The Benin Bronzes date back to the fifteenth century, and represent an age in which bronze casting was a significant part of Benin (Nigerian) life. The bronzes were meant to glorify the King of Benin king Oda (Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and National Orientation).
Today however the symbolism lies more in the remembrance of a powerful and unique culture in southwest Nigeria, a country with a great deal of development. It is said that the Kingdom of Benin had its own powerful army and maintained a complex bureaucracy, which was headed by king Oda himself (Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and National Orientation).
The bronzes contain casts of masks, people, king Oda and animals, they are known for their high level of craftsmanship enabling them to last such a long time in near perfect condition even when they were not properly cared for in the early nineteen hundreds. The Benin Bronzes are said to be one of Africa's greatest treasures and it is no wonder that they are so sought after not only in Nigeria and the British Museum but also around the globe.