Queen Idia Earrings
"The kingdom of Benin (in present-day Nigeria) was plunged into a state of turmoil at the end of the fifteenth century when the oba (king) Ozolua died and left two powerful sons to dispute succession. His son Esigie controlled Benin City, while another son, Arhuaran, was based in the equally important city of Udo about twenty miles away.
The ensuing civil war severely compromised Benin’s status as a regional power and undermined Benin City’s place at the political and cultural center of the kingdom. Exploiting this weakness, the neighboring Igala peoples sent warriors across the Benue River to wrest control of Benin’s northern territories. Esigie ultimately defeated his brother and conquered the Igala, reestablishing the unity and military strength of the kingdom.
His mother Idia received much of the credit for these victories as her political counsel, together with her mystical powers and medicinal knowledge, were viewed as critical elements of Esigie’s success on the battlefield. To reward and honor her, Esigie created a new position within the court called the Iyoba, or queen mother, which gave her significant political privileges, including a separate residence with its own staff." (Source)
- Gold plated stainless steel
- Each earring weighs approximately 0.4 oz.
- These are approximately 1.25 inches wide and 2 inches long
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