Wednesday, 4 July 2007
AWAITING OKIJA ARTS
These Benin Plaque of a General is found on the TedHamill Gallery website. For sale. Some time ago a startling revelation was made in Anambra state. A dastardly work of evil, a shrine was unveiled somewhere in the state. The Okija Shrine was said to be delicate. That's because many big'uns patronize it. The shrine was a Shrine of Equity, i.e., Two fellas engaged in a deal could go there, swear to the gods and goddesses in Okija to keep the bonds of their agreement intact. If there was a breach by any of the parties, that culprit dies, or is retributed in some other form. The shrine was so 'strong' the National TV couldn't show its interiors but could just the entrance. And at the entrance were those skulls that reminded one of the Rwandan Genocide - big skulls, small skulls, white and sand papered, rough and brown, etc. Okija since then has eluded the news. Could be another very crucial issue already swept under the rug. The most painful side of the story may be the fact that terrific works of art might still be holed up somewhere in the shrine, allegedly possibly as big as a big village, if not even bigger. And who knows if those works might even surpass the beauty of Ancient Benin and Ife arts. Works that would blast us into the news again. And this time wouldn't be stolen in some 'Great British or American or Portuguese Expedition. '