Asoro was the sword bearer to King Oronramwen (the Oba of Benin) in 1897. During the invasion by Britain there was a war that led to the Benin Massacre in 1897-1898. Asoro, as a loyal subject to the Oba involved himself in the war single handedly taking on the British Army with a few men thru gorilla warfare. Later he was captured, tried, condemned, and executed.
He is a symbol of strength, courage, and patriotism. In honor of his courage and the hope of emancipation he gave to the Benin people before his capture a monument of his statue was erected right in the center of Benin City at Ring-Road, close to the government secretariat.
This mask is one artists depiction of Asoro, who was also a great hunter. You will notice the nine charms sewn onto his garment. Each of these charms would contain something designed to give him extra powers in battle. It might be a piece of bone, a cola nut, or some other item with specific ability enhancing purpose.
To see more views of this mask click on the picture.