Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. 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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The first oba, or king, in Benin was Eweka. Under the dynasty established by Ewuare the Great, Benin's territory expanded to cover a region between the Niger Delta and what is now the Nigerian city of Lagos. Shortly after statehood was established, a foreign official named Oranyan became leader of Benin. 1145 17th Street NW Benin City was known as the capital of the Kingdom of Benin. A desire for control over West African trade and territory ultimately led to a British invasion of Benin in 1897. mey (də-hō′mē, dä-ô-mā′) A country of western Africa. hard, white substance that forms the teeth or tusks of some animals. The Portuguese, the French, and the Dutch established trading posts along the coast (Porto-Novo, Ouidah, Cotonou), and traded weapons for slaves. 3. In the early modern era, Benin was also heavily involved in the West African slave trade. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact for more information and to obtain a license. The oba became the supreme political, judicial, economic, and spiritual leader of his people, and he and his ancestors eventually became the object of state cults that utilized human sacrifice in their religious observances. Its numerous craftsmen were organized into guilds, and the kingdom became famous for its ivory and wood carvers. [5] In the second round of National Assembly elections held in March 1995, Zoglo's political vehicle, the Parti de la Renaissance du Benin, was … The history of Benin is a succession of several kingdoms, it was the seat of Dahomey, one of the great medieval African kingdoms. Updates? Benin, one of the principal historic kingdoms of the western African forest region (fl. Ewuare also rebuilt the capital (present-day Benin City), endowing it with great walls and moats. Benin was the seat of one of the great medieval African kingdoms called Dahomey. The kingdom of Benin began in the 900s when the Edo people settled in the rainforests of West Africa. Examples of Oba in the following topics: Benin. During the trans-Atlantic slave trade, a large number of slaves were shipped to the New World. By the 1400s they had created a wealthy kingdom with a powerful ruler, known as the Oba. Code of Ethics. This trade provided a significant source of wealth for the kingdom.Benin began to lose power during the 1800s, as royal family members fought for power and control of the throne. According to history, the Edo people of southern Nigeria founded Benin. He was the son of the prince from Ife.The kingdom reached its greatest power and size under Oba Ewuare the Great. See more. A kingdom is a piece of land that is ruled by a king or a queen. Photograph by Heritage Image Partnership Ltd. The height of power for Benin’s monarchs began during this period. They show the evolution of the empire’s second dynasty, which is believed to have begun in the 13th century and continues to this day. According to oral tradition, Oranyan came to power because he married a local chief's daughter and formed a kinship connection that led to ruling rights. He expanded the kingdom and improved the capital, present-day Benin City; the city was defined by massive walls. They were famous for their bas-relief sculptures, particularly plaques, and life-size head sculptures. However, by the 15th century, a single ruler, known as the oba, had asserted control. land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Ife, which flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries, emerged as a major power in the forested areas west of the Niger and south of... Ife, which flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries, emerged as a major power in the forested areas west of the Niger and south of Hausaland. Omissions? Benin in British English. Tradition asserts that the Edo people became dissatisfied with the rule of a dynasty of semimythical kings, the ogisos, and in the 13th century they invited Prince Oranmiyan of Ife to rule them.