Commemorative Altar Tusk


Carved ivory tusks are often supported by brass heads on royal altars. This tusk is carved with relief figures of the Oba, as well as leopards, crocodiles, and Portuguese men. The Oba figure in the lower half of the convex side of this tusk has mudfish legs to indicate his divinity and connection to Olokun, the sea god who brings fertility and prosperity to the kingdom. This commemorative tusk was purchased in October 1897 from A. Hewer who was probably a dealer.