The Oba’s Parade

Grand processions in honour of the Oba (king) glorified his power and authority as the ruler of the Kingdom of Benin. Re-create the splendour of a royal parade with a colourful frieze for your classroom wall! People, animals, plants and other elements can be individually made then assembled on a background as group project.

The Oba’s Parade

Skill Level

Beginnner

Time to Make

1 hour to make a character

Adult Supervision Needed

Yes

How to Make

PEOPLE:

  • Use skin tone people cut-outs for the figures.
    Draw around the people onto coloured paper or card as a guide for making cut-out clothes.
    Stick the clothes onto the bodies with double sided tape or a glue stick.
  • Draw gold patterns onto the clothes with a gold (or coloured) décor pens. Glue wiggle eyes onto the faces with card mouths.
  • To make a walking person or change the pose, cut off the leg or arm of a cut-out then stick it back with tape or glue in a different position.
  • Look at some examples of art and sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin for ideas and inspiration about the style of clothing for your figures.
    The Oba would be the most richly dressed with ornate armour, jewellery and colourful garments. Other people could wear robes, sashes and headbands.
  • ROYAL LEOPARD:

    • To make a leopard for the parade, draw an outline onto coloured card. Check the scale next to the cut-out people; a leopard walking on a lead needs to fill an A4 piece of card.
    • Cut out the leopard then paint brown and black spots all over the body with a brush or cotton bud. Leave to dry then glue a collar around the leopard’s neck.

    ASSEMBLING THE FRIEZE:

    • Fix a long piece of background paper to the wall or onto a display board with drawing pins or strong tape.
      Cut corrugated borders to fit the length of the background then attach them along the top and bottom with double-sided tape. The corrugated borders can be used as single colours, or as 2 colours overlapping for a striped wave along the edge.
    • Cut out some trees and plants from green paper then stick them onto the background.
    • Stick the people and other pieces onto the background with double-sided tape.
    • The frieze can be as long as you choose and include other elements for the parade.
      You could make people carrying spears or fans, different animals and birds or add flowers to the background.
    The Oba’s Parade The Oba’s Parade The Oba’s Parade

    Top Tip

    Choose a display roll colour for the background to contrast with the figures and other elements so the cut out pieces show up clearly.