Nikki is a city in the Eastern North of Benin. It covers a superficies of 317 100 hectares. The city is limited in the North by Kalalé, south by Pèrèrè, West by Bembèrèkè and N’dali and East by Republic Federal of Nigeria. The Population was 99 251 habitants in 2002.
The principale ethnics group Baatonou, Dendi, Otamari, Fon, Adja, Yom, Lokpa, Peuhl
The different religions in this area in Benin are: Muslims 64.5%; Traditionalist 8.1%; Catholics 5.6%, Protestantism 1.7%, others 20.1%
Nikki has some tourism site there is one museum close to the Nigerian border, one forest and the traditional festival of Gaani. There are also some traditional weaving, potteries and sculpture.
The North has many kingdoms bariba specially Nikki. It is from this village in the Northern East in Benin where was created a dynasty in 16s century by Sunon Sero, extended its domination on the region. The last king of this dynasty Sero Kpera was dead in 1831 when he was fighting with Yoruba of Oyo in Nigeria against the Peulh people. The kingdom disorganize when the colonization army invaded them in19s century.
Gaani is the most important cultural event in the North of Benin especially in Nikki.
Gaani is a cultural celebration of Baatonou or Bariba, Dendi, Otamari, Yom, Lokpa Peulh people. It is a tribal and animist celebration. Gaani means‘’joy, victory’’. It takes place every year often in December for seven days. It is initially animist celebration they offer to the people a spectacle of horse dancing. The ceremony of Gaani stay 7 days but the main event is 2 days. The first day is called Gaani and the second Kayessi. In the Kayessi day they give name to the princes and princesses and shave them. The shaving ceremony is a kind of baptism. The sister of the king the princesse Gnon Kogui sponsors the shaving event, she has her own palace and she is the one who keep the knife used for the shaving. The people who shave are called Wanzan. To give the names, they use to see the color of the skin of the children (prince and princess) and their character. In the Gaani day the chief of the singers Bara Sounon announce the coming of the king when he is coming out from the palace on the horse. He first goes to the Imam to pray. Then he goes to the site of the big garbage to gnankarou bakarou where the sacrifices are made. In the war time the king must make sacrifice there before. After he needs to go to Dakitou where are the tombs of Simé Dodia and her sister Baké Sika who were died miraculously after it was announced that they lost a war. He needs then to go to Danri palace to greet his brothers, after the greeting he must also incline to the sacred tambours before going to the palace. In the palace he goes to toilet to wash one’s face and sit in the round room called sako to see the march past of the princes and the dignitary who comes to the sacred tambours for the offering.
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