A small country in territory but big in contrasts and with a lot of cultural wealth

The Republic of Benin is a small country of great contrasts, full of ethnic and cultural diversity. In the south, the Atlantic coast, where the two big cities are located. Not far away is the city of Ganvié, whose peculiarity is that it is built on Lake Nokué. In the west, we find Ouidah, an old port of "export" of slaves and current capital of Voodoo.
In the interior of the country we find Abomey, the historic capital of the powerful kingdom of Dahomey, where is the set of royal palaces, World Heritage and where the greatest number of societies of Voodoo tradition is really concentrated. And further east, the Holi people, an ethnic group that traditionally "dressed" with very colorful tattoos and sharpened their teeth. In Dassa we find its emblematic hills.
The north is Otamari territory, an animist ethnic group with facial scarifications and builders of "tata somba", small "castles" built by hand. In the northern area there are also the Fula or Peulh, the most widespread ethnic group of semi-nomadic cattle ranchers in Africa.

Cities with a colonial footprint

The Atlantic coast is home to large cities such as Cotonou, Porto Novo, Ouidah or Ganvie. Cities where the colonial imprint and the mixture of cultures is more than evident.

Tattoos and scarifications

Some women from ethnic groups such as the Fulani, the Ije or Holi, and the Ditamari or Soba still sport complex body tattoos.

Epicenter of the Voodoo tradition

Voodoo is the most widespread animist religion in the world, since the slaves took it with them to the "new world" where it adapted and evolved into different branches that still exist, such as Santería, Candomblé...

The monumental complex of the Royal Palaces of Abomey

Abomey is home to the palaces of the historic kingdom of Dahomey. The royal complex was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

Ancestral architecture of the “tata somba”

The Ditamari or Somba are known as adobe artisans, given their great skill in building "tata somba", small two-story castles.

Technical information on Benin

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