The Glories Of Ancient BeninStreaming Video - 2012
Long, long, ago, three great hunters came upon a termitary from which emerged a nine-headed genie. A city was built on this spot, beside a pond named Abomiressa Adjaga after the god of the hunters. The Portuguese traders who arrived around 1600 called the city Porto-Novo (Newport). Teagmani, son of Pokbon, was king at that time, one of a long line of kings whose heritage is preserved in the Museum of Porto-Novo. Here we can see the richly embroidered royal robes and some of the utensils used at court. The carved doors of the Royal Palace provide a window into the political, social, economic, and cultural life of the kingdom. Its symbols are as applicable today as in King Toffa's day: the snail, to show that the King must guide his people slowly and patiently; the tortoise, symbol of invulnerability, means that while the King lives, no enemy can get on his back; the lizard symbolizes unity, for lizards hide in cracks and if the country is unified, no enemy can hide; the duck symbolizes wisdom, for one who cannot swim should not go into the water and one who is not sure of victory over the enemy should not attack. The Museum and the Palace contain a wealth of testimonials and memories of Benin's glorious past.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Films Media Group, , c1992
Characteristics: 1 streaming video file (15 min.) :,sd., col., digital file