Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:An Assessment of Four Centuries (15th-19th) of Benin Art Production in Evaluating the Role of the Craft Guild System in Benin Polity
Author:Agbontaen, K.A.
Periodical:African Study Monographs
Geographic term:Nigeria
Benin polity
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Architecture and the Arts
External link:https://jambo.africa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/kiroku/asm_normal/abstracts/pdf/ASM%20%20Vol.18%20No.1%201997/K.%20A.%20AGBONTAEN.pdf
Abstract:Under the aegis of guilds of craftsmen, Benin art grew, developed and continued over a long period. Under this system, various professionals and craftsmen were organized under royal patronage to produce, standardize and market their products under monopoly. This guaranteed a tight market together with high quality production. The origin of the craft guilds dates back to the earliest foundation of the Benin kingdom (in present-day Nigeria) in around AD 900 during the 'Ogiso' era. The guilds developed in close association with the monarchy and played a role in the survival of the kingdom. By the second half of the fifteenth century, when Benin made contact with Europeans, the development of Benin art under the guild system had reached its apex. New raw materials, broadened experience, new design and representation of wider imaginative scope made Benin art unrivalled. By the seventeenth century, in spite of an increase in the number of European visitors, art production suffered as a result of political instability and inept reign. An attempted revival in the eighteenth century failed to match previous achievements. The decline of the kingdom was accompanied by the decline of the craft guilds system. The guilds remained a formal institution until the fall of Benin following the British punitive expedition of 1897. Bibliogr., sum.