home of overweight animal keeper
The African kingdom of Dahomey ruled the lands of modern day Benin in the 1600 and 1700s. The kingdom was known for slave trading and its military culture. Their elite soldier corps were called Ahose (Our Mothers in the local Fon language) and consisted of only female fighters. Sir Richard Burton nicknamed the Dahomey “Black Sparta.” In an average year the ruling kings were making $400,000 selling around 20,000 local peoples into the Portuguese slave trade.
One traditional custom of the Dahomey was to never venture into water. In the 1600’s the Tofinu people, trying to escape the rule of the empire, canoed miles out on the local Lake of Nokoué and built stilt houses. The population has now grown to 40,000 and is called Ganvié village (the name meaning those who have finally found peace). Mud has been stacked in the shallow lake to create land. Today, the people make money from fish farming and tourism.
Fisherman building walls of grass to attract and trap fish.
The village has one Mosque and one Church
Children and the founder of Ganvié