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Benin Tusk at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
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The ancestral altars of the Oba, or ruler of Benin, feature carved elephant tusks like this one, set into the top of a cast bronze portrait head. Because of its rarity and permanence, ivory is especially suitable for recording royal historical events, and many tusks recount episodes from Benin history or lives of the Obas. This tusk may have come from the altar of an Ezomo, the highest-ranking noble in Benin. More information at
The tusk is usually on view in Gallery 250 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
"minneapolis institute of arts"
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