History of West Africa

Kingdom of Benin

The Kingdom of Benin was located on the west bank of the lower Niger river, giving name to the Bight of Benin. It extended along the coast, into modern Ghana. The people were the EDO. It was founded in 1170.
In the late 15th century the Portuguese arrived on the coast and engaged in trade with the kingdom. The bight of Benin was notorious (Beware of the Bight of Benin, for few come out, though many go in), for many whites fell victim to diseases in the tropical climate. The kingdom lost it's independence to the Royal Niger Company in 1897.

Article Benin Empire, Oba of Benin, Edo Language, from Wikipedia
History of Nigeria, from Library of Congress, Country Studies : Nigeria
Nigeria : Indiginous Beliefs, from Religion around the World
Kingdom of Benin, from Arts and Life of Africa at UIowa, and from Diffusion and other Problems in the History of African States by Prof. Giblin, UIowa
Art and History in the Kingdom of Benin, by B. Osadolor, at Humboldt Univ. Berlin
Benin Art and the University's Benin Collection, from UPenn
Armed Conflict Events Data : British Conquest of Benin 1897, from OnWar.com
Kwame Opoku, Berlin Plea for the Return of Nigeria's Cultural Objects : How often must Nigeria Ask for the Return of its Stolen Objects ?, posted on Ghana Resource Center
The Kingdom of Benin Royal Court Art, by Myra Wysinger
DOCUMENTS Map of 1808 from R. Brookes, General Gazetteer, 1808, at Perry Castaneda Library, UTexas, has large Kgd. of Benin in area of modern Nigeria
Richard Eden: Decades of the New World (1555). English merchants at the Royal Court of Benin, from Reading about the World / WSU
From British Military Medals : East & West Africa Medal, 1887-1900
Article Benin, from Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888-1890 edition, in German
Kingdom of Benin.com, click : Dokumente. German language site; still a number of the documents are in English.
Conquest of Benin, from The Great Round World and What is Going on in it Vol.1 No.19, March 1897, posted by Gutenberg Library Online

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on September 15th 2008

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