Hip Ornament: Leopard Head

This leopard head hip ornament was made by the Edo people of the Court of Benin, Nigeria sometime between the 16th to 19th centuries. It is made of brass and iron and was created using the traditional lost-wax casting technique. Hip ornaments such as this one would have been worn as part of elaborate ceremonial costumes by the king and other participants of palace rituals. This piece was made to be worn on the left side of the waist to cover the closure of wrapped skirts. It would have been held in place by large loops on the top, bottom, or back of the ornament. The leopard was of special importance so it was only to be worn by the king and war chiefs.


This leopard head hip ornament was made by the Edo people of the Court of Benin, Nigeria sometime between the 16th to 19th centuries. It is made of brass and iron and was created using the traditional lost-wax casting technique. Hip ornaments such as this one would have been worn as part of elaborate ceremonial costumes by the king and other participants of palace rituals. This piece was made to be worn on the left side of the waist to cover the closure of wrapped skirts. It would have been held in place by large loops on the top, bottom, or back of the ornament. The leopard was of special importance so it was only to be worn by the king and war chiefs.
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