Cross Cultural Encounters
This piece of text reflects clearly the cross cultural differences of the Europeans and the people of Western Africa. It does not mention the relationship in the 15th and 16th centuries with the Portuguese traders who revered the Benin people, if you look closely at the way that it has been written, the biased opinion towards the European community is quite unfounded. The Europeans had little knowledge of the Western African people; they heard stories of sacrifice cannibalism, slavery and the worship of fetishes a savage race. These stories would be reflected in the articles and publications that would be written about the people of Benin, a powerful kingdom on the West African Coast after its invasion in 1897 by the British Armed Forces, stories that had been told by people who had visited Benin, photographs and drawings are also published. See (figure, 1.8 pg26), showing a photograph, taken by the armed forces of a human sacrifice. Would it fair of us to assume that the articles and publications written truly reflect the truth about these people of the kingdom of Benin? Each culture has its own beliefs and traditions its heritages are carried forward from one generation to another whether it is barbaric, savage or steeped in fetishes their stories are not carried by written articles but are portrayed in the magnificent bronze heads, plagues, ivory carvings, songs and oral stories. Where the European’s knowledge comes from primary sources and secondary sources after the invasion in 1897 this leaves a question mark on the authenticity of the stories portrayed being a truly Victorian Christian society there believe being of a more democratic attitude and culture. The great atrocity that the European’s could not accept was the homicide of a group of British explorer’s who were totally unarmed just on an expedition to study the culture of the African community this prompted the invasion by the British Empire in 1897 when the Benin...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document