Paula Ben Amos, The Art of Benin, London, 1995, p.56, fig.4 states: "This type of figure may be the 'carpenter in the act of striking with an axe' recorded in the Royal Gold Coast Gazette account. The axe is a blacksmith's hammer, avalaka. Scholars disagree as to the identification of the figure. Willett (1967) suggested that it might be a messenger from Ife. More recent work by Blackmun and this author suggests that it might be either a priest of the creator god or a member of the Ewua association, who call the king to 'open the day'. Both these groups wear a cross."
Cf. Read, C.H. and Dalton, O.M.: Antiquities from the City of Benin, New York, 1973, Pl.XVI