Du trophée à l’œuvre : parcours de cinq artefacts du royaume d’Abomey

Abstract : Between 1893 and 1895, French officers gave part of the war booties taken at Dahomey, twenty seven objects exactly, to the ethnographic museum of Trocadéro. This article seeks to retrace the “biography” of five of these trophies. Information about these objects were brief, incomplete and/or incorrect. The exposition of these pieces of large size, unusual in the language of world sculptures, encouraged the researchers to make further investigations. The use and the journey of these objects were thus revealed along the way of more than a century, representing a genuine challenge to the memory of the pieces, the artists, the religious practices and the regalia at Abomey. The public diffusion of the objects, notably by the photography, contributed to their worldwide reputation, inciting the Beninian government to order copies for the Abomey museum. Finally, since 2000, in Paris, some of these artefacts are recognized as universal masterpieces and others as remedies against the historical amnesia, transforming shyly but yet openly the museum into a site of memory of the colonial history.
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Gaëlle Beaujean-Baltzer. Du trophée à l’œuvre : parcours de cinq artefacts du royaume d’Abomey. Gradhiva : revue d'histoire et d'archives de l'anthropologie , Musée du quai Branly, 2007, pp.70-85. ⟨10.4000/gradhiva.987⟩. ⟨hal-02262430⟩



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