The Famous Igun Street: Benin Bronze Casters

A long time ago in the ancient Benin kingdom, a skill classification system existed whereby different families and their kinsmen had a craft specialty, a group of bronze casters choose to set a base in a street in Benin called ‘ Igun Eronmwon’ meaning ‘the home of bronze art’ from whence the name ‘Igun’ originated. Igun street is known for its artwork which includes wood carving, bronze casting, and sculptural works.

The age-long craft of bronze casting and wood carving is passed down from generation to generation, from fathers to their sons or from masters to their interns. According to Benin folklore, the art of bronze casting was introduced to the Benin people by the ‘Sky gods’ or angels who climbed down with ladders from the sky in the days of the Ogisos. These angels also taught them to make farming implements and weapons for warfare.

IgunArtwork on Etsy currently has in stock some wall decoration items which were handmade in Igun street.

Take a look

African Mother Breastfeeding Child

Available on Etsy

Queen Idia Mask

Available on Etsy

African Palm Wine Tapper

Available on Etsy

African Women Braiding Hair

Available on Etsy

These are a few of their items I found fascinating. I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about my culture today.

Thanks for reading! 🖤

Reference: Jedidiah Court

9 thoughts on “The Famous Igun Street: Benin Bronze Casters

  1. Welcome back, and a fascinating article. 🙂 So clearly reminiscent of the craft guilds of Renaissance Europe one can only wonder at the hypocrisy and audacity of the imperialists who saw fit to make out that they were a “civilising” force.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe (though I’m far from an expert) that these bronzes are produced using the “lost wax” method. This (very clever) technique was rediscovered late last century for precision casting of aircraft components and the like.

    Liked by 1 person

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