Oak class Benin masks

We are back in the art block with Oak class again as they finish their magnificent Benin masks. The people of Benin made many different kinds of art. Village craft workers made simple pots, weapons and tools. They carved masks for ceremonies and they moulded sculptures of gods out of mud. In Benin City, craft workers were organised into groups known as guilds.

There were guilds for wood carvers, ivory carvers, leather workers, blacksmiths and weavers. Most important of all was the brass casters’ guild. They were only allowed to work for the Oba (king). The art of Benin features people, animals and gods. It provides a fascinating guide to what life and religion were like in the kingdom of Benin.

We took a few more pictures of the lesson, which can be seen in the gallery below. Please click on the thumbnails for a larger view.