|Remembering the Deceased
of the Republic of Benin do not place their dead in boxes
with reliquary figures like the Kota and Fan, instead they
erect tall metal altars, called asen. When an important member
of the community dies, his or her family asks a blacksmith to make an
asen out of iron, copper, or brass.
An asen consists of a large, round plate attached to a long iron pole.
On top of the plate, the blacksmith places people, animals, and objects
that relate to the family. The blacksmith who made this asen has depicted
a man wearing a top hat, seated in a chair with his servants, a tree,
and various animals.