Benin, formally the Republic of Benin (French: République du Bénin), was originally known as Dahomey or the People’s Republic of Benin, with population of over 12.42 Million persons. It is made up of a thin wedge of land that stretches northward for roughly 420 miles (675 kilometers) from the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean, where it has a 75-mile coast, to the Niger River, which forms part of Benin’s northern border with Niger. Burkina Faso borders Benin to the northwest, Nigeria to the east, and Togo to the west. Although Porto-Novo is the legal capital, Cotonou is Benin’s largest city, its main port, and its de facto administrative capital. From the late 1800s to 1960, Benin was a French colony. Prior to colonial domination, parts of what is now Benin were ruled by powerful, autonomous kingdoms, such as the Bariba kingdoms in the north and the kingdoms of Porto-Novo and Dahomey in the south.
French is the country’s official language in the Benin Republic, while Fon, Yom and Yoruba have the status of national languages.
TRENDING FASHION IN BENIN REPUBLIC
ACCESSORIES IN BENIN REPUBLIC
TRIBES IN BENIN REPUBLIC AND THEIR FASHION
The Fon people
The Fon people, also called Fon nu, Agadja or Dahomey, are a Gbe ethnic group. They are the largest ethnic group in Benin found particularly in its south region and they speak the Fon language, a member of the Gbe languages.
The religious practice of the Fon people have four overlapping elements: public gods, personal or private gods, ancestral spirits, and magic or charms. Thus, the Vodoun religion is polytheistic. The Fon people have a concept of a female Supreme Being called Nana Buluku, who gave birth to the Mawu, Lisa and created the universe.
The Yoruba people
There is a thriving Yoruba community in Benin Republic, with nearly two million people of Yoruba origin in the country. According to the country’s 2013 census, Yoruba people make up more than 10 percent of the entire population of the country, and only behind the Fon and Adja & Mina ethnic groups.
TOURIST AND HISTORICAL PLACES IN BENIN REPUBLIC
Grand Popo – The town of Grand-Popo has an intriguing history mainly due to the important role it played in the slave trade. The town oozes with African charm and the people are friendly.
The Dantokpa market – the largest local market in West Africa, notable for its souvenirs and beautiful African prints fabrics.
Cotonou Fetish Market – the market displays wares, variety of animal remains, sold for voodoo.
Cotonou Craft Market – the market display many craft souvenirs and household décor items.
Cotonou – Cotonou may not be the official capital of Benin, but it certainly has the feel of one. The city is an explosive mix of metropolitan vitality and African charm.
Boukoumbe – The town is a great base for visits to the highest point of Benin; Mount Koussou- Kovangou.
Bohicon – The town is an almost entirely modern place but it is well worth visiting the market, which is arguably the biggest and the best in Benin.
Tchaourou – The town’s primary attractions are the weekly market and the hard-to-miss residences of Benin President Yayi Boni, which are both extravagant and out of place yet worth a visit anyway.
Tanguieta – This lovely village in Benin is an excellent spot to observe colonial French architecture. Tanguieta has a limited population, with only roughly 20,000 people living there.
Porto Novo – Porto Novo is the capital city of Benin and former French capital of Dahomey
Ouidah – Ouidah is a city that has a mix of influence from the French and the Portuguese due to various events in history.
Pehunco – Pehunco is another great place to escape from the well-trodden tourist track. The town of Pehunco is known for its jewelery so the markets here are extra special.
Parakou – The second largest city in Benin, the city is industrious with most of its economy focusing on cotton, textiles and peanut oil.
Nikki – it is the capital of historical Bariba, also has an ancient palace that still has power over a broad territory, including parts of Nigeria. Nikki is an excellent site to view Benin in all of its pristine splendour because it is mostly free of tourists.
Natitingou – it is located 50km away from the Pendjari National Park, the city of Natitingou also has some of its own attractions that make it a worthy stop-over on a tour of Benin.
Lake Nokoue – This lake and small village is a great place for birdwatching.
MUSIC IN BENIN REPUBLIC
Benin has played an important role in the African music scene, producing one of the biggest stars to come out of the continent in Angélique Kidjo. Post-independence, the country was home to a vibrant and innovative music scene, where native folk music combined
Some musicians Benin Republic include:
Some art work in Benin Republic include:
MEALS IN BENIN REPUBLIC
Pate de manioc – a meal similar to lafun, white amala, it goes basically with any soup.
Amiwo – a tomato and corn maize dough that’s eaten hot with either Mojo, served with grilled fish. Pate la maize – a delicious Tuwo meal, served with soup.
Tapioca – a staple pudding breakfast made from tapioca seeds.
Coco or Bouillie – a red porridge with red millet grains, usually eaten with sugar cube added. Igname pile – a tasty meal similar to pounded yam, served with soup.
Pate de manioc
Pate la maize
Coco or Bouillie
Atassi or Wakye – Benin Republic version of rice and beans served with the Dja. Fried yam and Potatoes – fried yam and potatoes served with red oil or hot sauce.
Massa – Benin version of pancake, made with mashed black eye peas, onions, eggs, spices and salt. Wassa Wassa – a black semolina dish made with grounded cassava which is steamed.
Wagassi – basically a Beninese cow milk cheese that are produced by the Peuhl and Fulani tribes. Akara – it is made with mashed black eyed peas, onions, eggs, spices and salt.
Atassi or Wakye
Fried yam and Potatoes
ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND HABITAT PROTECTION IN BENIN REPUBLIC
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 41.2 percent of Benin is forested, or roughly 4,561,000 hectares. Benin has a total of 19,000 hectares of planted forest.
Forest Cover Change: Between 1990 and 2010, Benin lost an average of 60,000 acres each year, or 1.04 percent. Benin lost 20.8 percent of its forest cover, or roughly 1,200,000 acres, between 1990 and 2010. Living forest biomass in Benin’s woods contains 263 million metric tons of carbon. Biodiversity and Protected Areas: According to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Benin contains 755 recognized species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles. 0.0 percent are endemic, meaning they can only be found in one country, while 1.2 percent are endangered. At least 2500 species of vascular plants can be found in Benin.
EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN BENIN REPUBLIC
The rainfall, rising temperatures, especially in the northern portion of the country, drought, floods, and late and strong showers are all indications of climate change in Benin. These primary climate risks have an impact on agriculture, water resources, coastal, and forestry lifestyles and patterns. Over the previous three decades, this has resulted in a variety of effects, including a decrease in agricultural output, a disruption of agricultural calendars, a decrease in water levels in dams for drinking water supply, a prolongation of the low-water period, the submersion of banks, and so on. Furthermore, Benin is a coastal nation. If nothing is done, a third of the coastline will be lost to the effects of rising sea levels over time.
GENDER EQUALITY IN BENIN REPUBLIC
Aurelie Adam Soule – Beninese politician and Minister of Digital Economy and Communications. Mariam Aladji Boni Diallo – Beninese politician and former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Rafiatou Karimou – Beninese politican and first female minister in the Benin Republic. Grace d’ Almeida – Beninese lawyer, feminist and human right activist
Aurelie Adam Soule
Mariam Aladji Boni Diallo
Grace d’ Almeida
Reckya Madougou – Beninese politician, former Minister of Microfinance, Youth and women’s Employment; then Minister of Justice.
Veronique Ahoyo – Beninese politician and civil administrator.
Maria-Elise Gbedo – Beninese politician who has run for President four times and former Minister of Justice in Benin Republic.
Claudine Talon – the first lady of Benin Republic