This book traces the development of the kingdom of Benin, from the earliest times to the rise of the current monarchial dynasty, one of the world’s most enduring royal lines. The reader is taken on a journey that includes trade with Europe, the vicissitudes of the colonial and post-colonial periods, and culminates in the country we see today. The politics, religion, military, economy, society and art of Benin, including the renowned Benin bronze and ivory artworks found in museums across the world, are all covered in dedicated and thorough contributions from leading scholars in their respective fields. Meanwhile, presiding over all these historical and cultural riches is His Royal Majesty Omo N’Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin and current representative of the remarkable royal dynasty that weaves together this nation and its peoples.
With further chapters on the most recent historical developments, as well as a discussion of Benin’s fight against human trafficking, this volume is timely and sharply relevant. Perhaps most importantly of all, it is largely written by Nigerian scholars and essayists. Who better to tell their story to the world? This beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history and culture of Benin in particular and Africa in general.