Art, Innovation, and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Benin

Art, Innovation, and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Benin

Paula G. Ben-Amos
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/22/1999
Format: Hardback 36 b&w photos, 14 figures, 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-33503-6
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Benos-Amos opens for the reader richly detailed adn nuanced vistas into the intellectual and cultural history of one of the major kingdoms of precolonial West Africa." — African Studies Review

The wealth of historiographic resources, the command of relevant literature, the ethnographic research and prudent use of oral traditions give this work a high degree of... intellectual excitement.... a landmark in the field." —Warren d’Azevedo

Making use of archival and oral resources in this extensively researched book, Paula Girshick Ben-Amos questions to what extent art operates as political strategy. How do objects acquire political meaning? How does the use of art enhance and embody power and authority?

Author Bio

Paula Girshick Ben-Amos is Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University. She is author of The Art of Benin and co-editor (with Arnold Rubin) of The Art of Power/The Power of Art: Essays in Benin Iconology.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
The Study of 18th-Century Benin Art
Kings and Chiefs in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Art and Innovation in the 18th Century
Obas Ewuakpe, Akenzua I and Eresoyen in 18th-Century Art and Tradition
Art as Political Strategy
Glossary of Names
Glossary of Terms