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Middle Niger civilization

Not on view

While no trace of citadels or palaces has been found in Middle Niger settlements, the bearded, helmeted, and armed equestrian figures that survive give a sense of the people charged with their protection. Some scholars suggest the riders’ finery and the horses’ elaborate bells and bridles represent ceremonial dress rather than battle-ready gear. Others associate these representations, in which man and horse are defined by strong vertical and horizontal lines, with the legendary forces allied with the ancient Malian empire. In that context the quiver slung diagonally across this rider’s back was emblematic of royal power.

Equestrian, Terracotta, Middle Niger civilization

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