Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Yoruba Metal Bell Nigeria African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
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Brand Unbranded
Type of Object Bell
Country of Origin Nigeria 
People Yoruba
Materials Iron?
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 7.5
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.

Additional Information:

With their practical and technical knowledge, African metalsmiths and casters create utilitarian objects and elaborate works of art. Archaeologists now estimate Africans have smelted ore, traded metal and cast or forged tools, weapons and objects for 5,000 years--long before European contact. After foreign trade routes were established, the arduous process of refining raw ores, which required large amounts of charcoal, was replaced by the less labor intensive pattern of buying iron rods and ingots of copper or brass that could be melted at the forge. At other times imported metal objects were melted down and recycled. Most four-sided bells are associated with the Benin kingdom, where they are placed on ancestral altars and were once worn by the king's soldiers. The curved opening, sharply tapered sides and stylized face suggest that this bell is instead from the neighboring Yoruba peoples. Bells used by the Yoruba peoples are connected with the Oshugbo society that honors community founders or were worn as emblems of rank