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Forged iron staffs were placed in Fon family shrines as memorials to the dead. This example comes from Ouidah, an important coastal trading town. The platform tableau consists of a central figure with top hat and pipe, seated before a table arrayed with containers and flanked by sacrificial...

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January, 1989, collected in the Republic of Benin and acquired by Charles Davis, Davis Gallery, New Orleans; July, 1989, sold by Davis Gallery to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1992, gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 30, 1992)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Fon peoples, Republic of Benin, mid-19th to early 20th century

Object Place

Ouidah, Republic of Benin


160.02 x 43.18 cm (63 x 17 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Iron, iron oxide encrustation


Africa and Oceania


Ritual Objects