Benin was a city that dated back to the eleventh century – and no relation to the West African nation of Benin of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Benin was a large city for its time – a walled city several kilometres wide in a forested region inland from where the Niger River emptied into the Atlantic. In the mid-1400s the ruler of Benin, Ewuare, built up his military and began expanding. Captives taken in battle he traded to the Portuguese. Benin’s empire reached about 190 miles (300 kilometres) in width by the early 1500s. Then it stopped expanding, and with this it had no more captives to sell as slaves, while selling slaves to the Portuguese was being taken up by others.
The kingdom of Benin was most important in 1567 when the king sold off all his slaves to Britain for $1000, 58697,599.
African culture might have begun when people have probably been living in West Africa for tens of thousands of years. There are several good-sized rivers – the Niger, the Senegal, and the Volta – which make it easier to travel because you can use boats.
There are fish in the rivers which are good to eat. These rivers also, when they flood, spread good sand all over the land, which makes the land good for growing plants. The rivers do also breed the mosquitoes that carry yellow fever and malaria, but people living in West Africa gradually developed some privilege to these diseases.
West African Art creators spend most of their lives perfecting skills that are passed down from one generation to another. If you are passionate about art and love it, especially African art then you are going to enjoy this site. We are going to learn about the various regions of the continent, get to know about the local people and artisans who craft these beautiful works of art and also learn about the various kinds of African art. As a little boy growing up in Africa, I remember going to the market on weekends with my grandmother and we would see various artisans in their little shops making different types of wood carvings, sculptures, paintings etc.
I always admired the skill involved in taking a solid piece of wood and creating wooden sculptures, masks, walking canes, animals, dolls etc. As I got older I came to realize that their skills were passed on from generation to generation and for them creating these pieces of art was a way to provide for their families and not for recognition or for show. When I relocated to the United States I saw that there was a lot of art available but not enough information for people who want to know more and learn about art from Africa. As a result I decided to build this site to provide that information for all who need it. So whether you are a seasoned veteran with collections of your own or this is brand new experience for you, everyone is welcome on this journey. This experience will be a fun filled one that we will all enjoy and learn from.
What was West Africa like in the 1500’s?
Life was a very happy peaceful life in West Africans, until……… They came. Those beastly monsters. Scavenging for people, like for people. Like there was no other day. Kidnapping those innocent children. To work til, their death comes towards then. Tearing their homes. Burning them. They brought them across the Atlantic oceans, by a ship. No ordinary ship. It was a ship which cargoes humans. Black humans. It wasn’t right. Not right at all. It was commonly known as SLAVERY and which was taken as captives.