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Yoruba Cuff Art Object

Contemporary Handmade

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Cameroon

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PROVENANCE

The art of bronze casting has a long and rich history in West Africa. In this tradition, a rough clay core is molded and then covered by a layer of bee's wax. The wax is carved and shaped into the desired design, then covered with more clay. Next, the mold is baked to melt and drain the wax, leaving an empty space between the inner and outer clay layers. Molten metal is carefully poured into the chamber, hardening to create the final shape. Finally, the outer layer of clay is chipped off, revealing the metal within. To the Yoruba people of southern Nigeria, bronze was a rare and expensive material favored by the divine king, or oba. Bronze never corrodes or rusts; thus, it represents the permanence and continuity of the royal lineage.