An expression of ancestral traditions, Beninese art preserved the splendor of its heritage. Woodwork, copper work, iron work, bronze work, pottery, wickerwork and painting have earned Beninese artists recognition beyond national borders. Benin is renowned also for historical relics, richly decorated palaces furnishing proof of its glorious history. Animism is based on a polytheistic approach to the Universe
This approach, which includes the worship of various deities, is called Vodun (voodoo), of which Benin is undeniably the birthplace. Vodun is worshiped in the Adja-Tado and Yoruba culture.
Despite the prominence of Islam and Christianity, Vodun maintains its liveliness in the national communities and among black communities in the Caribbean islands, namely: Cuba, Brazil and Haiti. Vodun priests constitute a structured clergy. They work closely with the “Bokonon” (seers/healers) who perform geomancy of the Fâ. In Benin, thanks to syncretism (a system which consists in merging various doctrines), Catholics, Protestants and Muslims harmoniously take part in the annual voodoo celebration.
January 10 is a holiday in Benin: the national day of traditional cults.
There are three major religions:
There are seven ethnic groups in Benin. These groups are divided according to the spoken language.
Adja-Fon et al: 54.8%
Fon (17.6%), Goun (6.3%), Aizo (4.3%), Mahi (3.5%), Weme (2.5%), Torri (2.4%), Kotafon (1.4%), Tofin (1.3%), Seto (0.3%). Besides, there are the Adja (8.7%), Sahoue (2.6%), Xwla (1.4%), Mina (1.2%), Houedah (0.7%), Ouatchi (0.5%), Defi (0.1%).
Yoruba et al: 12.3%
Nagot (6.8%), Yoruba (1.8%), Idaasha (1.5%), Hollidje (1.4%), Ife (0.4%), Mokole (0.3%), Chabe (0.1%).
Bariba et al: 9.2%
Bariba (8.3%), Boo (0.8%), Boko (0.1%).
Peulh et al: 6.9%
Peulh Fulfulde (5.5%), Gando (1.4%).
Otamari et al: 6.1%
Berba (1.4%), Ditamari (1.3%), Waama (1.0%), Natimba (0.9%), Otamari (0.6%), Gourmantche (0.5%), Yende (0.2%), Betyobe (0.1%), Gagamba (0.1%).
Yoa-Lokpa et al: 4.0%
Yoa (1.8%), Lokpa (1.2%), Anii (0.3%), Koto-Koli (0.2%), Windji-Windji (0.2%), Kabye (0.1%), Soruba (0.1%), Taneka (0.1%).
Dendi et al: 2.5%
Dendi (2.4%), Djerma (0.1%).
Other communities: 1.4%
Other (1.0%), Haoussa (0.3%), Zerma (0.1%)