town and port, Delta state, southern Nigeria. It lies along the Warri River in the western Niger River delta, 30 miles (48 km) upstream from the port of Forcados on the Bight of Benin. Founded by Prince Ginuwa from Benin (60 miles [97 km] north) in the late 15th century, it grew to become the political and trading capital of the Itsekiri kingdom of Warri (Ouwerre). From the 15th to the 17th century, its obis ("kings") had considerable contact with the Portuguese, and several converted to Roman Catholicism; they later became quite active in the slave trade. Although Warri switched to the export of palm oil and kernels in the mid-19th century, the kingdom declined and its territory came under British protection in 1884.
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