Benin






Culture Name

Beninese

Orientation

Identification. Before 1975, the Republic of Benin was known as Dahomey, its French colonial name. Three years after the coup that brought Major Kérékou to power, the name was changed to the People's Republic of Benin, reflecting the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the new government. After the collapse of the Kérékou government in 1989, the name was shortened to the Republic of Benin. In the precolonial period, Dahomey was the name of the most powerful kingdom on the Slave Coast, which extended along the Bight of Benin to Lagos. Today Benin includes not only the ancient Fon kingdom of Dahomey but also areas inhabited by many other groups.

The nation's lack of cultural homogeneity is due to geographic factors and a history that has included waves of migration, competition between precolonial kingdoms, four centuries of commercial relations with Europe, and the impact of colonialism. In addition to language and ethnicity, there are divisions along lines of occupation and religion.

Location and Geography. The country has an area of 43,483 square miles (112,622 square kilometers). It shares borders with Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Togo. There are five distinct geographic zones. In the south, coconut palms grow on a narrow coastal strip broken by lagoons and creeks. In the north, a plateau of fertile iron clay soil interspersed with marshy areas supports oil palms. The central area is a wooded savanna with some hilly areas. The Atacora mountain chain in the northwest is the area of greatest elevation, while the northeast is part of the Niger river basin. Most of the country has a tropical climate with a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. Rainfall and vegetation are heaviest in the south.

The country is divided into six departments containing eighty-four districts. The capital is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in nearby Cotonou, the largest city.

Demography. The current population is estimated to be about 6.5 million and is concentrated in the southern and central regions. The growth rate is high, and 48 percent of the people are less than fifteen years old.

Linguistic Affiliation. French is the national language, and English is taught in secondary schools. There are about fifty languages and dialects. Most people speak at least two languages. Fifty percent of the population speaks Fon; other important languages include Yoruba, Aja, Mina, Goun, Bariba, Dendi, Ditamarri, Nateni, and Fulfulde. Approximately 36 percent of the population is illiterate.

Symbolism. The flag first flown after independence was green, red, and yellow. Green denoted hope for renewal, red stood for the ancestors' courage, and yellow symbolized the country's treasures. In 1975, the flag was changed to green with a red star in the corner. In 1990, the original flag was reestablished to symbolize the rejection of Marxist ideology.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Although several ethnic groups are assumed to be indigenous, migration that began four hundred years ago brought Aja-speaking peoples (the Gbe) into the southern part of the country, where they founded several kingdoms. The Yoruba presence in the southern and central regions also dates back several hundred years. The Bariba migrated west from what is now Nigeria and established a cluster of states. In the northwest,

Benin
Benin
several indigenous groups remained independent of Bariba control.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to make contact at Ouidah (Whydah) in 1580s; Dutch, French, and English traders followed. The coastal communities became part of an emerging trans-Atlantic trading system.

In the seventeenth century, slaves became the most important commodity, traded for manufactured items. At first the trade took place with coastal kingdoms, but the interior kingdom of Dahomey later conquered those kingdoms. Although a tributary of the Yoruba kingdom Oyo from 1740 to 1818, Dahomey dominated the regional slave trade. Traders dealt directly with the royalty of Dahomey, who continued to sell slaves to Brazilian merchants after the 1830s. Merchants and travelers wrote about the power of the Dahomean monarch, his army of "amazons" (female warriors), and ceremonies that included human sacrifice.

The French presence and influence increased after 1840 as a result of commercial and missionary activity. Tension with France increased as competition between European imperial powers escalated. France engaged in three military campaigns against Dahomey, and in 1894 King Behanzin surrendered and was exiled. By 1900, the Bariba had been defeated and the new boundaries had been determined. From 1904 to 1958, Dahomey was a colony in the federation of French West Africa.

Colonial rule forced the people to accept a new system of central administration, heavy taxation, forced labor, and harsh laws. France conscripted men to fight in both world wars. By the end of World War II, the economy was weak and growing discontent was difficult to manage.

After World War II, France followed a policy of increased representation and autonomy. During this period, a triumvirate of leaders emerged who would dominate national politics for decades. In 1958, Dahomey chose independence, which was declared in 1960. Hubert Maga was elected as the first president. His term was interrupted by a military coup in 1963, the first of six in the next nine years.

National Identity. Political turmoil before and after independence was not conducive to the formation of a national identity. The Kérékou regime and the seventeen-year experiment with socialism stabilized the country under a central bureaucracy. In the early years of his rule, Kérékou's called for the creation of a nation less aligned with French commercial and cultural interests. After the government adopted a Marxist-Leninist ideology in 1974, a rhetoric of national unity and "the revolution" permeated the media and government propaganda, but even today national identity is secondary to ethnic identity for much of the rural population.

Ethnic Relations. Beninese recognize about twenty sociocultural groups. In some cases, a cultural cluster is associated with one or more of the ancient kingdoms. The Fon (founders of the Dahomey kingdom) are the largest group. Their language is closely related to that of the Aja and Goun, and there are close ethnic ties with those groups as a result of shared precolonial history. Lines of cleavages create constantly changing northern, southern, and south-central coalitions of leaders who vie for control of limited resources and political power.

The Afro-Brazilian community in the south is descended from European traders, Africans who lived near European trading establishments, and traders and returned slaves from Brazil.

The educated peoples of the more urbanized southern region have dominated the nation's political and economic life. The teachers and civil servants who were given posts in the north were considered to be as foreign as the Europeans.

Benin is also home to Fulani herders known locally as the Peul. These herders move their livestock over long distances in search of grass. Even when they become sedentary, the Fulani maintain a unique cultural identity. Many of them serve in the military.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

More than 40 percent of the population lives in urban environments, primarily in Cotonou. Cities have a mixture of modern and colonial architecture. Although some Cotonou residents live in multi-story apartment buildings, their neighborhoods usually consist of walled compounds. In small towns and villages, new houses tend to be built from concrete block with metal roofs, but many are constructed from mud bricks and roofed with thatch. Large towns have both mosques and churches, and every town has at least one open-air market.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Even in many urban areas, cooking is done outside or, when it rains, in a separate room or shelter. Women and girls cook family meals, although more young men are learning to cook. Because many homes do not have refrigeration, most people go to the market several times a week to purchase food.

The basic meal consists of a staple starch prepared as a sort of mush, eaten with a sauce that contains vegetables and meat or fish. Food is prepared at least twice a day: at midday and in the evening. The morning meal may consist of warmed-up leftovers from the previous evening's meal or food purchased from roadside vendors.

In the south, rice, corn, and manioc are the primary starches; millet, sorghum, and yams are preferred in central and northern communities. Sauces may contain okra, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, eggplant, peppers, and other vegetables. Legumes may be made into side dishes. In the marshy areas, carrots, green beans, and lettuce are being incorporated into the diet.

Beninese also eat many varieties of tropical fruits. Traditionally palm wine was produced in the south, while millet beer was brewed and consumed by the northern peoples. Today alcoholic beverages are likely to be imported.

Smoked, dried, or fresh fish is likely to accompany a meal in the south, while beef is more common in the north. Goats, sheep, and poultry are found throughout the country. Poor people often eat meals with no protein. "European" foods were introduced during the colonial period. Many young people perceive the traditional diet as monotonous and want to eat more expensive and often less nutritious imported foods.

Children and adults buy snacks from roadside vendors. Men without female family members to cook for them often eat in makeshift outdoor restaurants. In the cities, French cuisine is available in restaurants.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Weddings, funerals, and holidays always involve eating. The Muslim feast day of Tobaski is celebrated by eating mutton, and families save to purchase a large sheep. Items such as pasta and canned peas are purchased by rural dwellers to eat on special occasions.

Basic Economy. The country is self-sufficient in food production, despite the increased production of cash crops. About half the population is engaged in agriculture, and traditional systems of internal trade still function to move food from one area to another. The lack of passable roads in rural areas makes it difficult to transport agricultural products to market. About nine hundred thousand people face intermittent food shortages.

Fishing is concentrated in the south, and pigs are raised by Christians. Most cattle are raised by Fulani herders.

During the socialist period, the government encouraged agro-business initiatives and increased production through rural development programs

Traditional Benin applique cloth; these are associated with the ancient Beninese cultures of Dahomey.
Traditional Benin applique cloth; these are associated with the ancient Beninese cultures of Dahomey.
such as cooperatives, but farmers' incomes remained low. Forced to sell their products to government managed companies at artificially low prices, farmers were forced into additional subsistence agriculture to feed themselves.

In the last decade, increases in subsistence and cash crops and growth in manufacturing and industry have led to a higher economic growth rate. However, structural adjustment programs negotiated with the World Bank and the International Money Fund after the collapse of the socialist government have involved painful austerity measures, and in 1994 the currency (the Communate Financiere Africaine franc or CFAF) was devalued.

Land Tenure and Property. In the precolonial period, access to land was primarily through lineages and clans. However, private holdings existed before the colonial period as a result of gifts from kings to their supporters and purchases from lineage groups.

Inheritance. Patterns of inheritance vary according to the customs of individual groups; while national law permits women to inherit and own land, in patrilineal societies land is likely to be inherited by brothers and sons.

Commercial Activities. Agricultural products and consumer goods are sold wholesale and retail. Consumers can purchase goods at retail outlets for international import-export companies. Small stores called boutiques sell consumer goods and processed foodstuffs in most towns; many are run by Yoruba or Lebanese trading families. Modern stores are found only in the larger cities. Most people still depend on open-air markets to buy not only food but textiles, clothing, furniture, and manufactured goods. The informal economy is large.

Historically, women have played an important role in trade, and many women attempt to engage in commerce in addition to household or wage-earning labor.

Major Industries. After the fall of the socialist government, many inefficient industries were privatized. Most manufacturing is geared to processing agricultural products and import substitution of consumer goods. There has been increased foreign investment in cotton gins, but most industrial concerns operate at low capacity and serve the local market.

There are deposits of gold, oil, limestone, phosphates, iron ore, kaolin, and silica sand. Oil production has not been successful. The tourism industry will also require financial investment.

Hooded and masked egunguns are present at a voodoo festival. Egunguns are the ghosts of ancestors, believed to visit earth at certain times of year by possessing living people.
Hooded and masked egunguns are present at a voodoo festival. Egunguns are the ghosts of ancestors, believed to visit earth at certain times of year by possessing living people.

A hydroelectric power project on the Mono River is planned, and there is a project to build a natural gas pipeline.

Trade. Cotton, crude oil, palm products, and cocoa are the major exports. Major imports include textiles, machinery, food, and agricultural raw materials. After independence, France continued to be the main destination for exports. Other current trading partners include Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, and Libya.

Division of Labor. In rural areas, the division of labor is usually clearly prescribed, with specific tasks assigned to men and women. Children are expected to help with chores. In polygynous families, the division of labor among cowives is precise. The more senior a wife is, the more likely she is to have time to pursue commercial interests.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. The system of social stratification has its roots in the precolonial kingdoms. Kingdoms in the south included royal and commoner families as well as slaves. At the top of the hierarchy was the ruling group of the Bariba, followed by a class of Bariba cultivators. Next came the Fulani pastoralists, and on the bottom were the Gando, the slaves of the Wasangari. Colonization broke the power of the traditional rulers, but social status is still partially determined by a person's family roots. Wealth is another way to gain social status, and those who become wealthy through commerce are held in high regard.

One of the most significant social divisions is between the educated urban elite and the rural population. During the colonial period, educated Beninese in other states were expelled. Some found work in the bureaucracy at home, but many moved to European countries. The career goal of many students is to become a civil servant, although structural adjustment programs have reduced the civil service sector. The objectives of the new national employment program include developing the private sector and encouraging expatriates to contribute to the economic development process.

Symbols of Social Stratification. The dress, manners, activities, and worldview of the urban elite set them apart from other segments of society, and their lifestyle often is emulated by people in lower classes. Speaking French, wearing Western-style clothes, eating European foods, living in a house with a tin roof, and listening to modern music distinguish a person who is "civilized."

Political Life

Government. Political instability has resulted from the inability of leaders to gain support outside their regional bases. Benin was the first country in the 1990s to make the transition from a dictatorship to a multiparty democracy. Under the new constitution, the president is directly elected to a five-year term and is limited to two terms. The president chooses the members of the cabinet. Members of parliament are elected to four-year terms. The National Assembly meets twice a year.

Leadership and Political Officials. Dozens of political parties have been formed since 1990, and the ability to negotiate alliances is essential to political success. Elections in the 1990s exhibited old patterns of patron-client relations, ethnic and regional fragmentation, brittle and shifting alliances, and isolated incidents of violence.

Social Problems and Control. The crime rate is low, and most disputes are resolved by local leaders. Few civilians have access to guns. Theft is a problem,

A woman selling baguettes at a market in Cotonou. Many Beninese homes lack refrigeration, necessitating almost daily trips to the marketplace.
A woman selling baguettes at a market in Cotonou. Many Beninese homes lack refrigeration, necessitating almost daily trips to the marketplace.
and many wealthier homeowners hire a night watchman.

Military Activity. Military activity has been limited to domestic operations, and civilian rule has been toppled several times by factions of the military.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

Poverty has prevented the state from addressing the nation's health and educational needs, and it has relied on foreign aid and assistance from international organizations. Adjustment programs initiated after the collapse of the economy in 1989 limited the state's investment in health and social development. The National Family Planning Association was founded in 1972.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. In farming communities, men do the heavier tasks such as clearing land. Women help plant, harvest, and process many of the food products. Women carry wood and water and are responsible for household tasks involving food and children. Women are active in local and regional trade. The degree to which women work as healers and ritual specialists varies between ethnic groups.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Although women in the Dahomey kingdom could increase their wealth and power as part of the royal palace organization and often served in primarily male occupations, the general pattern has always been for women to be socially and economically subordinate to men. The 1977 constitution conferred legal equality on women, but this was ignored in practice. Currently 65 percent of girls are not in school.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. In the past, most marriages were arranged by families, but individual choice is becoming more common, especially among the educated elite. A couple may have both civil and traditional ceremonies. The wife joins her husband's family, or the new couple may relocate. Marriage is nearly universal because remarriage occurs quickly after divorce or the death of a spouse. Although cowives in polygamous marriages are supposed to get along, jealousy is not unusual.

A fishing village on stilts. Ganvie, Lake Nokoue. Fish is more common as a daily meal in the southern part of Benin.
A fishing village on stilts. Ganvie, Lake Nokoue. Fish is more common as a daily meal in the southern part of Benin.

Marriage may involve the transfer of money or goods to the bride's family. After a divorce, renegotiation of bridewealth may be necessary, especially if there are no children. Because women marry into a patrilineal descent system, the children belong to the father. Because wives do not become part of the husband's kin group, marriages tend to be brittle.

Kin Groups. Kinship ties involve loyalty as well as obligation. Outside the immediate family, the lineage and the clan are the most common descent groups. Kin are expected to attend important ceremonies and provide financial aid. Kin networks link members in urban and rural areas. Children may be sent to relatives to raise, but fostering sometimes results in country relatives being brought to large cities to work as domestic servants.

Domestic Unit. The average household contains six persons, but extended families and polygamous households may be much larger. Often close relatives live in the same vicinity in separate households but function as a cooperative economic unit.

Socialization

Infant Care. Infants are carried, often on the mother's back, and most are breast-fed. Children are cared for by siblings and other family members when they are not with the mother. Babies sleep anywhere, no matter how noisy it is.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are expected to be obedient and to show respect for their elders. Children learn gender-appropriate tasks early, especially girls. Most children have few toys and amuse themselves with simple games. It is estimated that 8 percent of rural children work as laborers on plantations and as domestic servants.

The educational system is modeled after that of France. School is free and compulsory for seven years beginning at age five. However, many families cannot afford uniforms and supplies or need their children's labor. It is recognized that education is the key to social advancement, and most parents sacrifice to send their children to school.

Etiquette

Good manners include taking time to greet people properly, using conventional oral formulas. Upon entering or leaving an appointment, it is appropriate to shake the hand of each person present. People who are well acquainted may greet each other by kissing on the cheek. Public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex are discouraged, but men frequently walk together holding

This Benin village cooks food communally in a large pot. Most cooking is done outdoors, even in urban areas.
This Benin village cooks food communally in a large pot. Most cooking is done outdoors, even in urban areas.
hands. Offering food and drink to visitors is a key element of hospitality, and to refuse is considered rude. Many people eat in the traditional style, using the fingers of the right hand. It is considered bad taste to eat with the left hand or offer another person something with it.

Religion

Religious Beliefs. About 15 percent of the population is Muslim, and 15 percent is Christian, mostly Roman Catholic. The rest of the population follows indigenous systems of belief. Vodun (voodoo) was taken with the coastal slaves to Brazil and the Caribbean. Some Vodun spirits were borrowed from the Yoruba religion, and Vodun involves divination and spirit possession. These supernatural powers help believers cope with illness and infertility and provide a philosophy for living.

Death and the Afterlife. In indigenous belief systems, ancestors are considered to remain part of the community after death. Shrines honor the ancestors, and offerings "feed" them. Among the Fon, circular metal sculptures on staffs called asen are made for each deceased person and kept in the family compound. In some communities, funerals involve a sequence of rituals before the person is considered to have made a complete transition to being an ancestor.

Medicine and Health Care

The birthrate and maternal mortality rate are high. Malaria and diarrheal dehydration are endemic. Only half the population is vaccinated. Over three-quarters of the population does not have access to primary health care. AIDS is straining the health care system. The rates of infection is three times higher in rural areas. People often employ more than one system of healing. Even those who have access to an infirmary or clinic may visit herbalists or other healers.

Secular and Religious Celebrations

The major state holidays are New Year's Day (1 January), May Day (1 May), and National Day (1 August).

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. Support for the arts and humanities is limited by poverty of the nation.

Literature. Benin has produced many scholars and writers from the educated urban class, such as the novelist and historian Paul Hazoumé and the philosopher Paulin Houndtonji.

Graphic Arts. The arts include fine craftsmanship in iron and brass and cloth appliqué banners associated with ancient Dahomey.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

There is only one postsecondary institution, the University of Benin in Cotonou. The university serves as a base for international research teams, and its faculty members have produced important scholarly contributions. About twelve thousand students are enrolled.

Bibliography

Adam, Kolawolé Sikirou, and Michel Boko. Le Bénin, 1983.

Allen, Chris, "Benin," in Benin, The Congo, Burkina Faso: Economics, Politics and Society, 1989.

Bay, Edna G. Wives of the Leopard: Gender, Politics, and Culture in the Kingdom of Dahomey, 1998.

Blier, Suzanne. African Vodun: Art, Psychology, and Power, 1994.

Cornevin, Robert. La Republique Populaire du Benin: Des Origines Dahoméennes a Nos Jours, 1981.

Decalo, Samuel. Coups and Army Rule in Africa: Studies in Military Style, 1976.

——. Historical Dictionary of Benin, 3rd ed., 1995.

Eades, J. S., and Chris Allen. Benin, 1996.

Herskovits, Melville J. Dahomey: An Ancient West African Kingdom, 1938.

Kodjogbé, Nicaise, Gora Mboup, Justin Tossou, et al. Enquête Démographique et de Santé, Republique de Bénin, 1996, 1997.

Law, Robin. The Kingdom of Allada, 1997.

——. "The Politics of Commercial Transition: Factional Conflict in Dahomey in the Context of the Ending of the Atlantic Slave Trade." Journal of African History 38 (2): 213–233, 1997.

Lombard, Jacques. Structures de Type "Feodal" en Afrique Noire: Études des Dynamismes Internes et des Relations Sociales chez les Bariba du Dahomey, 1956.

Manning, Patrick. Slavery, Colonialism and Economic Growth in Dahomey, 1640–1960, 1982.

Mercier, Paul. Tradition, Changement, Histoire: Les "Somba" du Dahomey Septentrional, 1968.

Midiohouan, Thécla. "La Femme dans la Vie Politique, Économique et Sociale en RPB." Presence Africaine 141: 59–70, 1987.

Parrinder, Geoffrey. "Dahomey Half a Century Ago." Journal of Religion in Africa 19 (3): 264–273, 1989.

Ronen, Dov. Dahomey: Between Tradition and Modernity, 1975.

Ryan, Josephine Caldwell. "Changing Foodways in Parakou, Benin: A Study of the Dietary Behavior of Urban Bariba and Dendi Women." Ph.D. dissertation, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1996.

Sargent, Carolyn Fishel. The Cultural Context of Therapeutic Choice: Obstetrical Care Decisions among the Bariba of Benin, 1982.

——. Maternity, Medicine and Power: Reproductive Decisions in Urban Benin, 1989.

Whiteman, Kaye. "High Road to Nowhere: African Aftermath." Encounter 74 (4): 67–70, 1990.

—J OSEPHINE C ALDWELL R YAN



User Contributions:

Zainab
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Feb 20, 2008 @ 4:04 am
Thank you so much for this usuful article,it really helped me alot,I'm in process of studying world culture.
raja.ds
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Jul 16, 2008 @ 7:19 pm
This article is very informative and helped me a lot to know BENIN as i shall be travelling to BENIN shortly. THANK YOU
dfk
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Nov 3, 2009 @ 5:17 pm
very helpful with a lot of good information that was quite interesting. What about the arts of Benin?? What are they? I think that this is a very important part of thier culture that you are missing.
benin!!
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Nov 3, 2009 @ 7:19 pm
who wrote this article? it is very helpful!! I found a lot of information out about the Beninese! I hope that you did too!
benin1
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Jan 31, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
this article is very helpful for my report on the culture of benin
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Feb 22, 2010 @ 6:18 pm
thanks so much i had to do a project on this country!
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Feb 25, 2010 @ 7:19 pm
aweomse info for my french class project. helped out alot thankss dude:)
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Mar 7, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
thank you so much it was a useful article,and am glad to know more abt benin,and were i came from.
tallit
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Jul 21, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
I was happy to find some information here about the Fon female warriors. They are briefly discussed in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson (now deceased). Thank you also for mentioning Paul Houndtonji. This was a very informative article.
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Jul 21, 2010 @ 4:16 pm
One correction to the spelling: The philosopher's name is Paulin HOUNTONDJI (not Houndtonji). Apologies.
cheesehat
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Sep 29, 2010 @ 6:18 pm
Im just wondering how the trade system is holding up with the current economic troubles
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Nov 14, 2010 @ 10:22 pm
thanxs soo much for this. this helped a lot for my french term ebd project. i hope this helps others as much as it helped me. this was an amazing place to get research off of.
Em
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Jan 29, 2011 @ 11:11 am
I am dating someone from Benin, and this article was very helpful in understanding some of his customs and the life he grew up in.
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Feb 14, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
AMAZING FOR MY WORLD HISTORY PROJECT! THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED!
AB
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Apr 13, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
clothing would be interesting to know, but yes very helpful, thank you.
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May 25, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
IM HAPPY THAT I CAN SEE THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE INTERRESTED ON THE CULTURE OF MY COUNTRY!THANKS A LOT
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Aug 19, 2011 @ 9:09 am
this is great information for everyone hopeful everyone will be able to read it .
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Aug 27, 2011 @ 2:02 am
The data is very relevant and makes an impressive potrayal of the country. Very informative
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Oct 24, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
this is a very useful website i find it outstanding
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Nov 24, 2011 @ 8:08 am
I LOVE YOUR INFORMATION ON BENIN IT IS SO USEFULL ESPESIALY ALL THE PICTURES
Apostle T George
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Dec 2, 2011 @ 3:03 am
thanks for your articles but am yet to get all i wanted but honestly you are good and the article is helpful
Pauline
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Jan 7, 2012 @ 4:04 am
I couldn't thank enough evryone who in one way or another has contributed to this great document on information about Benin. However the reality is that often, only the southern part and it people are mentioned as the icon of our motherland Benin. Is there any thing that can be done to remember the North, west and the Easat of the country, as the country constitutes of all four side ( East, west , the North and the South). Again many thanks for your hard work but more work needs to be done .
Su
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Mar 20, 2012 @ 8:08 am
Brilliant, informative, and a real insight into Benin life. As someone mentioned, the art is hardly touched upon. What about the wonderful Benin bronzes and the wooden mask carvings etc. where are they made and how can one visit those crafts people. I am hoping to visit , which will be a dream come true from many years ago. Please inform me of the artisans. Excellent otherwise!
Betty
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Mar 30, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
What a beautifully written website! Thank you!!
I worked with a gent from Benin, he was a handsome and kind man. I decided to do a school project on Benin only because he left me with such an wonderful impression of who he was and where he came from. Thanks you for showing me more of Benin!
Cedric
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Apr 25, 2012 @ 9:09 am
I learnt alot about my country and i feel proud to a Beninese.Well am going to advertise it.People living with me are going to know about my country since am not at home.
delphina
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May 13, 2012 @ 8:08 am
I have learnt a lot about the country Benin, even though am not a Beninese but a Ghanaian it has helped me improve upon the knowledge i have about Benin. THANK YOU!
cock johnson
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May 23, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
good job on the info i learned alot of things about benin thank you
Marie
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Jul 18, 2012 @ 6:06 am
This was very helpfull for my presentation on friday, thank you.
Amrborsince
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Oct 9, 2012 @ 10:10 am
Very helpful for my French project (: Thank you! I love that it gives your more than the general things.
Nia
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Oct 26, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
Iam dating a guy from Benin and I find this article pretty much helpful.
qwerty
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Oct 28, 2012 @ 9:09 am
Not very help full as there is not a clothing section
jay
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Jan 19, 2013 @ 6:06 am
The article was very educational, and it help me in my english class dedate.
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Feb 11, 2013 @ 7:19 pm
Quite wonderful to know and discover countries covered by AFRICA.At first i was so sad to know from the news around the world that AFRICA is the most distressed continent as publishized.But, upon reading the culture, people,polical structure, etc.,here i was so convinced that AFRICA particularly Rep. of Benin is not BAD as portrait but instead a beautful and a wonderful country to know and to visit as well! Maybe in the coming months i will be going to witness and experience how BENIN made of ,considering that i will be having a project to supervise.More POWER to the you "REP. of BENIN"!
Isaac
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Mar 3, 2013 @ 8:08 am
Very informative, i appreciate ur effort, but there is something i want to knw about how the eguns really originated & most expecially those from GBEKO.
VIJAYANANDAN
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Mar 13, 2013 @ 8:08 am
Very interesting,your effort to give a very detailed culturely description about the people of BENIN,their livelihood and family affection.Thank you. The new generation in the world especially developed countries rarely can see obedient youngesters. But in BENIN -the people they are very well to do for their Nation.
VIJAYANANDAN
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Mar 13, 2013 @ 8:08 am
Very interesting,your effort to give a very detailed culturely description about the people of BENIN,their livelihood and family affection.Thank you. The new generation in the world especially developed countries rarely can see obedient youngesters. But in BENIN -the people they are very well to do for their Nation.
craig
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Mar 22, 2013 @ 11:23 pm
thank you for a good articule on benin.i am dating a lady from there and this will help me understand the culture and people.
Michael
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Mar 25, 2013 @ 9:09 am
I personally think benin might be a cool place too live in. I now live in Canada
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Apr 19, 2013 @ 2:02 am
I found this very sweet & helpful as i set to visit benin for the 1st time to play football... I will like to be hooked up with the bennenian football federation
annie
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Jun 21, 2013 @ 11:23 pm
I would like to know more on the benin women,throw more light on it
anette sonne
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Nov 30, 2013 @ 5:05 am
Thank you for all the good informationer, which are very useful for me and my travel participants in a learning travel to the northern Benin.
Azlynn N W
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Feb 15, 2014 @ 4:16 pm
This really helped me with my girl scout project THANKS A BUNCH!!
senu magdalene
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Feb 26, 2014 @ 2:02 am
Nice one, well i didn't know anything about ma country Benin but now am just speechless thanks a bunch!
Unique Onyebuchi Onu
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Feb 28, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
I must commend your work, it's very impressive and informative. You have helped me to learn about a sister country, thanks a whole lot I do appreciate it.
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Mar 10, 2014 @ 9:09 am
Thanks, this was very helpful. I am glad to know more about my own country. Merci beaucoup et bonne journee.
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Apr 20, 2014 @ 5:05 am
Im a Nigerian,origin of edo state.ur project is useful as it inform me info about my neighboured country'benin'. I currently live in lagos,nigeria.

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