Discover BENIN

Mariage & Gender

 In farming communities, men do the heavier tasks such as clearing land. Women help plant, harvest, and process many of the food products. Women carry wood and water and are responsible for household tasks involving food and children. Women are active in local and regional trade. The degree to which women work as healers and ritual specialists varies between ethnic groups.
Although women in the Dahomey kingdom could increase their wealth and power as part of the royal palace organization and often served in primarily male occupations, the general pattern has always been for women to be socially and economically subordinate to men. The 1977 constitution conferred legal equality on women, but this was ignored in practice. Currently 65 percent of girls are not in school
In the past, most marriages were arranged by families, but individual choice is becoming more common, especially among the educated elite. A couple may have both civil and traditional ceremonies. The wife joins her husband's family, or the new couple may relocate. Marriage is nearly universal because remarriage occurs quickly after divorce or the death of a spouse. Marriage may involve the transfer of money or goods to the bride's family.

                                                                                    Village's Houses


More than 40 percent of the population lives in urban environments, primarily in Cotonou. Cities have a mixture of modern and colonial architecture. Although some Cotonou residents live in multi-story apartment buildings, their neighborhoods usually consist of walled compounds. In small towns and villages, new houses tend to be built from concrete block with metal roofs, but many are constructed from mud bricks and roofed with thatch.

 Traditional Symbols


Traditional Benin applique cloth; these are associated with the ancient Beninese cultures of Dahomey.



Hooded and masked egunguns are present at a voodoo festival. Egunguns are the ghosts of ancestors, believed to visit earth at certain times of year by possessing living people.

Port Of Cotonou


Cotonou means “mouth of the river of death” in the language of the Fon

                                                                                    TAXI MOTO


The word zemidjan means get me there fast in Fon, the language. Zemidjans are motorcycle taxis

Cotonou Cathedral


Cotonou Cathedral, or Notre Dame des Apotres, located near the Ancien Pont Bridge. It is noted for its distinct burgundy and white striped tiled architecture. The cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotonou.