Kings of Africa.

From the website:

It took Daniel Lainé, three years 1988 - 1991) of effort and intense diplomatic steps to realize this fantastic work. During this period, he was able to photograph 70 sovereigns, descendants of the great African dynasties.

This one above is Agboli-Agbo Dedjlani, the King of Abomey, Benin:

Dedjlani, a former policeman, waited six years to retire, and then proceeded with his secret coronation ceremonies.

"Officially", there is no longer a king in Benin. But on september 30, 1989, Dedjlani put on his royal shoes, and at the age of fifty four became King of Abomey.

Being monogamous, he was obliged to marry two more wives to take care of his royal household. When he goes out, tradition requires that he be sheltered under an umbrella with his emblem. One of wives must always be next to him, carrying the royal spitting bowl. The King also has to wear his scepter in permanence. Holding it in his hand or hanging on his shoulder, more than a symbol, the scepter is the King.

Link - Thanks George!


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I think Daniel Laine said that there are actually hundreds of "kings" in Africa - and that these 70 are only a small fraction that he could find or was allowed to photograph.

There are also many kingdoms in Asia (many are in name only) - it's interesting to see if anyone would do a similar project there (or anywhere else in the world).
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"The silver dust protector worn on the nose, dates from the nineteenth century, and was inherited from the King Gbehanzin. It protected the King's nose from the dust, during the royal processions in Abomey"
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