There are a lot of fascinating facts about the Benin Kingdom.  In the 1200s, the Edo people established the Benin Kingdom or the Benin Empire in the forested region of West Africa. It was a pre-colonial African Kingdom located in the Southern part of Nigeria. The Benin Kingdom was the oldest and most developed state in the coastal hinterland of West Africa. Its rich history and cultural heritage are what the empire is known for.


The Edo people founded the Benin Kingdom around the 11th century AD under the rule of the Ogiso dynasty. In the 13th century, they overthrew the Ogiso dynasty and established the Oba (King) dynasty. “Ewuare the Great” was the first Oba of Benin. The Benin Kingdom flourished from the 13th to the 19th Century. Heroes and heroines of the past, who laid down their lives for the advancement of the kingdom, made daunting contributions.


I will give you a list of the intriguing facts that make the Benin Kingdom unique.


Fascinating facts about the Benin Kingdom

  1. Advanced Military Strategies: The Benin Kingdom is renowned for its formidable military, which developed advanced military strategies and employed strategic warfare techniques. The army organized itself effectively and utilized weapons such as bows and arrows, swords, and shields.
  2. Sophisticated Artistic Tradition: Benin Kingdom also gains renown for its exceptional artistic tradition, particularly its bronze and ivory sculptures, which experts consider masterpieces of African art.
  3. Wealth and Trade: The Benin Kingdom prospered through its involvement in long-distance trade. It had extensive trade networks and was thriving in importation and exportation.
  4. Intricate Palace Architecture: The royal palace in Benin City, Known as the Oba’s Palace or the Iyoba’s Palace, is an architectural marvel. It features elaborate courtyards, beautiful artworks and the power of the kingdom.
  5. Highly Developed Administrative System: The Benin Kingdom had a well-structured and efficient administrative system with specialized guilds.
  6. Cultural Resilience: Despite the challenges and disruptions faced over the centuries, the cultural traditions and heritage of the Benin Kingdom have endured. Today, the kingdom continues to celebrate its rich history through festivals, ceremonies, and the preservation of its artistic legacy.
  7. Unique Writing System: The Benin Kingdom utilized its writing system known as “Esiẹ” or “Igbin” for official correspondence and record-keeping. It consisted of pictographic symbols engraved on various mediums, including ivory and wood.
  8. Monarchy and Succession: The Benin Kingdom is one of the oldest hereditary monarchies in Africa. The people consider Benin’s Oba (king) as a divine ruler and the custodian of the kingdom’s spiritual and cultural heritage. Succession to the throne is matrilineal, with the son of the previous king’s eldest sister becoming the next Oba.
  9. Religious Beliefs: The Benin Kingdom had a complex religious system with diverse deity worship, ancestral spirits, and the Oba revered as a divine figure. Elaborate rituals and festivals, like the Igue Festival, promoted the kingdom’s well-being.
  10. Social Organization: Society in the Benin Kingdom organizes itself into various hierarchical levels. The Oba held the highest position, followed by nobles, chiefs, warriors, and commoners.

There is so much to explore and learn about this remarkable African Kingdom. These facts provide just a glimpse into the fascinating history and cultural heritage of the Benin Kingdom. Today, the Benin Kingdom is part of modern-day Nigeria, and the Oba of Benin continues to play a significant role in the cultural and traditional affairs of the Edo people.



Click to discover an extensive list of local and international schools offering courses and programs in various career path
Share This Post: If you think this post can be helpful to somebody else, please share it using the buttons below!