Benin Republic - Flag.
|Capital City: Porto Nova|
|Area: 112622 square km|
|National day: 1 August
|Independence: 1 August 1960,
Former French colony, known as Dahomey until 1975|
|Population: 6.4 million|
|Leader: Mathieu Kerekou, born
1933, President since April 1996.|
|Languages: French (official), Fon,
Yoruba, Bariba, Adja, Fulani.|
|Currency: CFA francs|
years ago Benin became a state. The population grew bigger and people
needed more land. The state decided to include the land of surrounding
villagers and made them part of Benin. By 900 AD Benin changed from a
group of farming villagers into a powerful kingdom.
other parts of West Africa are blessed with a great rain forest, and the
soil surrounding the Niger Delta area are extremely fertile. The
powerful ruler or Oba of Benin City, controlled trade with its
neighboring states very
System of Government.
The town and
village chiefs made sure the law was upheld and peace prevailed between
traders, crafters and farmers in Benin. All the chiefs advised the ruler
or Oba and collectively they formed the Uzuma or the government of
Oba lives in a beautiful palace and is revered by the people of Benin.
Selected artists produced many fine bronze and or brass heads,
figurines, brass plaques, and large rectangular metal pictures, which
were used to decorate the Oba's palace.
Crowning of the
years after the crowning of the Oba. the title of Lyoba or
(Queen mother) is bestowed on his mother. Oba Esigie in 1500 AD
was the first to bestow this title on his mother Idia. The Oba's
mother was an important and powerful person in the government of
The Obas of Benin had large armies around 100000 men and fought
many wars conquering many towns. The weapons used by soldiers
were swords, axes, spears, shields and bows.
Art of Benin
Tikar Bronze Sculpture -
Lost Wax Process