Domestic chickens, a common sacrificial offering, are often depicted in shrines. While roosters are sacrificed, they also make a loud noise and fight. The Shambala peoples on the eastern coast say, "where the rooster crows there is a village." In the Benin kingdom, the rooster is described as the leader of the barnyard and a spy, and is used in anti-poisoning charms (it must be mature enough to have developed fighting spurs). Its name is also given to the king's senior wife who is in charge of the women. Because the queen mother has extra spiritual powers, her memorial shrine can feature a cast copper alloy rooster (acc. no. 2005-6-37), while those of the chiefs' mothers may have wood hens.

The guinea fowl is recognizable by its spotted feathers. While the feathers may appear on traditional costumes, depictions of the bird itself seem to be found in modern paintings where its decorative patterns are appealing.

Pilipili Mulongoy (b. 1914, active 1997) and Ilunga (no dates)
Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pintades (Guinea fowl)
c. 1950
Oil on masonite
Museum purchase, 92-15-4

Figure of a rooster for a memorial altar
Benin kingdom court style, Edo peoples, Nigeria
18th century
Copper alloy
Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, 2005-6-37