jong koning James II 'n gereelde besoeker (sien ons historiese tydlyn).

Die vereniging van St Andrews met gholf dateer uit die 1400's, met die beroemde Old Course wat in die 1500's gebou is. Die pragtige Old Course -hotel bied 'n uitsig oor die Old Course. In totaal spog St Andrews met die Old Course plus vyf ander openbare kursusse in die omgewing. Dit is ook die tuiste van die uitstekende Britse gholfmuseum. In die omgewing is die St Andrews Aquarium.

Oorkant die monding van die rivier Eden van St Andrews is RAF Leuchars, wat elke September tuis is aan een van die beste lugvertonings in die Verenigde Koninkryk. Dit sit langs die aantreklike dorpie Leuchars, waarvan die Parish Church enkele van die beste Normandiese argitektuur in die land bevat.

Ten suide van St Andrews is die East Neuk, 'n gebied met oulike vissersdorpe wat Crail, Pittenweem, St Monans en Elie insluit. Oos van St Monans is die windpomp van St Monans en die tuiste van die gepaardgaande soutpanne, en in die weste is die oorblyfsels van Newark Castle en Ardross Castle. Net in die binneland van die kus af is die aantreklike dorpe Boarhills en Kingsbarns. Naby laasgenoemde is die uitstekende Kingsbarns -distilleerdery en besoekersentrum. 'N Entjie verder wes is die saamgestelde dorpe Upper Largo en Lower Largo.

Die Skotse visserymuseum is die tuiste van Anstruther. Dit vertel die verhaal van die visserybedryf vanaf die vroegste tye tot vandag en is die hele jaar oop. Slegs 'n half kilometer van Anstruther af is Cellardyke, 'n vissersnedersetting wat eens belangriker was as Anstruther self. Die binneland lê die ou gehuggie Kilrenny.

In die binneland tussen Crail en Anstruther is Skotland se geheime bunker, 'n plek wat in die geval van 'n kernoorlog die regeringsetel van die land sou word. In die binneland van St Monans is die Kellie -kasteel.

Falkland -paleis, in die dorp Falkland, is 'n uitstekende voorbeeld van vroeë Renaissance -argitektuur en beide paleise en tuine is gedurende die somermaande vir die publiek oop. 'N Bietjie in die noorde en op die lyn van die A91 is Auchtermuchty en Strathmiglo.

Cupar, die hoofstad van Fife, is 'n markstad wat 'n groot deel van sy middeleeuse karakter behou. Dit is in die middel van Fife se padnetwerk geleë en is op die spoorlyn na Dundee. 'N Entjie suidwaarts is die Scotstarvit -toring, naby 'n ander besienswaardigheid, die Hill of Tarvit -herehuis en die aantreklike dorpie Ceres. Nie ver daarvandaan is Cults Kirk nie. Tussen Ceres en die kus is 'n gebied waar twee uitstekende herberge huisves en uitstekende kos bied, The Peat Inn en die Inn at Lathones.

Die noordkus van Fife kyk oor die rivier Tay na Dundee. Totdat die Tay Rail Bridge gebou is, het 'n spoorwegveerboot vanaf Tayport, naby die noordoostelike punt van Fife, gery, terwyl Newport-on-Tay net langs die rivier in werklikheid 'n voorstad van Dundee geword het. Suid van hulle is die ruïnes van die St Fillan's Church. Op 'n geringe pad vier myl wes van Newport-on-Tay is die ruïnes van die Abdij van Balmerino. Verder oos vind u die ruïnes van Lindores Abbey, aan die rand van die stad Newburgh. Naby is die uitstekende Lindores Abbey Distillery.

Ritte: Die suidweste van die gebied word deur ons Stirling & Dunfermline -ry -toer deurgemaak. Glenrothes is die beginpunt vir ons Falkland- en St Andrews -rit.


St Andrews From St Rule's Tower

Culross

Glenrothes

Falkland -paleis

Skotse vissery museum

Tayport

Anstruther Harbour

Kelllie -kasteel

Wes -Wemyss

Inhoud

Mitiese oorsprong van Ife: Skepping van die wêreld Redigeer

Volgens die Yoruba -godsdiens het Olodumare, die Allerhoogste God, Obatala beveel om die aarde te skep, maar onderweg het hy palmwyn gevind wat hy gedrink het en dronk geword het. Daarom het die jonger broer van laasgenoemde, Oduduwa, die drie skeppingsvoorwerpe van hom geneem, uit die hemel op 'n ketting afgeklim en 'n handvol aarde op die oer -oseaan gegooi en 'n haan daarop gesit sodat dit kan versprei die aarde, en sodoende die grond waarop Ile Ife gebou sou word, geskep. [4] Oduduwa het 'n palmmoer in 'n gat in die nuutgevormde land geplant en vandaar 'n groot boom met sestien takke, 'n simboliese voorstelling van die stamme van die vroeë Ife-stadstaat. Die gebruik van die skepping, deur Oduduwa, het aanleiding gegee tot die ewige konflik tussen hom en sy ouer broer Obatala, wat nog steeds in die moderne era deur die kultusgroepe van die twee stamme tydens die Itapa Nuwejaar-fees herhaal word. [8] Vanweë sy skepping van die wêreld het Oduduwa die voorvader geword van die eerste goddelike koning van die Yoruba, terwyl Obatala vermoedelik die eerste Yoruba -mense uit klei geskep het. Die betekenis van die woord "ife'in Yoruba is' uitbreiding ',' Ile-Ife 'verwys dus na die mite van oorsprong as' The Land of Expansion '(die woord Ile, soos uitgespreek in die moderne Yoruba-taal, beteken huis of huis, wat die die naam van die stad beteken "The House of Expansion").

Oorsprong van die streekstate: Verspreiding van die heilige stad Edit

Oduduwa het seuns, dogters en 'n kleinseun gehad wat hul eie koninkryke en ryke gestig het, naamlik Ila Orangun, Owu, Ketu, Sabe, Egba, Popo en Oyo. Oranmiyan, die laaste gebore Oduduwa, was een van sy pa se belangrikste predikante en opsiener van die ontluikende Edo -ryk nadat Oduduwa die pleidooi van die Edo -volk toegestaan ​​het vir sy regering. Toe Oranmiyan besluit om terug te keer na Ile Ife, na 'n tydperk van diens en ballingskap in Benin, het hy 'n kind met die naam Eweka agtergelaat wat hy intussen by 'n inheemse prinses van Benin gehad het. Die jong seun het die eerste wettige heerser en Oba van die tweede Edo -dinastie geword wat van vandag tot vandag die heerskappy van Benin het. Oranmiyan het later die Oyo -ryk gestig wat op sy hoogte gestrek het vanaf die westelike oewer van die rivier die Niger tot by die oostelike oewer van die rivier die Volta. Dit sou dien as een van die magtigste van die Middeleeuse state in Afrika, voordat dit in die 19de eeu ineenstort. [5]

    (in Ife) (elders) (elders)
    Ooni van Ile-Ife
  • Oba Olofin Adimula van Ile-Ife
  • Oba Obirin van Ile-Ife van Ile-Ife
  • Yeyeluwa van Ile-Ife van Ile-Ife van Ile-Ife

  • Oshinkola van Iremo
  • Giesi van Moore
  • Ogboru van Ilare
  • Lafogido van Okerewe

Die koning (Ooni van Ile-Ife) Redigeer

Die Oòni (of koning) van Ife is 'n afstammeling van die goddelose Oduduwa en word eerste gereken onder die Yoruba -konings. Hy word tradisioneel beskou as die 401ste gees (Orisha), die enigste een wat praat. Die koninklike dinastie van Ife spoor sy oorsprong terug na die stigting van die stad meer as tienduisend jaar voor die geboorte van Jesus Christus. Die huidige heerser is sy keiserlike majesteit Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II). Die Ooni het sy troon bestyg in 2015. Na die stigting van die Yoruba Orisha -kongres in 1986 het die Ooni 'n internasionale status verkry, waarvan die houers van sy titel sedert die Britse kolonisasie deur die Britte nog nie gehad het nie. Nasionaal was hy nog altyd prominent onder die geselskap van die koninklike Obas van die Federale Republiek van Nigerië, aangesien hy as die hoofpriester en bewaarder van die heilige stad van al die Yorubas. [6] Vroeër was die paleis van die Ooni van Ife 'n struktuur wat bestaan ​​uit outentieke geëmailleerde bakstene, versier met artistieke porseleintegels en allerhande ornamente. [9] Tans is dit 'n meer moderne reeks geboue. Die huidige Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, Ooni van Ife, (gebore 17 Oktober 1974) is 'n Nigeriese rekenmeester en die 51ste Ooni van Ife. Hy volg wyle Oba Okunade Sijuwade (Olubuse II) op, wat die 50ste ooni van Ife was en wat op 28 Julie 2015 oorlede is.

Kulture vir die geeste Wysig

Ife staan ​​bekend as die stad van 401 gode (ook bekend as irumole of orishas). Daar word gesê dat die tradisionele aanbidders elke dag van die jaar 'n fees van een van hierdie gode vier. Die feeste strek dikwels oor meer as een dag en behels sowel priesterlike aktiwiteite in die paleis as teaterdramatisering in die res van die koninkryk. Histories verskyn die koning slegs in die openbaar tydens die jaarlikse Olojo -fees (viering van die nuwe dagbreek). Ander belangrike feeste hier sluit die Itapa -fees vir Obatala en Obameri, die Edi -fees vir Moremi Ajasoro en die Igare -masqueraders in. [10]

Kunsgeskiedenis Redigeer

Konings en gode is dikwels met groot koppe uitgebeeld omdat die kunstenaars geglo het dat die Ase in die kop gehou is, die Ase die innerlike krag en energie van 'n persoon. Beide die historiese figure van Ife en die kantore wat daarmee gepaard gaan, word verteenwoordig. Een van die beste hiervan is die vroeë koning Obalufon II, wat na bewering bronsgietwerk uitgevind het en vereer word in die vorm van 'n naturalistiese koper lewensgrootte masker. [7]

Die stad was 'n groot nedersetting tussen die 12de en 14de eeu, met huise met sypaadjies. Ilé-Ifè is wêreldwyd bekend vir sy antieke en naturalistiese brons-, klip- en terracotta-beeldhouwerke wat tussen 1200 en 1400 nC hul hoogtepunt bereik het in die artistieke uitdrukking. klip en koperlegering - koper, koper en brons - waarvan baie blykbaar geskep is onder die beskerming van koning Obalufon II, die man wat vandag geïdentifiseer word as die Yoruba beskermheilige van koper giet, weef en regalia. [11] Na hierdie tydperk het produksie afgeneem namate die politieke en ekonomiese mag na die nabygeleë koninkryk Benin verskuif het, wat, net soos die Yoruba -koninkryk Oyo, tot 'n groot ryk ontwikkel het.

Brons- en terracottakuns wat deur hierdie beskawing geskep is, is belangrike voorbeelde van naturalisme in die pre-koloniale Afrikaanse kuns en word onderskei deur hul variasies in regalia, gesigspatrone en liggaamsverhoudings. Antieke Ife was ook bekend vir sy glaskrale wat op plekke so ver as Mali, Mauritanië en Ghana gevind is. [11]

Terracotta kop verteenwoordig Ooni of Koning van Ife, 12de tot 16de eeu


The mythological origins of Ile-Ife

Yoruba mythology claims that Ile-Ife, meaning ‘the place of dispersion’, is the citadel of civilization. In the beginning, the universe was made up of only two elements: the sky above and a watery chaos below. Oduduwa (a servant of the Supreme Being, Olodumare) was tasked with creating the Earth. The belief is that he ventured down from heaven with a long chain, carrying a calabash filled with sand, along with a five-toed fowl. Not a single patch of dry land could be found as the whole Earth was covered in water, and so Oduduwa poured the sand on the water and placed the fowl on top of it. Every one of the fowl’s steps produced new solid ground, and then a chameleon was sent down to check up on this process, to determine whether the land was dry enough and solid enough. What remains as water today are all the places not touched by the sand. Ile-Ife is said to still house some of the objects Oduduwa brought from heaven, including the chain he used to climb down to earth.

However, historical evidence suggests that the area was originally populated by the Igbo people of Nigeria, when Oduduwa and his army invaded the city, chasing the original inhabitants to the east, taking over the area and making it the first Yoruba kingdom. After the death of Oduduwa, his descendants spread out from Ile-Ife to find and rule other Yoruba states.


Related stories

“Ife was founded by the deities Oduduwa and Obatala when they created the world. Obatala fashioned the first humans out of clay while Oduduwa became the first divine king of the Yoruba people,” BlackPast explains. The city is as such, aptly called, Ile Ife, the place of dispersion.

Although little is known about life in the Kingdom, historians celebrate its artistic core. Ife artists are said to have begun creating bronze, stone, and terracotta sculptures around the 12th century. Their’s is considered among the most unique in Africa, depicting “youth and old age, health and disease, suffering and serenity”.

African art historian, Bruno Claessens, explains how some of the Kingdom’s sculptures were discovered in 1938:

In January 1938, two feet below the ground of the Wunmonije Compound in Ife, a cache of bronze heads was uncovered while a foundation for a house was being dug. It would become one of the most important chance finds in the history of African art.

Although no photos of the excavations exist, historians have a good recollection of the excavation:

“The Wunmonije compound, then just behind the palace of the Ooni of Ife, formerly was located within the enclosing palace wall. While clearing away the topsoil the workmen had struck metal and further digging revealed a group of cast heads. Thirteen life-size heads and a half-lifesize half figure were unearthed. Soon after, the same site yielded additional finds of five more works: a life-size head, three smaller heads, and a torso. The identification and function of these heads remain uncertain. It remains a mystery why this cache was ever buried possibly this hoard once formed part of a royal altar”.

It is believed that artistic production in the kingdom began to wane as political power and wealth shifted to the neighboring kingdoms of Benin and Oyo in the 1500s.

Today, Ife sculptures are found in museums in Nigeria, and prominently in Europe and North America. The royal dynasty of Ile Ife is also over eight centuries old, with its current rule, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II becoming Oba (King) in 1980.

The city of Ife currently has an estimated population of about half a million people. The city is also home to one of the prestigious Academic Institutions in West Africa, Obafemi Awolowo University, and boasts the Natural History Museum of Nigeria. Ile Ife continues to serve as a spiritual core for the Yoruba people.

Kingdom Of Ife: Sculptures From West Africa, London – Head with elaborate crown, Ife, Ita Yemoo. Terracotta, 12th-14th century. Copyright Karin L. Willis/Museum for African Art/Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments

Kingdom Of Ife: Sculptures From West Africa, London – Ife head, Ife, 12th-14th century. Copyright The Trustees of the British Museum

Kingdom Of Ife: Sculptures From West Africa, London – Oblafon mask, Ife, metal, early 14th century. Copyright Karin L. Willis/Museum for African Art/Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments

Kingdom Of Ife: Sculptures From West Africa, London – Seated figure, Tada, Ife. Copper, early 14th century. Copyright Karin L. Willis/Museum for African Art/Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments


Kingdom of Ife

Figure of a king, Ita Yemoo, a copper alloy sculpture dating from the late 13th to the early 15th centuries. Photograph: Karin L Wills/Museum for African Art/National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria

Figure of a king, Ita Yemoo, a copper alloy sculpture dating from the late 13th to the early 15th centuries. Photograph: Karin L Wills/Museum for African Art/National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria

T his is an exceptional exhibition, even by the high standards the British Museum has established in recent years. It is extraordinary because it brings together such a large number of masterpieces that have rarely or never been exhibited outside Nigeria before – and when I say masterpieces, I mean artworks that rank with the Terracotta Army, the Parthenon or the mask of Tutankhamun as treasures of the human spirit.

For European artists a century ago, African sculpture was powerful precisely because it did not conform to the smooth idea of beauty that Picasso's generation had been brought up on – ideas that went back to classical Greece. But they had not seen the art of Ife, a medieval city state that flourished from the 12th to 15th centuries in West Africa, trading across the Sahara with the Islamic Mediterranean world.

The superb sculpted heads in this exhibition – statues of sick people, monuments to warriors, royal heads whose strange vertical scars tell of the ceremonies of the court – were first rediscovered in quantity in an amazing find on a building site in the modern Nigerian city of Ife in 1938. This art was so different and unexpected, so "un-African", that one of its first students thought it must be the lost art of Atlantis.

But these works were not Greek, let alone from Atlantis. The faces that gaze coolly past you from these cases are challenging and formidable in their beauty. And they are disturbing to anyone who has any lingering belief in the uniqueness of European art. Sculptors in Ife imitated the human face as accurately and sensitively as any Greek, and matched the Greek feeling for harmony, balance and proportion.

What we see here is an African classical art – by which I mean an art with a strong concept of order that gives it a special authority, whether it comes from Athens, China or Ife. Like that of ancient Egypt, the art of Ife is perfect, remote, godlike and yet – as with Egypt – when you look again it is highly observational, rooted in the real life of this lost civilisation.

Ife remains mysterious. The catalogue admits there's so much still to learn about this art and the world that created it. Hopefully this exhibition will be the starting point for new archaeology. It elicits awe. To behold these royal heads is to travel to a fabled realm far beyond your imagination, a place richer than Atlantis.


Yoruba Kingdoms - Benin and Ife

In 1975 the Republic of Dahomey changed its name to the Republic of Benin, after the Bight of Benin ["Where few come out but many go in ], which in turn was named after the Benin Empire, a powerful entity that existed from 1440 to 1897 in what is today Nigeria. "Benin" is a Portuguese corruption of "Ubinu," the administrative center of the Empire, which is today called Benin City, capital of Edo State. Dahomey's rechristening in 1975 caused no end of confusion ever since, so to clarify things: Benin City (the historical Benin Empire) is approximately 250 miles east of Porto Novo, capital of the present-day Republic of Benin. The two entities have no historical connection whatsoever.

The Yoruba kingdoms of Benin and Ife sprang up between the 11th and 12th centuries. The present-day Benin monarch declared his ancestry from Oranmiyan through Ekaladerhan and direct to the Ogiso dynasty. The statement made by the Ooni of Ife debunked the Oba of Benin's declaration of the ancestry of Benin Kings, insisting that Benin was one of the kingdoms founded by Oduduwa who descended from heaven to Ile-Ife with four hundred deities.

The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on 10 February 2016 said Benin Kingdom in Edo State remained part of the expansive Yoruba people, a pronouncement that may spark fresh rivalry and altercation between people of the two ancient kingdoms. The monarch made the comment in reaction to a statement credited to the palace of the Oba of Benin challenging the claim by the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ooni of Ife remained the pre-eminent spiritual leader in Yorubaland and environs. Oba Gbadebo said Oba Ogunwusi was number one of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland, followed by the Alaafin of Oyo, then by the Oba of Benin (in third position), the Alake of Egbaland (fourth) and the Awujale of Ijebuland (fifth). But in a swift reaction, the Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom, David Edebiri, rejected the ranking, saying the Ooni of Ife was a son of the Oba of Benin and that the Oba of Benin stool had no relationship with the Yoruba people.

As far as historical memory extends, the Yoruba have been the dominant group on the west bank of the Niger. Of mixed origin, they were the product of the assimilation of periodic waves of migrants who evolved a common language and culture. The Yoruba were organized in patrilineal descent groups that occupied village communities and subsisted on agriculture, but from about the eleventh century A.D., adjacent village compounds, called He, began to coalesce into a number of territorial city-states in which loyalties to the clan became subordinate to allegiance to a dynastic chieftain. This transition produced an urbanized political and social environment that was accompanied by a high level of artistic achievement, particularly in terra-cotta and ivory sculpture and in the sophisticated metal casting produced at Ife. The brass and bronze used by Yoruba artisans was a significant item of trade, made from copper, tin, and zinc imported either from North Africa or from mines in the Sahara and northern Nigeria.

The Yoruba placated a pantheon headed by an impersonal deity, Olorun, and included lesser deities, some of them formerly mortal, who performed a variety of cosmic and practical tasks. One of them, Oduduwa, was regarded as the creator of the earth and the ancestor of the Yoruba kings. According to a creation myth, Oduduwa founded the city of Ife and dispatched his sons to establish other cities, where they reigned as priest-kings and presided over cult rituals. Formal traditions of this sort have been interpreted as poetic illustrations of the historical process by which Ife's ruling dynasty extended its authority over Yorubaland. The stories were attempts to legitimize the Yoruba monarchies after they had supplanted clan loyalties by claiming divine origin.

Ife was the center of as many as 400 religious cults whose traditions were manipulated to political advantage by the oni (king) in the days of the kingdom's greatness. Ife also lay at the center of a trading network with the north. The oni supported his court with tolls levied on trade, tribute exacted from dependencies, and tithes due him as a religious leader. One of Ife's greatest legacies to modern Nigeria is its beautiful sculpture associated with this tradition.

The oni was chosen on a rotating basis from one of several branches of the ruling dynasty, which was composed of a clan with several thousand members. Once elected, he went into seclusion in the palace compound and was not seen again by his people. Below the oni in the state hierarchy were palace officials, town chiefs, and the rulers of outlying dependencies. The palace officials were spokesmen for the oni and the rulers of dependencies who had their own subordinate officials. All offices, even that of the oni, were elective and depended on broad support within the community. Each official was chosen from among the eligible clan members who had hereditary right to the office. Members of the royal dynasty often were assigned to govern dependencies, while the sons of palace officials assumed lesser roles as functionaries, bodyguards to the oni, and judges.

During the fifteenth century, Oyo and Benin surpassed Ife as political and economic powers, although Ife preserved its status as a religious center even after its decline. Respect for the priestly functions of the oni of Ife and recognition of the common tradition of origin were crucial factors in the evolution of Yoruba ethnicity. The oni of Ife was recognized as the senior political official not only among the Yoruba but also at Benin, and he invested Benin's rulers with the symbols of temporal power.

The Ife model of government was adapted at Oyo, where a member of its ruling dynasty consolidated several smaller city-states under his control. A council of state, the Oyo Mesi, eventually assumed responsibility for naming the alafin (king) from candidates proposed from the ruling dynasty and acted as a check on his authority. Oyo developed as a constitutional monarchy actual government was in the hands of the basorun (prime minister), who presided over the Oyo Mesi. The city was situated 170 kilometers north of Ife and about 100 kilometers north of present-day Oyo.

Unlike the forest-bound Yoruba kingdoms, Oyo was in the savanna and drew its military strength from its cavalry forces, which established hegemony over the adjacent Nupe and the Borgu kingdoms and thereby developed trade routes farther to the north.

Benin was already a well-established agricultural community in the Edo-speaking area, east of Ife, when it became a dependency of Ife at the beginning of the fourteenth century. By the fifteenth century, it took an independent course and became a major trading power in its own right, blocking Ife's access to the coastal ports as Oyo had cut off the mother city from the savanna. Political power and religious authority resided in the oba (king), who according to tradition was descended from the Ife dynasty. The oba was advised by a council of six hereditary chiefs, who also nominated his successor.

The city of Benin, which may have housed 100,000 inhabitants at its height, spread over twenty-five square kilometers that were enclosed by three concentric rings of earthworks. Responsibility for administering the urban complex lay with sixty trade guilds, each with its own quarter, whose membership cut across clan affiliations and owed its loyalty directly to the oba. At his wooden, steepled palace, the oba presided over a large court richly adorned with brass, bronze, and ivory objects. Like Ife and the other Yoruba states, Benin, too, is famous for its sculpture.

Unlike the Yoruba kingdoms, however, Benin developed a centralized regime to oversee the administration of its expanding territories. By the late fifteenth century, Benin was in contact with Portugal. At its apogee in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Benin even encompassed parts of southeastern Yorubaland and the small Igbo area on the western bank of the Niger. Dependencies were governed by members of the royal family, who were assigned several towns or villages scattered throughout the realm rather than a block of territory that could be used as a base for revolt against the oba.

Yorubaland about the year 1700 was under one King, or Alafin, who resided at Old Oyo1 or Katunga. That this kingdom when united was a very powerful one is shown from the fact that until the year 1818 the Dahomi paid tribute to the Alafin of Oyo. It is only from this date (1700), when the decadence of the Yoruba Kingdom had set in, that the native chroniclers can give any definite knowledge of the Yoruba history.

Lagos became a great slaving port about the year 1815 when the King of Benin and a few other chiefs refused to allow slaves to be exported from their territories. The original inhabitants of Lagos were a mixture of Bini and Yoruba people. When it became a port of export for slaves, such slaves as became residents as labourers and servants of the slave dealers and merchants added their quota to the population and when after 1861 it became a British colony many freed slaves from Sierra Leone and other parts, more especially Brazil, made their homes there.

Between 1833 and 1835 the Mohammedans captured and destroyed the old town of Old Oyo, and the Yoruba were obliged to found a new capital where Oyo now stands. It was about this time also that the Egba declared their independence. They were finally driven out of the country that they, as a section of the Yoruba people, occupied, and in 1838 they founded their capital, Abeokuta. By the year 1840 the seeds of dissension sown by Afonja had spread so rapidly that the proud Kingdom of the Yoruba people split up into a number of so-called independent states. Illorin had been lost to the Alafin, and was inhabited by a mixture of Hausa, Fulah, and Yoruba .

Ibadan, a semi-independent state, still recognises the Alafin and paid tribute yearly. The Egba, agriculturists, declared that they were quite independent, as also do the Ijebu, Ilesha, Ife, and Iketu (then in French territory). From 1840 to 1886, when the British Government intervened as peace-maker, wars between these parts of the Yoruba people were constant. From that date until 1892 the peace-maker had to punish the Ijebu and Egba for closing their trade roads. In August 1861 Docemo ceded Lagos to the British. In 1863 Kosoko ceded Palma and Lekki, much to the disgust of the chief of Epe, who refused to cede his rights and was punished for it. And in the same year the chiefs of Badagry ceded their territory to the British.

Benin City moat / Benin Iya

Unlike stone-based constructions, mud-based features soon become obliterated. Benin is known world-wide for its massive City Moat or Iya. There are at least two major ruined earthworks in southern Nigeria, and sometimes it is difficult to discern which one is being discussed. The walls of Benin City is a cluster of community earthworks, with city walls, moats, and ditches that surrounded the city. Further west from the Benin City complex, around Ijebu-Ode, is the 15 meters deep, 150 kilometres Sungbo's Eredo earthwork, apparently an extension of the same technique depicting a later stage of socio-political development in an adjacent culture.

A six thousand five hundred kilometers square cluster of community earthworks run for about sixteen thousand kilometers in the Benin rainforest zone. The core of this cluster consists of tightly packed small settlement enclosures with narrow cordons sanitaires (no-man's-lands), and date back to about the 8th Century AD. On the periphery, the earthworks have larger, wider-spaced primary enclosures (including that of Benin itself), much broader cordons sanitaires and date up to about the 15th Century AD.

Benin City was the first inland settlement to be visited by the Europeans, despite not being near the sea or having a river port, but the reputation of the Benin civilisation motivated the Portuguese in the 15th century to seek it out. By the early 16th century, Benin Kingdom had sent an ambassador to Lisbon and in return, the King of Portugal had sent missionaries to Benin. Portuguese was to remain the foreign language for the Benin aristocracy for centuries and elements of the language have continued to survive in palace circles even today. Early trade items included cowries, ivory, pepper, and palm products. Although some slaves were exchanged for goods, Benin was not a slave-dealing nation, preferring to use its manpower and prisoners of war as construction workers, to build and maintain the royal palace, the expansive residencies of the aristocracy, and the city walls, moats, and ditches that surrounded the city.

At the height of the Benin Kingdom, great walls were built between 1450 and 1550, and the city was split up into the Oba s Palace and 40 wards, and the network of walls, stretched from the city and enclosed the surrounding villages in a radius of over 100km. There could have perhaps been over 5,000km of wall. These walls enclosed over 500 compounds and were 9m tall at their highest. The palace is said to have been flanked by an enormous gate of two towers, each surmounted by a bronze python some 15m long. The walls were made of red mud but the inside was thought to be very ornate and full of ivory, brass, and iron figures and bronze busts. In each of the city s wards were communities of artisans who made items to decorate the palace. Benin is known predominantly for its 15th - century wax bronzes, which are considered to be some of the finest African ancient art.

Part of the world's largest and most ancient earthwork, a complex system of moats and ramparts spread over some 6,500 square kilometers--the Benin City Walls consist of a set of inner and outer interlocking rings originally built to delineate the royal precinct of the Oba, or king, from the surrounding area. Built to an original height of more than 18 meters, and a length of 1,200 kilometers, the Iya was constructed in three stages. It was finalised around 1460, at that time being the world's largest earthwork. The earthworks attest the development of urbanization and rise of state societies in subsaharan Africa, a process that began in the seventh century AD and culminated in the founding of the Benin Kingdom of Bronze and Ivosry in the fourteenth century.

Edo, the people of Igodomigodo famously known for almost a millennium as Benin, had built a moat complex to protect themselves in the wars they fought. Oral history still credits the military strategy to Oba Oguola (about 1280 AD). Some two hundred years later, his descendant Oba Ewuare the Great, a warrior king, revived the moat idea and extended what Oguola built to cover more grounds around the City.

The Benin City Walls were ravaged by the British in 1897. Since then, portions of the walls have gradually vanished in the wake of modernization--large segments cannibalized. However, significant stretches of the walls remain, enclosing innumerable red earth shrines and vernacular elite architecture with red-fluted walls.

It has been claimed that the wall was as broad as it was high. When a chief of Benin died his wives and family and slaves and the wives and family and slaves of his successor congregated upon the top of the wall where the ghastly funeral rites were performed, after which the wives and slaves of the deceased who had been sacrificed as a tribute to the dead were hurled with their late master into the reeking trench that encircled the city upon the outside of the wall. And that was all the burial they received.

The Walls of Benin, built as a city fortification against neighboring rivals such as the Oyo Kingdom to the south and the Sokoto Caliphate in the north, is estimated by some to be 2,000 square miles in area. Excavations by British archaeologist Graham Connah in 1960 uncovered a rural network of earthen walls that, he estimated, if spread out over five dry seasons, would have required a workforce of 1,000 laborers working ten hours a day, for seven days a week to construct a rough total of 150 million man hours.

Sungbo's Eredo / Benin Moat / Walls of Benin / Edoid embankments

Further west from the Benin Moat, around Ijebu-Ode, is a 15 meters deep, 150 kilometers earthwork, is apparently an extension of the same technique depicting an earlier stage of socio-political development in an adjacent culture.

The polity that made Sungbo's Eredo may be the predecessor of the Ijebu kingdom. The King of Ijebu became rich as a result of the coastal trade. The British eventually conquered the Kingdom as they resented the taxes the Ijebu levied on trade passing through their kingdom. In the early 1500 s the region directly north of Lagos was dominated by the Ijebu kingdom which participated in the Atlantic trade with Portuguese traders. Slaves, cloth, ivory and brass items were the main trade goods. In 1558 the European traders realized the extent of the lagoon system and its connection between Ijebu and Benin. Benin began to dominate the trade which consequently faltered with Ijebu though the trade there did not completely die out.

In the 1700 s European accounts claim the power and influence of Benin along the coast began to crumble. The Ijebu kingdom moved in to claim the territory between Lagos and Benin, the Warri seized the lower Benin River. Benin s most westerly settlements were destroyed by the rising Dahomey.

Sungbo's Eredo is a rampart or system of walls and ditches that surrounds the Yoruba town of Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state southwest Nigeria (6 49'N, 3 56'E). It is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument in Africa. The Benin Moat, also known as the Walls of Benin, lays fallow, crumbling away in Nigeria, a pale reflection of its former resplendent self. Construction started on the Walls of Benin in 800 AD, now situated in modern day Benin City, capital of Edo State, and continued into the mid-1400s. Stretching seemingly endlessly across the land, the Benin Moat is said to be the world s second longest man-made construction, falling short of only the Great Wall of China.

The Guinness Book of Records (1974 edition) described the walls of Benin City and its surrounding kingdom as the world s largest earthworks carried out prior to the mechanical era. According to estimates by the New Scientist s Fred Pearce, Benin City s walls were at one point four times longer than the Great Wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops .

Traditional lore links the construction of this impressive boundary to the legendary Sungbo, a wealthy childless widow, giantess, priestess / goddess, devil woman or even erstwhile Queen of Sheba, to whose grove and magically bare grave flock many long-distance pilgrims. This and the links with the present Awujale dynasty and its Odo settlements require more study.

This massive, 20 meters high [from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the rampart], thousand year old kingdom boundary rampart snakes through 160 kilometers of thick rainforest undergrowth and freshwater swamp forest around Ijebu-Ode in southwest Nigeria. A 20 m thick section near the Epe roads has near vertical ditch sides with a slight overhang. Since later deepening would have been an impossibility on this section, this overhang must have survived since the eredo's original construction. The growth and local protection of forest along the eredo must have been an important factor in preserving the earthwork more or less as originally dug.

It lies close to Lagos, Ibadan and Ife, centers of learning, where many of Nigeria's leading professional archaeologists have worked. Yet, apart from two cross-profiles measured near Itele, an inordinate delay of nearly forty years elapsed between the first sketch of this enormous feature and its main survey.

Along the gently sloping interfluves, the Eredo was deliberately engineered with ditch baulks to retain seasonal ralnwater as shallow moats. This feature arose from perceptions which significantly qualify previous interpretations of swampland salients on the Eredo and Benin earthworks and very forcibly, of the main Benin City moat.

Dr. Patrick J. Darling (1945-2016), archaeologist, educator, and heritage manager, was a staunch advocate for the preservation of Africa s cultural heritage. The network of earthworks in the Edoid region of southwest Nigeria is the subject of his dissertation. His voluminous dissertation was published in 1984 as Archaeology and History in Southern Nigeria: The Ancient Linear Earthworks of Benin and Ishan (Parts 1 and 2) in the Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology and the BAR International Series. He recognized that the much celebrated Benin earthworks which Graham Connah (1975) and others had documented are only part of a larger and regional networks of embankments that stretched hundreds of kilometers across the rainforest of southwest Nigeria. Darling s path-breaking archaeological survey in the Edo-Esan area of southwestern Nigeria has uncovered over 16,000 km of concentric earthworks forming boundaries around more than 500 interconnected settlements, enclosing a total area of 6,500 km .

The New Scientist heavily relied on Patrick Darling s assessment when it describes the Edoid embankments as four times longer than the Great Wall of China , consuming a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops , and forming perhaps the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet (Pearce 1999). Dr. Patrick J. Darling (1945-2016) implied that the construction of some of these earthworks began about 300-500 AD. His verdict was that Sungbo's Eredo was set to push back our understanding of state formation in the African rainforest by half a millennium or more .

He used his publicist skills so well in order to push the Sungbo Eredo rampart-ditch complex story to both the new and old media including the New York Times and the BBC News. The later quoted him thus: "In terms of sheer size it's (Sungbo Eredo) the largest single monument in Africa - larger than any of the Egyptian pyramids It s a comparison with shock factor but it s not inaccurate.

Darling wrote "The earthworks enclosed settlements and their farmlands ab initio possibly as defence against the African Forest Elephant ( Loxodonta cyclotis), but also serving as de facto territorial boundaries and their active use ensured that many of them were actively maintained by later deepening. In the mid-C15th AD, Oba Ewuare s deepening of the massive City moat and burying of aban (charm pots) at the gates may be coincident with the rural earthwork features also becoming perceived as demarcating the real world (agbon) from the spirit world (ehimwin).

"Egharevba s city-centred perception of three concentric city walls (Egharevba 1934:80) was radically re-interpreted in the light of Conn ah's survey of the Benin City Walls (Connah 1975:102) and Darling s later surveys over a much wider area (Darling 1984) both of which produced data at odds with current local interpretations of these features as resulting from a powerful centralized polity. By itself, the sheer size of these features would be challenging enough. "


The Kingdom of Benin

The Kingdom of Benin prospered from the 1200s to the 1800s C.E. in western Africa, in what is now Nigeria.

Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, Ancient Civilizations, World History

Bas-relief of an Oba

Once rulers, oba still hold prestigious positions in Benin as government advisors. Here, a bas-relief of an Oba in ceremonial dress and weapons, which decorated the palace of the obas.

Photograph by Heritage Image Partnership Ltd

The historical kingdom of Benin was established in the forested region of West Africa in the 1200s C.E. According to history, the Edo people of southern Nigeria founded Benin. They no longer wanted to be ruled by their kings, known as the ogisos. They asked a prince from Ife, an important West African kingdom, to take control. Die eerste oba, or king, in Benin was Eweka. He was the son of the prince from Ife.

The kingdom reached its greatest power and size under Oba Ewuare the Great. He expanded the kingdom and improved the capital, present-day Benin City the city was defined by massive walls. The height of power for Benin&rsquos monarchs began during this period. To honor the powerful obas, the people of Benin participated in many rituals that expressed their devotion and loyalty, including human sacrifices.

Artists of the Benin Kingdom were well known for working in many materials, particularly brass, wood, and ivory. They were famous for their bas-relief sculptures, particularly plaques, and life-size head sculptures. The plaques typically portrayed historical events, and the heads were often naturalistic and life size. Artisans also carved many different ivory objects, including masks and, for their European trade partners, salt cellars.

The success of Benin was fueled by its lively trade. Tradesmen and artisans from Benin developed relationships with the Portuguese, who sought after the kingdom&rsquos artwork, gold, ivory, and pepper. In the early modern era, Benin was also heavily involved in the West African slave trade. They would capture men, women, and children from rival peoples and sell them into slavery to European and American buyers. This trade provided a significant source of wealth for the kingdom.

Benin began to lose power during the 1800s, as royal family members fought for power and control of the throne. Civil wars broke out, dealing a significant blow to both Benin&rsquos administration as well as its economy. In its weakened state, Benin struggled to resist foreign interference in its trading network, particularly by the British. A desire for control over West African trade and territory ultimately led to a British invasion of Benin in 1897. Benin City was burned by the British, who then made the kingdom part of British Nigeria (which became Nigeria after the country gained independence in 1960). After that time, the kingdom no longer played a governing role in West Africa. However, even today, the oba still serves in Benin City as a government advisor.

Once rulers, oba still hold prestigious positions in Benin as government advisors. Here, a bas-relief of an Oba in ceremonial dress and weapons, which decorated the palace of the obas.


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