Newark Museum News

HRM Alayeluwa Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe Aladesanmi III, the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, 2013. Credit: George Osodi/neh.gov

Life-sized portraits of the kings and queens of Nigeria: A photo exhibit at the Newark Museum (Photos)

The images are large and lush, startling in their near life-sized appearances. You feel as if you are in the same rooms as these elegantly dressed and somewhat mysterious men and women. Just who are these regal figures from what we know as the modern African nation of Nigeria?

HRM Agbogidi Obi James Ikechukwu Anyasi II, Obi of Idumuje Unor, 2012

The many modern-day kings and queens of Nigeria: A photo exhibit by George Osodi (Photos)

Up until the 1960s, kings and queens controlled hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria. Today, the descendants of those rulers still play important roles as intermediaries between politicians and the people in their communities and as custodians of the cultural heritage.