Faces Around the World: Benin
Our faces of Benin are Terri Toré of the Natitingou Tribe and Onigbolo Isaba of the Holi Tribe.
*Ritual scarification is a mark of beauty among the Beninese. It also has social and cultural significance among the Benin people. Each tribe’s marks are distinct to that tribe. This is allows for friend and foe tribes to be identified without the obvious signs of some sort of uniform. It also allows the deceased to be identified so that they may receive a proper burial among their tribe. Scarification has also helped many avoid slavery. The markings also reveal family history and lineage.
Benin has a total of 8 native ethnic groups. Fon, Yoruba, Adja, Bariba, Fula, Ottamani, Yao-Lokpa, and the Dendi. Benin also is home to many tribes. Because Benin was one a French colony (Benin became independent in 1960), French is the main language, but each ethnic group also has their own dialect. 42% of the Benin people are Christian, 24% Muslim, 34% are of other indigenous religions or undetermined.