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Ancient Kingdom of Benin-Exploring Afrikan History

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

To mark Black History Season, Ealing Libraries in partnership with WAPPY is offering a free workshop on Tuesday 25th October 2022, 3.30 - 5.30 pm. This family-centered session will focus on the ancient Benin Empire, one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal hinterland of West Africa. It will include a fun quiz, spoken word & ‘Q & A’ to explore the beginnings of the ancient Benin Kingdom, how the name ‘Edo’ became associated with Benin (with Akuba storytelling of ‘The Leopard & the Viper’), how myths, art and other forms of material culture help us to understand why Ancient Benin, and especially its Obas, were so important plus unpack how the Benin royals and merchants encountered other traders, travellers and invaders using my poem, ‘Benin Encounters: When We Ruled’. There will be an opportunity for participants to create trading objects as sculptures from tin foil.

Children and young people should be encouraged to attend this session with their parents, carers, and families. TUUP is expected to make a special appearance as 'Oba'!

This work is inspired by research and work initially undertaken at the British Museum in 2009, which Akuba has updated in response to a commission assigned by a north London school in 2020. The Oba image is credited to Godfrey 'TUUP' Duncan. He may attend the session to do some storytelling with Akuba.

Courtesy of British Museum -TUUP with Akuba re-enacting 'the Oba of Benin & his Griot' for the Deutsche Bank funded-Cultures in Contact 2009 Project.

Feedback from Tetherdown Primary School, September 2022

Hi Grace,

It is Carmela from Tetherdown Primary School – I just wanted to say another huge thank you for coming to visit us yesterday. We really enjoyed it and the children loved hearing your stories and making the objects out of foil – some even went home and made more! I will forward you the photos I took.

Best wishes, Miss C Capone Class Teacher and Maths Lead 29th September 2022

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