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Benin Historically Speaking Patch

Our Price: $1.85

Learn about monkeys, story quilts, wilderness, fritters, and more! If you have participated in Thinking Day as this country, you have earned this patch!

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING BENIN PATCH PROGRAM [complete 3 requirements to earn this patch]

1. Benin is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It has a rainforest, savanna, and seacoast. Locate Benin on a map, identify the flag and capital.

2. Over 50 languages are spoken in Benin but the official language is French. Learn some simple phrases, count, or complete an activity that has the language in it.

3. The people of Benin celebrate a variety of holidays and festivals throughout the year. Have your own celebration representing one of these events OR learn the meaning of the celebration OR watch a celebration OR create a drawing, art project, accessory, or craft representing the celebration. Examples of celebrations include: Gaani Festival, Gelede Festival, Zangbeto Masquerade, Vodun Day, and Egun.

4. Benin has a variety of food traditions that range from village to village. The main food is la pate, made of flour and dipped in a sauce. It is typical for them to eat with their hands due to a large amount of their food is formed into finger food portions. Rice is formed into balls, meat and cheese are cubed, and served with dipping sauces. Some common foods are: Klui Klui, peanut butter sticks, legume sauce, and stews.

5. Benin's nickname is the "Land of Songs" because they enjoy singing on a daily basis. Each ethic group in Benin have their own songs, music, and dances. The most important musical instrument is the drum. Watch a dance OR listen to music OR sing a song OR try to dance OR make a drum OR watch a video online.

6. Benin is known for their hand stitched appliqué quilts that tells stories. (pictured on the patch) They are also known for their traditional indigo and white striped cloth called the kijipa and metalwork made into statues, animals and plaques. They also create straw bowls, hand carved animals, masks, and wooden carvings. Create a craft or project using a traditional a skill OR jewelry OR observe someone creating a handicraft OR make a paper quilt coloring squares of appliquéd designs OR create a traditional craft representing Benin.

7. The traditional clothing for the women in Benin is the African pagnes. They are created in brighy colors and patterns with a matching head scarf. Men traditionally wear a boubou cotton shirt over pants. Draw a picture of the clothing, dress up in a Benin themed costume, create an accessory, complete our paperdolls OR view traditional clothing through books or the internet or our country manual.

8. Most children play with toys they created themselves from things they find such as string, cans, and wooden sticks. There are a variety of games that played in Benin by children. Learn a traditional game OR play a game that symbolizes Benin OR play a game in our manual. Some examples include: Dosu, hopscotch, hoop and stick, oware or checkers.

9. A griot, a traditional storyteller, is a professional entertainer that keeps the history of each region alive. They travel from village to village setting up their traveling theater troupe that tells stories, plays music, and entertains the villagers. They have memorized stories as old as 100 years and a sometimes only paid for by a material items or food. Read a story, legend, create a costume for a play OR listen or act out a legend or play.

10. There are several different villages located in Benin. Each has a different language and traditions. Learn some simple phrases, count, or complete an activity that has the language in it. Examples of languages are Fon, Gbe, Barbiba, OR Yoruba.

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