However, unlike the Kanuri, no ruler among these states ever became powerful enough to impose his will over the others.

Although the Hausa had common languages, culture, and Islamic religion, they had no common king.

Although the people of Benin are primarily Edo, not Yoruba, they share with Ife and Oyo many of the same origins, and there is much evidence of cultural and artistic interchange between the kingdoms.

The King (Oba) o E Benin was considered semi-divine and controlled a complex bureaucracy, a large army, and a diversified economy.

Other groups include: Kanuri, Binis, Ibibio, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Efik, Nupe, Tiv, and Jukun.

EMPIRES Kanem-Borno: While there is no direct evidence to link the people of the Jos Plateau with the Nok culture, or the Eze Nri of today with Igbo Ukwu, the history of Borno dates back to the 9th Century when Arabic writers in north Africa first noted the kingdom of Kanem east of Lake Chad.

Benin's power reached its apex in the 16th Century.

IGBO AND THE DELTA STATES Many Nigerian cultures did not develop into centralized monarchies.

Bolstered by trade with the Nile region and Trans-Saharan routes, the empire prospered.

In the next centuries, complex political and social systems were developed, particularly after the Bulala invasion in the 14th Century.

There are also museums, festivals, music and dance, a rich cultural melange right down to everyday traditional markets. mi.) Nigeria is the 14th largest country in Africa.

These are just some of the spectacular sights and sensual delights awaiting the traveler to Nigeria. Its coastline, on the Gulf of Guinea, stretches 774 km (480 mi.).

Yoruba: In the west, the Yoruba developed complex, powerful city-states.