Art: New Clues to an Old Culture

One day last November Bernard Fagg, director of antiquities in Nigeria, paused on a cross-country journey to make a courtesy call on the Oni of Ife. The Oni, the Hon. Sir Adesoji Aderemi, King and spiritual leader of 4,500,000 Yoruba tribesmen, was delighted by the visit. An hour earlier, workmen, clearing a site for a new building, had uncovered a few delicately wrought bronze relics, and the Oni was eager to show them off. After one look at the find—two bronze statues, two egg-shaped staff finials, two solid brass staffs, and a decorated...

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