Saturday, 8 June 2013

Pot and Kettle Again

“You are black.” Pot says to Kettle.

Picture this:

Ubini Kings (kings of Benin) recorded their history perfectly well through use of their bronze plaques and through their cultural and oral traditions.

The elders ensured that their ways of life were passed on from generation to generation through their oral traditions. Achievements of notable sons and daughters were recorded and told through their oral history and narratives.

The kings recorded important events and achievements through the bronze plaques. The plaques recorded a full and varied narratives which showed all the characters and people involved in the events e.g. some plaques show hunters, some show palace dwarfs, some show the chiefs, some show the chiefs and their attendants, some show the king and his attendants, some show animals and plants which were important to the people at the time and most important of, foreigners were also depicted on the plaques.

These plaques (from 14th century and onwards) which recorded the Great Kingdom of Benin history and which adorned and decorated the palace showed varied people and events as agreed by everyone who has ever seen them.

Yet some historians influenced by accounts of the holier than thou members of the British Punitive Expedition of 1897 claimed that the plaques show only the kings and Royal Court events.

 Turning to the British grand palaces, the tapestries and paintings which were used to record their own history and which adorn them show only their Kings and their queens, their princes and princesses.  No one of them shows the achievements of their notable sons and daughters or indeed of the poor who made up most of their population.

Pot called Kettle 'Black'. Hmmm.

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