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Fon sceptre

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6191024This typical royal sceptre from the Kingdom of Dahomey is called a makpo.This typical royal sceptre from the Kingdom of Dahomey is called a makpo.Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/multimedia/2008.4.8c_1024x768.jpgLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen
13282000This specimen from the Museum's collection has a rather unusual shape and its tip represents an animal biting its tail.This specimen from the Museum's collection has a rather unusual shape and its tip represents an...Zoom http://www.museum-lehavre.fr/sites/default/files/styles/exposition/public/multimedia/2008.4.8_b_0.jpg?itok=-UCwNu0NLe Havre Museum of Natural History – Photo credit : C. Livonnen

Fon sceptre

 

  • Origin : Dahomey (now known as Benin)

  • Ethnic group : Fon

  • Date : 19th century

  • Materials : wood, metal

  • Dimensions : 50 cm x 22 cm

  • Inventory number : 2008.4.8

  • Donated by M. Thierry, 1901

This typical royal sceptre from the Kingdom of Dahomey is called a makpo. It is one of the seven symbols of authority of the Fon monarch, who was not allowed to go out in public without it.

Makpos were also used as rods of command : they would be given to messengers to certify the origin of messages to recipients.

They were also used to beat the rhythm during ceremonies and as weapons for executioners. Makpos were made of a right-angled wooden stick with a finely carved metal tip, usually designed after the monarch's symbol (a pineapple for Agonglo, a lion for Glélé, a shark for Behanzin, etc.).

This specimen from the Museum's collection has a rather unusual shape and its tip represents an animal biting its tail.

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