Did you know? This bronze leopard is actually a water vessel, used exclusively by the oba, or king, for ceremonial washing. The vessel was filled through a round, hinged opening at the top of the leopard’s head; when tipped, water poured out through its nostrils. Admired for its power, ferocity, agility, and intelligence, the leopard became an important symbol for the oba, whose power was absolute.
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