Old Divination Female Figure – Asen – Fon Tribe – Benin
1960′. The figure is cm. 10,5 high x cm. 9,0 width; (on the custom stand the piece is cm 14,0 high); grams 348,0.
Asen altars and Asen figures serve as monuments to the dead for the Fon. Placed in family shrines, they become the focus of interaction with ancestors.
The Fon people are the largest ethnic group in Benin found particularly in its south region; they are also found in southwest Nigeria and Togo.
The history of the Fon people is linked to the Dahomey kingdom, a well-organized kingdom by the 17th century but one that shared more ancient roots with the Aja people. The Fon people traditionally were a culture of an oral tradition and had a well-developed polytheistic religious system. They were noted by early 19th-century European traders for their N’Nonmiton practice or Dahomey Amazons – which empowered their women to serve in the military, who decades later fought the French colonial forces in 1890.