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Hippopotamus Ornament

Middle Niger civilization

Not on view

Some of the creatures depicted in Middle Niger artifacts are imbued with qualities beyond those possessed by those same animals in the natural world. The fierce and powerful hippopotamus, for example, was a dangerous presence in regional waterways. Hunted for its ivory, the animal invoked a protective force when represented in miniature amuletic form.

Hippopotamus Ornament, Bronze, Middle Niger civilization

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