Detroit, Michigan –March 15, 2007, Ancient Benin Comes To Detroit
For the very first time, the Ancient Benin, from the West coast of Africa and one of the last remaining kingdoms before the amalgamation of the peoples to form Nigeria comes to Detroit to present to the American public their rich culture. The Benin people pride themselves on the long historical record which dates back over 1,000 years. They recorded their history through the art of bronzes and terra cotta. According to the President of Edo Arts and Cultural Institute, Mr. Osaretin Ehimwenma, this is the first time combined activities of cultural dances and the festivity of the Ancient Benin is being displayed outside the motherland. The spectacular Aghabiomo and her cultural dance group will present the Benin fashion show and traditional dances.
The overall objective of this symposium, according to their Secretary, Reverend Dr. Ayalekhue Aghahowa, is to present Benin culture and educate the outside world on the rich cultural heritage of the Benin people. This symposium is also expected to prepare the public towards a proposed full-fledged display exhibition at the Charles H. wright Museum of African American History, where old relics of the Benin people such as the crown which dates back over 1,000 years will be exhibited. The Igue festival, to be presented at this symposium, embraces the various festivities of the Benins. According to him, the celebration of the Benin is all year round and embraces many facet of the Benin people life.
The symposium is targeted toward people interested in learning about ancient rich cultures such as the Benin. Several artifacts or replica of Benin artifacts are displayed in the museum with little or incomplete knowledge about them. The presentation being proposed, Igue Festival and the Benin Traditional dresses would share more light on some of these displays at the museum.
The symposium would also enhance the education of the numerous school children and adults that visit the museum every year. They would understand the meaning of the bronzes and the various periods associated with each casting. Following this symposium, the public would have been more fully enlightened about the present exhibition on the Benin people at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.