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Monuments et documents de l’Afrique ancienne : recherches en cours en histoire, histoire de l’art et archéologie

Séance du 5 juin 2019, 9h30 à 12h30
INHA, Salle Peiresc, 6 rue des Petits Champs, Paris 75002

- Stefan Eisenhofer, directeur du département Afrique et Amérique du Nord, Museum Fünf Kontinente, Münich : « Art from the Benin kingdom in colonial and post-colonial times between history, myths and misconceptions”

The chronology of the history and art history of the Benin kingdom is seen by many as clarified in the main back to the tenth century. The abundance of literature often hides the fact that, apart from sporadic reports from travelers and a few archeological accounts, the reconstruction of many periods of pre-colonial Benin is based almost exclusively on the data of the Benin local historian Jacob Egharevba, who published prolifically on Benin history from 1930 to 1970. In contrast to the immense importance of this author is the lack of any thorough discussion of his work. In the seminar will be demonstrated, how Egharevba did force his African oral material into a linear European time scheme – and how he was successful in turning oral traditions of Benin into academic history of the global north.

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