The Bariba are an ethnic group inhabiting the northeast part of Benin and northwest Nigeria. They are the cofounders of the Borgu kingdom. They call themselves Baatonu and their society features the caste divisions.
According to some historians, the King of the Baluka tribe of the Congo established a riamba or hemp-smoking cult in place of fetish-worship. Only the king, who was considered a divinity on earth, can smoke the pipe during ceremonies, to provide protection and chase away bad spirits. Pipes are royal instruments vested with a great power. This item belongs to the Bariba people, for whom religion plays an important role.