Tracing my Benin/Togo ancestry

 

 

Benin (US: /bɪˈnn, –ˈnɪn/ bǝ-NEEN or –NINUK: /bɛˈnn/ beh-NEENFrenchBéninpronounced [benɛ̃]), officially the Republic of Benin (FrenchRépublique du Bénin) and formerlyDahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.[7] The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country’s largest city and economic capital. 

c44e25497563075db611e62fb9b5c5fa--vernacular-architecture-sites

The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fonand Yoruba are commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by IslamVodun andProtestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation ZoneLa Francophonie, theCommunity of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.[9]

 

From the 17th to the 19th century, the main political entities in the area were the Kingdom of Dahomey along with the city-state of Porto-Novo and a large area with many different tribes to the north. This region was referred to as the Slave Coast from as early as the 17th century due to the large number of slaves shipped to the New World during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. After slavery was abolished, France took over the country and renamed it French Dahomey. In 1960, Dahomey gained full independence from France, and had a tumultuous period with many different democratic governments, military coups and military governments.

Precolonial historyEdit

The current country of Benin combines three areas which had different political and ethnic systems prior to French colonial control. Before 1700, there were a few important city states along the coast (primarily of the Aja ethnic group, but also including Yoruba and Gbe peoples) and a mass of tribal regions inland (composed of Bariba, Mahi, Gedevi, and Kabye peoples). The Oyo Empire, located primarily to the east of modern Benin, was the most significant large-scale military force in the region and it would regularly conduct raids and exact tribute from the coastal kingdoms and the tribal regions.[13] The situation changed in the 1600s and early 1700s as the Kingdom of Dahomey, which was of Fon ethnicity, was founded on the Abomey plateau and began taking over areas along the coast.[14] By 1727, king Agaja of the Kingdom of Dahomey had conquered the coastal cities of Allada and Whydah, but it had become a tributary of the Oyo empire and did not directly attack the Oyo allied city-state of Porto-Novo.[15] The rise of the kingdom of Dahomey, the rivalry between the kingdom and the city of Porto-Novo, and the continued tribal politics of the northern region, persisted into the colonial and post-colonial periods.[16]

The Dahomey Kingdom was known for its culture and traditions. Young boys were often apprenticed to older soldiers, and taught the kingdom’s military customs until they were old enough to join the army.[17] Dahomey was also famous for instituting an elite female soldier corps, called Ahosi, i.e. the king’s wives, or Mino, “our mothers” in the Fon language Fongbe, and known by many Europeans as the Dahomean Amazons. This emphasis on military preparation and achievement earned Dahomey the nickname of “black Sparta” from European observers and 19th century explorers like Sir Richard Burton.[18]

Portuguese EmpireEdit

Map of the Kingdom of Dahomey, 1793

The kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery;[19] otherwise the captives would have been killed in a ceremony known as the Annual Customs. By about 1750, the King of Dahomey was earning an estimated £250,000 per year by selling Africans to the European slave-traders.[20] Though the leaders of Dahomey appeared initially to resist the slave trade, it flourished in the region of Dahomey for almost three hundred years, beginning in 1472 with a trade agreement with Portuguese merchants, leading to the area’s being named “the Slave Coast”. Court protocols, which demanded that a portion of war captives from the kingdom’s many battles be decapitated, decreased the number of enslaved people exported from the area. The number went from 102,000 people per decade in the 1780s to 24,000 per decade by the 1860s.[21]

Dahomey Amazons with the King at their head, going to war, 1793

The decline was partly due to the banning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade by Britain and other countries.[20] This decline continued until 1885, when the last slave ship departed from the coast of the present-day Benin Republic bound for Brazil, a former Portuguese colony, that had yet to abolish slavery.

The capital’s name Porto-Novo is of Portuguese origin, meaning “New Port”. It was originally developed as a port for the slave trade.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin

 

The Kingdom of Dahomey was established around 1600 by the Fon people who had recently settled in the area (or were possibly a result of intermarriage between the Aja people and the local Gedevi). The foundational king for Dahomey is often considered to be Houegbadja (c. 1645–1685), who built the Royal Palaces of Abomey and began raiding and taking over towns outside of the Abomey plateau.[2]

Victims for sacrifice – from The history of Dahomy, an inland Kingdom of Africa, 1793.

Rule of Agaja (1708–1740)Edit

King Agaja, Houegbadja’s grandson, came to the throne in 1708 and began significant expansion of the Kingdom of Dahomey. This expansion was made possible by the superior military force of King Agaja’s Dahomey. In contrast to surrounding regions, Dahomey employed a professional standing army numbering around ten thousand.[4] What the Dahomey lacked in numbers, they made up for in discipline and superior arms. In 1724, Agaja conquered Allada, the origin for the royal family according to oral tradition, and in 1727 he conquered Whydah. This increased size of the kingdom, particularly along the Atlantic coast, and increased power made Dahomey into a regional power. The result was near constant warfare with the main regional state, the Oyo Empire, from 1728 until 1740.[5]The warfare with the Oyo empire resulted in Dahomey assuming a tributary status to the Oyo empire.[6]

End of the kingdomEdit

The kingdom fought the First Franco-Dahomean War and Second Franco-Dahomean War with France. The kingdom was reduced and made a French protectorate in 1894.[7]

In 1904 the area became part of a French colony, French Dahomey.

In 1958 French Dahomey became the self-governing colony called the Republic of Dahomey and gained full independence in 1960. It was renamed in 1975 the People’s Republic of Benin, and in 1991 the Republic of Benin. The Dahomey kingship exists as a ceremonial role to this day.

PoliticsEdit

Early writings, predominantly written by European slave traders, often presented the kingdom as an absolute monarchy led by a despotic king. However, these depictions were often deployed as arguments by different sides in the slave trade debates, mainly in the United Kingdom, and as such were probably exaggerations.[2][6] Recent historical work has emphasized the limits of monarchical power in the Kingdom of Dahomey.[3] Historian John Yoder, with attention to the Great Council in the kingdom, argued that its activities do not “imply that Dahomey’s government was democratic or even that her politics approximated those of nineteenth-century European monarchies. However, such evidence does support the thesis that governmental decisions were molded by conscious responses to internal political pressures as well as by executive fiat.”[8] The primary political divisions revolved around villages with chiefs and administrative posts appointed by the king and acting as his representatives to adjudicate disputes in the village.[9]

The kingEdit

King Ghezo displayed with a royal umbrella

The King of Dahomey (Ahosu in the Fon language) was the sovereign power of the kingdom. All of the kings were claimed to be part of the Alladaxonou dynasty, claiming descent from the royal family in Allada. Much of the succession rules and administrative structures were created early by HouegbadjaAkaba, andAgaja. Succession through the male members of the line was the norm typically going to the oldest son, but not always.[10] The king was selected largely through discussion and decision in the meetings of the Great Council, although how this operated was not always clear.[2][8] The Great Council brought together a host of different dignitaries from throughout the kingdom yearly to meet at the Annual Customs of Dahomey. Discussions would be lengthy and included members, both men and women, from throughout the kingdom. At the end of the discussions, the king would declare the consensus for the group.[8]

The royal courtEdit

Key positions in the King’s court included the migan, the mehu, the yovogan, the kpojito (or queen-mother), and later the chacha (or viceroy) of Whydah. The migan (combination of mi-our and gan-chief) was a primary consul for the king, a key judicial figure, and served as the head executioner. The mehu was similarly a key administrative officer who managed the palaces and the affairs of the royal family, economic matters, and the areas to the south of Allada (making the position key to contact with Europeans).

Relations with other statesEdit

The relations between Dahomey and other countries were complex and heavily impacted by the Gold trade. The Oyo empire engaged in regular warfare with the kingdom of Dahomey and Dahomey was a tributary to Oyo from 1732 until 1823. The city-state of Porto-Novo, under the protection of Oyo, and Dahomey had a long-standing rivalry largely over control of the Gold trade along the coast. The rise of Abeokuta in the 1840s created another power rivaling Dahomey, largely by creating a safe haven for people from the slave trade.

MilitaryEdit

The military of the Kingdom of Dahomey was divided into two units: the right and the left. The right was controlled by the migan and the left was controlled by the mehu. At least by the time ofAgaja, the kingdom had developed a standing army that remained encamped wherever the king was. Soldiers in the army were recruited as young as seven or eight years old, initially serving as shield carriers for regular soldiers. After years of apprenticeship and military experience, they were allowed to join the army as regular soldiers. To further incentivize the soldiers, each soldier received bonuses paid in cowry shells for each enemy they killed or captured in battle. This combination of lifelong military experience and monetary incentives resulted in a cohesive, well-disciplined military.[11] One European said Agaja’s standing army consisted of, “elite troops, brave and well-disciplined, led by a prince full of valor and prudence, supported by a staff of experienced officers.”[12]

In addition to being well-trained, the Dahomey army under Agaja was also very well armed. The Dahomey army favored imported European weapons as opposed to traditional weapons. For example, they used European flintlock muskets in long range combat and imported steel swords and cutlasses in close combat. The Dahomey army also possessed twenty-five cannons.

When going into battle, the king would take a secondary position to the field commander with the reason given that if any spirit were to punish the commander for decisions it should not be the king.[9] Unlike other regional powers, the military of Dahomey did not have a significant cavalry (like the Oyo empire) or naval power (which prevented expansion along the coast). The Dahomey Amazons, a unit of all-female soldiers, is one of the most unusual aspects of the military of the kingdom.

Dahomey AmazonsEdit

Dahomey female soldiers

The Dahomean state became widely known for its corps of female soldiers. Their origins are debated; they may have formed from a palace guard or from gbetos (female hunting teams).[13]

They were organized around the year 1729 to fill out the army and make it look larger in battle, armed only with banners. The women reportedly behaved so courageously they became a permanent corps. In the beginning the soldiers were criminals pressed into service rather than being executed. Eventually, however, the corps became respected enough that King Ghezoordered every family to send him their daughters, with the most fit being chosen as soldiers.[dubious ]

EconomyEdit

The economic structure of the kingdom was highly intertwined with the political and religious systems and these developed together significantly.[9] The main currency was Cowry shells.

Domestic economyEdit

The domestic economy largely focused on agriculture and crafts for local consumption. Until the development of palm oil, very little agricultural or craft goods were traded outside of the kingdom. Markets served a key role in the kingdom and were organized around a rotating cycle of four days with a different market each day (the market type for the day was religiously sanctioned).[9]Agriculture work was largely decentralized and done by most families. However, with the expansion of the kingdom agricultural plantations began to be a common agricultural method in the kingdom. Craft work was largely dominated by a formal guild system.[14]

Herskovits recounts a complex tax system in the kingdom, in which officials who represented the king, the tokpe, gathered data from each village regarding their harvest. Then the king set a tax based upon the level of production and village population. In addition, the king’s own land and production were taxed.[9] After significant road construction undertaken by the kingdom, toll booths were also established that collected yearly taxes based on the goods people carried and their occupation. Officials also sometimes imposed fines for public nuisance before allowing people to pass.[9]

ReligionEdit

Left: Dance of the Fon chiefs during celebrations. Right: The celebration at Abomey (1908). Veteran warriors of the Fon king Béhanzin, son of king Glele.

The Kingdom of Dahomey shared many religious rituals with surrounding populations; however, it also developed unique ceremonies, beliefs, and religious stories for the kingdom. These included royal ancestor worship and the specific vodunpractices of the kingdom.

Royal ancestor worshipEdit

Early kings established clear worship of royal ancestors and centralized their ceremonies in theAnnual Customs of Dahomey. The spirits of the kings had an exalted position in the land of the dead and it was necessary to get their permission for many activities on earth.[9] Ancestor worship pre-existed the kingdom of Dahomey; however, under King Agaja, a cycle of ritual was created centered on first celebrating the ancestors of the king and then celebrating a family lineage.[3]

The Annual Customs of Dahomey (xwetanu or huetanu in Fon) involved multiple elaborate components and some aspects may have been added in the 19th century. In general, the celebration involved distribution of gifts, human sacrifice, military parades, and political councils. Its main religious aspect was to offer thanks and gain the approval for ancestors of the royal lineage.[3] However, the custom also included military parades, public discussions, gift giving (the distribution of money to and from the king), and human sacrifice and the spilling of blood.[3]

Dahomey cosmologyEdit

Dahomey had a unique form of West African Vodun that linked together preexisting animist traditions with vodun practices. Oral history recounted that Hwanjile, a wife of Agaja and mother of Tegbessou brought Vodun to the kingdom and ensured its spread. The primary deity is the combined Mawu-Lisa (Mawu having female characteristics and Lisa having male characteristics) and it is claimed that this god took over the world that was created by their mother Nana-Buluku.[9] Mawu-Lisa governs the sky and is the highest pantheon of gods, but other gods exist in the earth and in thunder. Religious practice organized different priesthoods and shrines for each different god and each different pantheon (sky, earth or thunder). Women made up a significant amount of the priest class and the chief priest was always a descendent of Dakodonou.[2]

 

The Fon people, also called Fon nuAgadja or Dahomey, are a major African ethnic and linguistic group.[1][2] They are the largest ethnic group in Benin found particularly in its south region; they are also found in southwest Nigeria and Togo. Their total population is estimated to be about 3,500,000 people, and they speak the Fon language, a member of the Niger-Congo languagegroup.[1]

Fon people
D263- amazone dahoméenne. - L1-Ch5.png

A female warrior of the Fon people
Total population
4.1 Million
Regions with significant populations
Benin (39% of its population) and Nigeria (less than 1% of its population)
Languages
Fon
Related ethnic groups
Aja,Ewe,Yoruba

The history of the Fon people is linked to theDahomey kingdom, a well organized kingdom by the 17th-century but one that shared more ancient roots with the Aja people.[2]The Fon people traditionally were a culture of an oral tradition and had a well developed polytheistic religious system.[3]They were noted by early 19th-century European traders for their N’Nonmitonvpractice or Dahomey Amazons– which empowered their women to serve in the military, who decades later fought the French colonial forces in 1890.[4][5]

Most Fon today live in villages and small towns in mud houses with corrugated iron gable roofs. Cities built by the Fon includeAbomey, the historical capital city of Dahomey, and Ouidah on what was historically referred to by Europeans as theSlave Coast. These cities became major commercial centres for theslave trade. A significant portion of the sugar plantations in the French West Indies, particularlyHaitiandTrinidad, were populated with slaves that came from the Slave Coast, through the lands of Ewe and Fon people.[6]

Contents

OriginEdit

The Gbe language area. Map of the Fon (purple) and other ethnic groups, according to Capo (1988). Since the seventeenth century, the Fon have been concentrated in the Benin region and the southwestern part of Nigeria.

The Fon people, like other neighboring ethnic groups in West Africa, remained an oral traditionsociety through late medieval era, without ancient historical records. According to these oral histories and legends, the Fon people originated in present day Tado, a small Aja town now situated near the Togo-Benin border. Their earliest rulers were originally a part of the ruling class in the Aja kingdom of Allada (also called Ardra kingdom).[2][6]

The Aja people had a major dispute, one group broke up and these people came to be the Fon people who migrated to Allada with king Agasu. The sons of king Agasu disputed who should succeed him after his death, and the group split again, this time the Fon people migrated with Agasu’s son Dogbari northwards to Abomey where they founded the kingdom of Dahomey sometime about 1620 CE. The Fon people have been settled there since, while the kingdom of Dahomey expanded in southeast Benin by conquering neighboring kingdoms.[2]

The Oral history of the Fon further attributes the origins of the Fon people to the intermarrying between this migrating Allada-nu Aja group from the south with the Oyo-nu inhabitants in the (Yoruba) Kingdoms of the plateau. These Yorubas were known as the Igede, which the Ajas called the Gedevi.[7][8] The fusion of the immigrant Aja conquerors and the original Indigenous Yorubas of the Abomey plateau thus created a new culture, that of the Fon.

…..  also

Slavery, Bight of BeninEdit

The Fon people did not invent slavery in Africa, nor did they have a monopoly on slavery nor exclusive slave trading activity. The institution of slavery long pre-dates the origins of the Fon people in Aja kingdom and the formation of kingdom of Dahomey. The sub-Saharan and the Red Sea region, states Herbert Klein – a professor of History, was already trading between 5,000 to 10,000 African slaves per year between 800 and 1600 CE, with a majority of these slaves being women and children.[15] According to John Donnelly Fage – a professor of History specializing in Africa, a “slave economy was generally established in the Western and Central Sudan by about the fourteenth century at least, and had certainly spread to the coasts around the Senegal and in Lower Guinea by the fifteenth century”.[16]

Slave shipment between 1501-1867, by region[17][note 1]
Region Total embarked Total disembarked
Kongo people region 5.69 million
Bight of Benin 2.00 million
Bight of Biafra 1.6 million
Gold Coast 1.21 million
Windward Coast 0.34 million
Sierra Leone 0.39 million
Senegambia 0.76 million
Mozambique 0.54 million
Brazil (South America) 4.7 million
Rest of South America 0.9 million
Caribbean 4.1 million
North America 0.4 million
Europe 0.01 million

By the 15th-century, Songhay Empire rulers to the immediate north of Fon people, in the Niger River valley, were already using thousands of captured slaves for agriculture.[15] The demand for slave labor to produce sugarcane, cotton, palm oil, tobacco and other goods in the plantations of European colonies around the globe had sharply grown between 1650 to 1850. The Bight of Benin was already shipping slaves in late 17th-century, before the Fon people expanded their kingdom to gain control of the coast line.[18] The Fon rulers and merchants whose powers were established on the Atlantic coast between 1700 to 1740, entered this market.[16] The Fon people were divided on how to respond to the slave demand. Some scholars suggest that Fon people and Dahomey rulers expressed intentions to curtail or end slave trading, states Elizabeth Heath, but historical evidence affirms that the Benin coastline including the ports of the Dahomey rulers and the Fon people became one of the largest exporter of slaves.[2]

The kingdom of Dahomey, along with its neighbors kingdom of Benin and Oyo Empire, raided for slaves and sold their captives into transatlantic slavery. The competition for captives, slaves and government revenues, amongst the African kingdoms, escalated the mutual justification and pressure. The captives were sold as slaves to the Europeans from the Bight of Benin (also called the Slave Coast), from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century.[19] The Fon people were both victims and also ones who victimized other ethnic groups. Some captives came from wars, but others came from systematic kidnapping within the kingdom or at the frontiers as well as the caravans of slaves brought in by merchants from the West African interior. The kingdom of Dahomey of Fon people controlled the Ouidah port, from where numerous European slave ships disembarked. However, this was not the only port of the region, and it competed with the ports controlled by other nearby kingdoms on the Bight of Benin and the Bight of Biafra.[19]

The Fon people, along with the neighboring ethnic groups such as the Ewe people, disembarked in French colonies to work as slaves in the plantations of the Caribbean and coasts of South America. They were initially called Whydah, which probably meant “people sold by Alladah”. The word Whydah phonetically evolved into Rada, the name of West African community that embarked in slave ships from the Bight of Benin, and is now found in HaitiTrinidadFrench Antilles and other nearby islands with French influence.[6] In some Caribbean colonial documents, alternate spellings such as Rara are also found.[20]

The slave traders and ship owners of European colonial system encouraged competition, equipped the various kingdoms with weapons which they paid for with slaves, as well as built infrastructure such as ports and forts to strengthen the small kingdoms.[21] In 1804, slave trading from the Bight of Benin was banned by the Great Britain, in 1826 France ban on slave purchase or trading came into effect, while Brazil banned slave imports and trading in 1851.[2][22] When slave exports ceased, the king of Fon people shifted to agricultural exports to France, particularly palm oil, but used slaves to operate the plantations. The agricultural exports were not as lucrative as slave exports had been in past. To recover the state revenues, he leased the ports in his kingdom to the French through a signed agreement in late 19th century. The French interpreted the agreement as ceding the land and ports, while the Dahomey kingdom disagreed.[2] The dispute led to a French attack in 1890, and annexation of the kingdom as a French colony in 1892.[23] This started the colonial rule experience of the Fon people.[2]

End

The Fon culture has a mixture of Ewe and Yoruba presence in it. In the city of Abomey, as a result of Yoruba presence, the Fon people there have their original culture, mixed with Yoruba whom defeated their Oyo kingdom whiles in the city of Ouidah, its more like that of their Ewe brothers and sisters with whom they all migrated from Tado.
Whether by part of empire of Dahomey by itself or their enemy states, many Fon slaves were sold to European traders, who exported to Americas. So, many descendants of the Fon now live in the Americas as a result of the Atlantic slave trade. In United States they were mostly in Louisiana,New Orleans. Together with other cultural groups from the Fon homeland region such as the Yoruba and Bantu, Fon culture merged with French, Portuguese or Spanish to produce distinct religions (Voodoo, Mami Wata, CandomblÉ and SanterÍa), dance and musical styles (ArarÁ, Yan Valu). As a result of what the Fons did to their fellow brethrens through their slave trading activities,the Fons and other voodoo practicing tribes in Benin has instituted annual Voodoo festival for to invite all Africans in diaspora to visit their homeland. The festival falls on the second week of January every year at the Benin city of Ouidah.

http://www.africanamerica.org/topic/fon-people-benin-s-empire-builders-of-the-past-kingdom-of-dahomey-and-an-unrepentant-practitioners-of-voodoo-religion

THE AJA PEOPLE

Aja-4.jpg

The Aja are a group of people native to south-western Benin and south-eastern Togo.[1] According to oral tradition, the Aja migrated to southern Benin in the 12th or 13th centuries from Tado on theMono River, and c. 1600, three brothers, Kokpon, Do-Aklin, and Te-Agdanlin, split the ruling of the region then occupied by the Aja amongst themselves: Kokpon took the capital city of Great Ardra, reigning over the Allada kingdom; Do-Aklin founded Abomey, which would become capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey; and Te-Agdanlin founded Little Ardra, also known as Ajatche, later called Porto Novo (literally, “New Port”) by Portuguese traders and the current capital city of Benin.

Aja are an ethnic group also found in the South Sudan state of Western Bahr el Ghazal. They mostly live along the upper reaches of the Sopo River.[1]

Ewe People of Ghana, Togo, Nigeria , Benin and Ivory Coast.
Ewe People also known as Evê can be found in Ghana, Togo, Benin, some parts of Nigeria and Ivory Coast, they are part of the Gbe Speaking People and related to the Fon, Mina and Aja people. According to Professor Amenumey he claimed they originally came from Ketu in Dahomey Present day Benin which is considered as a Yoruba area, they were eventually forced which led to migration from eastward as a result of the expansions others claimed the Eweland extended from the mono river on the western border of Dahomey Present day Benin across Present day Togo and into the present day southeastern Ghana which is believed to be formely British Togoland as far as the volta river, from the south to the north and extend from the coast into the heavily forest hills.

https://rediscoveringafricaheritage.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/ewe-people-of-ghana-togo-nigeria-benin-and-ivory-coast/

THE GREAT BINI EMPIRE: AN AFRICAN LEGACY By RASTA LIVeWIRE

When the great Benin empire reached the zeniths of its power, it extended its boundaries and exercised power over all the west African lands bordering the entire stretch of the bight of Benin, from the mouth of the river Volta in the west and eastward to the present day Congo and to the delta of river Niger in the east e.g. Ghana, Republic of Benin, both across the borders of modern Nigeria. Onitsha on the Niger and many other cities such as Asaba, Agbor, Isele-Uku, Warri, Idah e.t.c. Many of these states and other cities owe their corporate existence to the ancient Benin Empire. The influence of the great Benin Empire was said to have even extended to the present day Sierra Leone in the west.

The legendary fame of the Great Benin empire was such that the name Benin had many meanings, e.g. there was Benin-city and Benin empire, Benin river close to the new Benin (Warri) and there is the bight of Benin and the Benin district comprising of Sapele and Warri. Beyond the Gulf of Benin, the great Benin Empire’s legendary fame was indeed wide spread. Several European states heard about the empires might and civilized attitudes, many sought for it.

That a vast stretch of the West African coastline bears the name ” BIGHT OF BENIN” is no accident of history. Even until these day, it quite evident and amazing how the cultural influence of the ancient Benin empire remains strong till today. An independent republic of former Dahomey in 1975 decided to change its name to the republic of Benin as a way of reconnecting its roots to Africa’s once glorious kingdom.

The republic of Togo on the other hand named some of her prestigious institutions after the great Benin empire e.g. Universite du Benin, Togo hotel du Benin e.t.c. President Gnassingbe Eyadema during his 1974 visit to Benin City openly stated that the Togolese people originated from the ancient Benin Empire. His open declaration was cardinal in the sense that it ended the historical dilemma that clouded the ancient Benin and present day Benin speaking Yoruba influence on many West African nations. The Political & Spiritual Purpose of the Holy Land nations.

Today, the people of Onitsha across the Niger, the Isekiris, Urobos, Isian and Ijaws just to mention but a few all proudly trace their venerated royal lineages to the ancient Benin empire.

https://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-great-bini-empire-african-legacy/comment-page-1/

20170429_160330

My highest ancestry regions are Benin Togo 40% Cameroon Congo 22% Ivory Coast Ghana 12%

I also have 2% Iberian Peninsula Portuguese/Spanish which correlates with Benin history and the Portuguese slave history.

 

Ewe people show high Benin and Togo and Ghana

Ga Dangme show high Togo and Ghana

Yoruba show high Benin and Togo and Ghana and Nigeria

Below results are similar to mine above and are African American

ancestry

GHANA (Ewe from Peki/Volta region) 

EWE

benin1-3

Ewe

They are particularly found in southern Togo (formerly French Togoland), Volta Region in southeastern Ghana (formerly British Togoland), and in southwestern parts of Benin. The Ewe region is sometimes referred to as the Ewe nation or Eʋedukɔ́ region (Togoland in colonial literature). Wikipedia

This is a very insightful even if perhaps counterintuitive breakdown for a Ghanaian person. The predominant score is afterall “Benin/Togo” combined with a smaller but still considerable proportion of “Ivory Coast/Ghana”. The socalled “Benin/Togo” region has been reported very frequently and also with high scores among African Americans and also West Indians. Often surprisingly so. I have no complete certainty about the ethnic background of the person whose DNA results are being shown above. However judging from his name and his family’s location in theVolta regionof Ghana, nearby the Togolese border. And more specifically their hometown being Peki, a traditional Ewe state, this person could very well be anEwe, an ethnic group living in eastern Ghana as well as southern Togo (see alsothis map).

https://tracingafricanroots.wordpress.com/ancestrydna/african-results/

 Ewe People of Ghana, Togo, Nigeria , Benin and Ivory Coast.

Ewe People also known as Evê can be found in Ghana, Togo, Benin, some parts of Nigeria and Ivory Coast, they are part of the Gbe Speaking People and related to the Fon, Mina and Aja people. According to Professor Amenumey he claimed they originally came from Ketu in Dahomey Present day Benin which is considered as a Yoruba area, they were eventually forced which led to migration from eastward as a result of the expansions others claimed the Eweland extended from the mono river on the western border of Dahomey Present day Benin across Present day Togo and into the present day southeastern Ghana which is believed to be formely British Togoland as far as the volta river, from the south to the north and extend from the coast into the heavily forest hills.

The DNA of my Ghanian cousin on Ancestry DNA below

Ethnicity

Regions: Ivory Coast/Ghana, Benin/Togo

Trace Regions: Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria

 

YORUBA

Yoruba2a

 

yorubaland_map-1

Ga Dangme

The Ga-AdangmeGã-AdaŋbɛGa-Dangme, or GaDangme are an ethnic group in Ghana andTogo. The Ga and Adangbe people are grouped respectively as part of the Ga–Dangmeethnolinguistic group.[2][3]

Ga-Adangbes
Gã-Adaŋbɛs

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Marcel Desailly George Ayittey Obo Addy
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Harry Aikines-Aryeetey Joseph Ankrah Eric Anang
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Paul Sackey Nii Amugi II David Hansen

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Total population
(Approximately 2.0 million[1])
Regions with significant populations
Ghana – Greater Accra Region & Eastern Region-, Togo, as well as the United KingdomGermany,Brazil the United States of America, and Canada
Languages
Ga and Adangme
Religion
Christianity • Traditional • Islam • Hinduism

The Ga-Adangmes are one ethnic group that lives primarily in the Greater AccraEastern Region and the Volta Region of Ghana. Others areas are Aného in Togo and Benin.

The Ga peoples were organized into six independent towns (Accra (Ga Mashie), Osu,LaTeshieNungua, and Tema). Each town had a stool, which served as the central object of Ga ritual and war magic. Accra became the most prominent Ga-Dangme towns and is now the heartbeat and capital of Ghana.[4] The Ga people were originally farmers, but today fishing and trading in imported goods are the principal occupations. Trading is generally in the hands of women, and a husband has no control over his wife’s money. Succession to most offices held by women and inheritance of women’s property are by matrilineal descent. Inheritance of other property and succession to male-held public offices are by patrilineal descent. Men of the lineage live together in a men’s compound, while women, even after marriage, live with their mothers and children in a women’s compound. Each Ga town has a number of different cults and many gods, and there are a number of annual town festivals.[4]

The Adangme people occupy the coastal area of Ghana from Kpone to Ada, on the Volta River and South Atlantic Ocean along the Gulf of Guinea and inland along the Volta River. The Adangme People include the Ada, Kpong,Krobo, Ningo, Osuduku, Prampram, and Shai, all speaking Adangbe of the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family of languages. [5] The Adangme People have the largest Population among the two related Ga-Adangme People. About 70% of the Greater Accra Regional Land is owned by the Adangmes located in Dangme East and Dangme West Districts of Ghana. Also, in the Eastern Region and Volta Region of Ghana, about 15% of lands belong to the Adangme People. These are mainly in the Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo Districts of the Eastern Region. In the Agotime Area of Volta Region and the Adangbe Area in the Southern part of Togo.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ga-Adangbe_people

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