Dahomey: Between Tradition and Modernity

Dahomey: Between Tradition and Modernity

Dahomey: Between Tradition and Modernity

Dahomey: Between Tradition and Modernity

Excerpt

Dahomey has been distinguished by three different claims to fame--slave-trading center, intellectual quarter, and hotbed of political instability--each dominating a particular period of its history. The intricate and varied effects of these three features present a challenge to the researcher investigating the ins and outs of this relatively little-known country in Francophone Africa.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the coastal area of the present-day Republic of Dahomey was part of what was known as the Slave Coast. Dahomey was an important slave-trading center from whose ports thousands of slaves were shipped overseas. Many of the boatloads of slaves arriving in the Americas during that period had embarked from Dahomey. There are Haitians and Brazil-

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