Nigeria, Arts de la vallée de la Bénoué is the first exhibition to present such an extensive display of art produced by the many people that inhabit the region in Nigeria defined by the Great Benue River, the major tributary of the Niger.
From the Niger-Benue confluence in the center of Nigeria, moving eastward to the border with Cameroon, the Benue River Valley stretches over 650 miles.
During the nineteenth century, a series of dramatic and disruptive events—including a Fulani-led jihad; Chamba slave raiding; and increasing European exploration and missionary efforts—contributed to widespread dispersals and relocations of many Benue peoples. Whole villages, for example, were forced to flee from north of the river to establish new communities to the south.
This exhibition offers a spectacular trip on the Benue River through the presentation of major artistic streams. Visitors are invited to discover more than 25 ethnic groups established in the three sub-regions of the Benue Valley: Lower, middle and Upper Benue.
This exhibition, which assembles a selection of over 150 objects –sculptures and masks primarily in wood, ceramic and metal sourced from public institutions and private collections in the United States and Europe (British Museum, Ethnologische Museum of Berlin)- enables the discovery of works of art from this region, which are rarely shown to the public and seldom studied.
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