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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Benin

former West African kingdom, from the Bini people, whose name is perhaps related to Arabic bani "sons." Though now the people is associated with Nigeria, the name was taken 1974 by the former nation of Dahomey.

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Benin

Benin ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Benin and formerly Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. A majority of the population live on its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometers and its population in 2015 was estimated to be approximately 10.88 million. Benin is a tropical, sub-Saharan nation, highly dependent on agriculture, with substantial employment and income arising from subsistence farming.

The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fon and Yoruba are commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by Islam, Vodun and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.

From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey along with the city-state of Porto-Novo and a large area with many different tribes to the north. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of slaves shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After slavery was abolished, France took over the country and renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France, and had a tumultuous period with many different democratic governments, many military coups and military governments.

A Marxist–Leninist state called the People's Republic of Benin existed between 1975 and 1990. In 1991, it was replaced by the current multi-party Republic of Benin.

Benin (disambiguation)

Benin is a modern country in Africa, the former colony of French Dahomey.

Benin can also mean:

  • Benin Empire, a historical state in Western Africa
  • Republic of Benin (Nigeria), a short-lived former state in 1967, located in present Nigeria
  • Benin City, a city in Nigeria, formerly capital of the short-lived Republic of Benin
  • Benin Province, a former province of Nigeria
  • Bight of Benin, a bight on the western African coast
  • Benin River, a river in Southern Nigeria, flowing into the Bight of Benin
  • Benin Bronzes, a collection of more than 1,000 brass plaques from the royal palace of the Benin Empire

Usage examples of "benin".

When the first astonishing heads and busts from Ife and Benin were brought to Europe sixty years ago and were seen to be portraits, or very like portraits, they were greeted with a chorus of disbelief: surely they were Greek or Egyptian or even Portuguese, for Negroes had never done anything like that?

Ruy de Siqueira, it seems, had actually landed on the coast of Benin as early as 1472.

These contrasts are especially instructive in the case of the notable kingdom of Benin, not far from the coast of modern Nigeria.

Ife and Benin, whether in terra cotta or cast in metal, are famous everywhere.

After new excavations at the palace of Benin in 1957, Goodwin has shown the possibility of establishing a long series of pottery types.

Lord Auditor Vorkosigan, ghem-General Benin begs the opportunity to speak with you.

It is an internal matter, although we are, of course, grateful to ghem-General Benin for his assistance dealing with any persons outside our purview who may have aided the ba in its .

In the aisle across from Miles and Ekaterin, ghem-General Benin turned from his window.

Grimacing, he allowed Ekaterin and ghem-General Benin to help him from the van into a floater.

Bel dipped its floater for Benin to press the beribboned roll into its hands, and though its eyes were bright with irony, murmured thanks to the distant Fletchir Giaja in return, and kept its sense of humor, for once, under full control.

Ekaterin was next called forward by ghem-General Benin and bestowed with a like beribboned honor.

Neither youthful and inexperienced nor aged and sly, Benin appeared to be a bit over forty-standard, young for his rank but not unusually so.

With a twinge of sympathy he wondered what ghem-Colonel Benin was doing right now, and if Cetagandan security went as frantic behind the scenes as Barrayaran security did at any ceremony involving Emperor Gregor.

Miles wondered if Benin had taken his advice, and spoken with his master yet.

For all he knew it was ghem-Colonel Benin and a voice-filter inside that damned blank sphere.