Roofline Relief Decoration, Chief Isekhurhe's Renovated Palace


This file appears in: Home of Chief Isekhure
Roofline Relief Decoration, Chief Isekhurhe's Renovated Palace
© Kathy Curnow

This relief appears to represent a mystical trio floating in the otherworld. They are attired like Benin chiefs, and may represent the forebears of members of the hereditary Ihogbe guild. When the present dynasty established itself in Benin, three royal relations of its founder remained to look after the mother of the soon-to-be-born Oba Eweka I, and guided him to adulthood.

The artist emphasized the musculature of the figures and abandoned the frontality and abstract proportions of earlier Benin work. His representation of a very Christian-looking dove above the central figure forcibly recalls the Catholic concept of Trinity.

Chief Isekhure had his name emblazoned on the relief, its contrasting color allowing greater legibility.


This file appears in: Home of Chief Isekhure