BENIN BRONZE: Large lost-wax cast bronze sculpture, Benin Kingdom, Nigeria - depicting a warrior or king on a horse . Approx 24” high by 15” long.
Both Tunis (1979b: 392-394) and Karpinski (1984) challenged these assertions. Both thought the horseman represents a king of Benin. For Tunis, that king is Ehengbuda (c.1578-1608) dressed in the outfit of an Oyo Yoruba cavalryman and commemorates Ehengbuda’s victory over the Oyo. Karpinski follows Ben-Amos’ (1980) idea that the horseman is modeled after Oranmiyan (c.1200) the founder of the present dynasty and reputed to have introduced horses into Benin. Tradition holds that Oranmiyan was from the kingdom of Ife and it is suggested that his status as a foreigner is what brass casters wished to depict.