Asen: Iron Altars from Ouidah, Republic of Benin

December 17, 1993 – April 24, 1994

National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Point of View Gallery, Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

Two metal altars, called "asen," typify the blending of European and inland African peoples in the city of Ouidah, once a slave port in what is now the Republic of Benin. These objects, used to honor the deceased, are a visual introduction to the beliefs and symbols that spread from Africa to the New World and back again.