This was a huge deal. The king of Nikki is the most important king of the Bariba people, a group that spreads throughout northern Benin and Nigeria. Every year, all the lesser Bariba kings visit Nikki to pay tribute to the king and ride their richly-decorated horses in a festival known as Gaani. This funeral was similarly large, with kings and their entourages coming from as far as Nigeria and Ghana. Not all who came were Bariba; there were also kings from other ethnic groups in the south of Benin. Benin's president, Boni Yayi, even flew in by helicopter to make a speech! About five of us volunteers attended the event. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
One of the kings from Nigeria (in the blue robe). His body guards are in the blue and red outfits. You can see the couch that will be set up for him to sit on in the left of the photo. Also notice all the trumpeters announcing his presence behind him.