Small Fon bronze depicting a crocodile. We have no idea what a crocodile was doing on an ancestral altar. Was somebody eaten by a crocodile or was the forefather a crocodile hunter? The creature once formed part of an iron ‘Asen’ altar which has disintegrated long ago. These altars served as monuments to the dead for the Fon people. Placed in family shrines, such altars became the focus of interaction with the ancestors. Very often human altar figures were flanked by animals just like this crocodile or cherished objects. The bronze dates from early 20th century. Ouidah Fon culture. Benin. West Africa. Size including wooden stand: Length 10.5 cm. Width 5 cm. Height 5 cm.