how old is benin kingdom

1664: Foundation of the first Christian mission to Juda (Ouidah) by Breton Capuchins. 1863: The first French protectorate was established with the King of Porto-Novo seeking help against the claims of the King of Abomey and the attacks of the English, based in Lagos, Nigeria. All subjects of Benin are citizens of Nigeria and live under Nigerian law and administration. … Queen Mother Pendant Mask (Iyoba) (Edo peoples) Benin Plaque: Equestrian Oba and Attendants. In December 1989, after 17 years of Marxism-Leninism, Marxist President Kerekou announced the abandonment of Marxism-Leninism under the pressure of the street. A handwritten title on this rare albumen photograph reads: “Juju altar. To prevent the British party from interfering with annual royal rituals, some chiefs ordered, against Oba Ovonramwen’s wishes, warriors to attack the expedition. The palace was burned and looted in February 1897, and the oba was exiled to Old Calabar. Privacy | Copyright | 202.633.4600 | africa.si.edu. The palace was the most splendid home in the city. We can get an idea of the kingdom’s grandeur and accomplishments from the bronze plaques commissioned by the kings (Obas) to commemorate and record achievements during their reign. Cyril Punch, a British merchant who often traded between Lagos and Benin, took this photograph in 1891. England responded immediately, mounting a “punitive expedition” to capture Benin City. The three main kingdoms (created by the Fon) were that of Allada, founded in the 16th century, it was the most powerful kingdom in Ajaland before it fell to the armies of Dahomey (Abomey). Six British officials and almost 200 African porters were killed. The Kingdom of Benin has produced some of the most renowned examples of African art. The current Oba, Erediauwa, is considered an African monarch, however, and he serves as an advocate of the Edo or Benin people. During the European Scramble for Africa in the late 1800s, Britain wanted to extend its control northwards over what became Nigeria, but Benin repeatedly rejected their diplomatic advances. Most have one or two male figures in court regalia. Benin was one of many African countries to sell enslaved people to European traders, but like all strong states, the Benin people did so on their own terms. They lined the long streets. The pre-colonial Benin Kingdom or Empire was located in what is today southern Nigeria. According to tradition, at the beginning of the 17th century three brothers vied for the kingdom of Allada, which, like neighbouring Whydah (now Ouidah), had grown rich on the Table of ContentsOGISO DYNASTYEWEKA DYNASTYObas of Benin (1440-1897)Post-Imperial Obas of Benin (1914 till date) The title of Oba was adopted in Benin Empire after the Ogiso rule ended. An oba, or king, and his court have, from around 1300 C.E., governed the kingdom from Benin City, the capital. The half figures depict Portuguese soldiers or traders. To inspire conversations about the beauty, power, and diversity of African arts and cultures worldwide. 1990: the country becomes the Republic of Benin. Some had many rooms. )Benin arose as a city-state in the late 1100s or 1200s and expanded into a larger kingdom or empire in the mid-1400s. Women’s Initiative at the National Museum of African Art, Johnnetta Betsch Cole Fund for the Future. In the early 1600s, Dutch geographer Olfert Dapper described the royal palace of the Benin court as having “beautiful and long square galleries about as big as the exchange at Amsterdam, some bigger than others, resting on wooden pillars, covered from top to bottom with cast copper, on which deeds of war and battle scenes are carved.” Later travelers’ accounts did not mention the plaques; the British, however, found them in a storehouse when they sacked the palace in 1897 during the Benin punitive expedition. In the build-up and aftermath of conquest, popular and scholarly accounts of Benin stressed the savagery of the kingdom, as that was one of the justifications for conquest. On 4 December 1958, the Republic was proclaimed and Dahomey becomes an independent state on 1 August 1960 and is admitted to the UN. There are an estimated 2,400 to 4,000 known objects including 300 bronze heads, 130 elephant tusks, and 850 relief plaques. The kingdom of Benin, home of the Edo-speaking peoples, is located in the tropical rain forest region of what is now Nigeria. Instead, they traded other goods, including pepper, ivory, and palm oil for the brass and firearms they wanted from Europeans. James Phillips, a British official in the Niger Coast Protectorate, led an unarmed expedition to Benin City in January 1897 to enforce trade agreements and a ban on reported human sacrifice. Dahomey, kingdom in western Africa that flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries in the region that is now southern Benin. 1946: Dahomey becomes an overseas territory of France. The art of the Kingdom of Benin, not to be confused with the Republic of Benin, is most widely known for its bronze plaques. 1904: Dahomey was incorporated into French West Africa (in French: Afrique occidentale française, AOF, a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger.). The history of Benin is a succession of several kingdoms, it was the seat of Dahomey, one of the great medieval African kingdoms. 1752: The Portuguese moved to Hogbonou and founded Porto-Novo, the "New Port" was developed as a port for the flourishing slave trade. As the Oba, he is a figure of respect and authority and has served as a mediator in several political disputes. Why Was Africa Called the Dark Continent? Today, over 900 plaques reside in public and private collections. 1975: Dahomey is renamed to the People's Republic of Benin. Today, the current oba, Oba Erediauwa I, retains a court and employs royal artists to produce the courtly arts of bronze casting and ivory carvings. Its shape is thought to resemble the palace roof turrets. The kingdom of Benin, home of the Edo-speaking peoples, is located in the tropical rain forest region of what is now Nigeria. Symbols of royal power and sacrifice—kola nuts, elephant trunks, leopards, and mythical fish—decorate the base of the head. King Behanzin was exiled to Martinique. Kings compound Benin City May 1891.” This cabinet card is considered the earliest known photograph of a Benin altar and the only one known to exist prior to the British invasion of Benin in 1897. CM Dixon / Print Collector / Getty Images. To view the status of the Smithsonian’s other museums and Zoo, visit si.edu/museums. 1991: President Kerekou is beaten by Nicephore Soglo in the first multi-candidate presidential elections. 1704: France received permission to construct a port at Ouidah. Benin continues to exist today as a Kingdom within Nigeria. Oba Ovoranmwen was dethroned, and deported to Calabar where he lived and dead in January 1914 after sixteen years of British captivity. Europeans who visited were always impressed by its splendor and compared it to the major European cities at the time. In 1892, however, a British representative named H. L. Gallwey visited Benin and reportedly convinced the Oba to sign a treaty that essentially granted Britain sovereignty over Benin. The Transatlantic Trade of Enslaved People. The same year, Glélé, the King of Abomey, allows the French to settle in Cotonou. The trade of enslaved people only began to pick up after 1750, when Benin was in a period of decline. The Kingdom of Benin. They had covered porches. The history of Benin is a succession of several kingdoms, it was the seat of Dahomey, one of the great medieval African kingdoms. By the late 1400s, the capital of Benin, Benin City, was already a large and highly regulated city. Benin warriors wore smaller versions of these bells on their chests, as can be seen on the plaques that formerly covered the piers in the palace courtyard. The history of Benin monarchy can be traced back to the Ogiso era in the 10th century. The three main kingdoms (created by the Fon) were that of Allada, founded in the 16th century, it was the most powerful kingdom in … 1892: France declared a protectorate over the entire kingdom. The kingdom was destroyed and looted of its many valuable artifacts. Benin arose as a city-state in the late 1100s or 1200s and expanded into a larger kingdom or empire in the mid-1400s. Britain immediately prepared a punitive military expedition to punish Benin for the attack and to send a message to other kingdoms that might resist. Copyright © 2020 Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. The capital city and the kingdom were both called Benin. Some plaques depict scenes, such as battles, hunts, or court ceremonies. The pre-colonial Benin Kingdom or Empire was located in what is today southern Nigeria. Houses were built in Benin. Most of the people within the Benin Empire were Edo, and they were ruled over by a monarch, who held the title of Oba (roughly equivalent to king). (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Chronologie des principaux événements politiques au Bénin, Musée du quai Branly: Behanzin, King of Abomey. When a British party of officers and porters set out in 1897 to visit Benin City to enforce the treaty, Benin attacked the convoy killing almost everyone. Benin Art: Patrons, Artists and Current Controversies. Benin representatives sold some prisoners of war to the Portuguese in the late 1400s, during the time when Benin was expanding into an empire and fighting several battles. Benin and the Portuguese. It might best be understood as a social organization within Nigeria. An oba, or king, and his court have, from around 1300 C.E., governed the kingdom from Benin City, the capital.Within the kingdom, specialized artists belonged to guilds with hereditary membership and worked solely for the oba. 1996: presidential elections are held, following accusations of irregularities in the elections, the constitutional court announces that Kereykou has received the majority of valid votes cast. Over the centuries, Benin had years of greatness and suffered times of turmoil, but a single event divides ancient from modern Benin. A Short History of the African Slave Trade, Top 10 Things to Know About the Aztecs and Their Empire, Origins of the Trans-Atlantic Trade of Enslaved People, Ph.D., History, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, M.A., History, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, B.A./B.S, History and Zoology, University of Florida. Countries in Africa Considered Never Colonized, Essential Facts About the South Carolina Colony, A Brief History of the African Country of Liberia, Key Events in the History of the English Language, The Untold History of American Indian Enslavement. In fact, Benin refused to sell enslaved people for many years. Angela Thompsell, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of British and African History at SUNY Brockport. The Kingdom of Abomey was founded in 1625 and that of Porto-Novo probably founded in the late 16th century, then called Adjacé then Hogbonou.

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