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Benin

Joseph C.E. Adande

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Republic of Benin is bounded in the south by the Atlantic Ocean, in the north by Niger and Burkina Faso, in the east by Nigeria, and in the west by Togo. Thus, it naturally shares both history and culture with the peoples of these neighboring countries. In Benin, clothing, regardless of definition, is as complex and varied as its numerous linguistic groups. In the Benin Republic, Vodun adepts and masquerade performers dress primarily to please their gods and offer them the appropriate manifes

The Kingdom of Benin

Kathy Curnow

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Kingdom of Benin, a historically important traditional state, is located in southern Nigeria just north of the Niger River Delta. For centuries, its Edo people have looked to Benin City as their cultural center. The seat of a hereditary kingship, it is also a university town and state capital. The oba, its semidivine monarch, still exerts considerable influence even though the modern nation has usurped most of his political privileges. About two hundred chiefs assist him and form the aristocr

Archaeological Evidence

Fred T. Smith

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In Africa, the human body has always been a focus for creative expression. Each culture has evolved its own patterns of dress and associated symbolic system, yet cross-cultural influences and change have constantly occurred. A society’s political structure and religious institutions can determine the type of dress used. Societies with a centralized organization often have elaborate, even grandiose programs of visual culture associated with leadership. The ruler or an elite group often reserves th

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