From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


This article is a rather " black" picture of the kingdom of Dahomey. This reminds me of the justifications that was served my the French in order to dismantel the kingdom (uncivilized, savage etc): once again, an Eurocentric picture of the World.

You should know that Dahomey was one of the highly organized kingdom in Africa at the time. One thing I would like to add is that under Ghezo, Dahomey had terminated its tribute paying to the Oyo after a war that they won. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Senase (talkcontribs) 15:12, 28 September 2006.

Are you aware that Ghezo continued to sell black slaves to the whites after the whites banned the trade in slaves? He continued this movement and contributed to the suffering of thousands. Just because they were organised doesn't mean they weren't savage or uncivilised. Nazi Germany was organised but they were still savages when it came down to it - with the massacre of millions of people and the level of violence in the lands they conquered. This isn't the race card being played here - its simple truth and fact. Dahomey was a savage and backward hole and still is to a certain extent. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 09:23, 4 December 2006.

Muslims in this region still capture and sell Africans for slavery. Slavery isn't just history, it's alive and well in Africa. Hoserjoe 04:45, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Mass Grass?

The last sentence of the second paragraph reads:

Visitors to the historic site of Dahomey today can still see a throne built on human skulls, a mass grass of one of the king's wives, and two temples with mortar mixed with human blood.

I suppose this is a typo of mass grave, but a mass grave of a single person does not make much sense either, so I did not want to change it. Maybe whoever first added the sentence can shed some light on this. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

Dahomey Trade Guilds

So much emphasis has been placed on Dahomey's slave trade that one of the most intricate cultures of Africa seems to have been ignored. The people of Dahomey created a complex trade guild system that rivals in concept the most advanced of the European guild systems. Standards for each trade were established and maintained, with disciplinary consequences for failure to adhere to those standards. The guilds also had a system of setting fair prices for their goods and services; for example, sellers in their version of farm markets would meet before each market day opened, and they would set agreed prices for all items to be sold that day. Today, we call a similar practice "price fixing." Shirhall 01:56, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

WOW, are you serious? i feel ashamed that i didn't know that. this info should be included in the entry, don't you think?


Shouldn't this page be merged with Benin? C Teng (talk) 19:26, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

No. The Kingdom of Dahomey only encompassed a small portion of Benin (the lower 1/6th I believe). These were two entirely different political entities. You wouldn't merge Mali Empire and Guinea or Ashanti Empire and Ghana. One refers to a country that no longer exist while the other does still exist. Scott Free (talk) 23:46, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Needs map

A map of what used to be Dahomey would be useful. --Parkwells (talk) 19:22, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

19th and 20th c. history?

The article needs expansion for 19th and 20th c. history. There was complexity in France's relations with colonies.--Parkwells (talk) 19:39, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Major Changes October 2012

So, I spent the past couple days sourcing and rewriting a lot of the article. If there are any problems (I know there probably are a few), please fix them. But just for future editors, thought I would emphasize the sections that need the most significant heft to become Good, in my opinion. Religion, Arts, and the Amazons section are all in need of some improvement that is outside my reach. I added a little religion section, but it is quite limited and not very good. Improvements appreciated. The Arts has some good work on it from Blier and others, someone with background in those issues could probably improve the wiki-links to other pages and improve that page. The Amazons part is good, but I almost think it should just be Alpern (the main historian) and maybe take the discussions of gender relations to the Amazons main page. Regardless, that area also could use improvement in the future. Hope I gave a better tapestry for everyone to do additional improvements. Thanks. AbstractIllusions (talk) 16:03, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. --BDD (talk) 21:04, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

DahomeyKingdom of Dahomey – The Kingdom of Dahomey is not the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Most people who type "Dahomey" actually search for Benin or the Republic of Dahomey. So, this article should be moved, and "Dahomey" should be made a disambiguation page with links to: Kingdom of Dahomey, French Dahomey, Republic of Dahomey and Benin. --Relisted. Andrewa (talk) 21:15, 23 August 2013 (UTC) Vanjagenije (talk) 23:51, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

  • No Opinion right now.Oppose opinion below I considered making a similar move request a while back (and when I created the history page, I did use the suggested move name History of the Kingdom of Dahomey), but perhaps you could provide evidence that "Dahomey" directed to Kingdom of Dahomey is not the primary topic. The existence of other terms does not mean that there isn't a primary topic. For example, if I do a Google Scholar search just for "Dahomey", if we look at the top 50- here's the division: Kingdom of Dahomey (32), French Dahomey (3), Republic of Dahomey (6), Geographic area/feature (9). Similarly, Britannica uses 'Dahomey' only for the kingdom: here. On the other side: Encyclopedia of Africa divides them up, as does the Encyclopedia of African history, so there may be reasons to do this. I could be (easily) convinced that you are right, but where is the evidence that "most people who type 'Dahomey'" mean one of the other entities? AbstractIllusions (talk) 00:59, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support disambiguation page seems best -- (talk) 08:25, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I expect most people probably take "Dahomey" to mean "the old name for Benin" and don't specifically divide it into different eras based on who or how it was ruled at any given stage then use the name on its own to mean just the one, not least because the name was used in both the colonial and independence era. Yes the kingdom was only part of the late colony/state (hence the reason for the renaming) but the last three-quarters of a century of use of the name was for the area of modern Benin. Dahomey should be either a disambiguation or a redirect to Benin. Timrollpickering (talk) 13:40, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose There isn't any evidence to suggest that the primary topic is muddled and I presented above evidence that the Kingdom is the primary topic for Dahomey (60% of the first Google Scholar hits--similar with Google Books). I can easily be convinced to change the name (my personal preference would be for the name change), but there needs to be some reason for claiming that the Kingdom is not the primary topic and not just the fact that other Dahomeys existed and we think they are more likely, the evidence seems to point toward the other conclusion. I don't see it. AbstractIllusions (talk) 14:04, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Relisting comment: No consensus above, but the evidence presented all supports the status quo, so if it were closed now the decision would be no move. It seems to me that either can work perfectly well, and that those who support the move should be given the chance to reply. Andrewa (talk) 21:15, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


What references are there that this odd drawing of an elephant is a legitimate flag? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:00, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

  • The reference for many of the flags you find is Flags of the World which is a user-generated website of questionable veracity. I've removed the flag from the page and when I get time, will be trying to get the proper permissions to use this flag, which actually is a legitimate flag of the kingdom at some point. Thanks for pointing this out. AbstractIllusions (talk) 12:55, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Whoa, looking at the museum's website, it doesn't seem to indicate whether that flag is in their collection (and of course, if it was sent to the Portuguese, why would it be?) – it just links it in historical context. Clearly something like that needs and would have (because the Portuguese kept track of the flag for all these years apparently) more documentation to back up whether it came from the King of Dahomey (and not a local king), and of course which king and in what year.? Also, as of writing this the Elephant Flag is still up, so I'm not even adding a "citation needed" since there's no cite there – I'm just removing it. Immediate re-edit: Scratch that – Flags of the World - Benin actually cites its sources for the flag, though further verification would require going to the listed museums to check out said engravings. Anyway, I'll still add a footnote to clarify that the flag is one of many used. SamuelRiv (talk) 04:09, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
I suspect you and I disagree about what "citing its source" means. Either way, that particular flag was created by a user (Jaume Ollé) which makes it problematic to say the least. I think it should be removed until permission for a photo of an actual flag is gained (of course with content provided explaining its origin). Finally, a lot of skepticism should be placed on the elephant flag. In other artistic depictions in Dahomey, Ghezo is not depicted as an elephant and it isn't associated with his rule (see Sculptures of Abomey. But, the overall question should be: is a flag useful? Some tapestries were used throughout the kingdom, but whether those qualified as flags in the modern nation sense is doubtful at best. Royal sculptures and bas-relief for each king are far more prominent in Dahomey tradition. I still think it should be removed. Both because 1. FotW is user generated and thus by definition not a reliable source (even if they were right about this--which they aren't, by the way) and 2. Not sure any flag makes the article particularly better (other images would capture the culture of the kingdom better). AbstractIllusions (talk) 11:53, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
1. I concur on the point of usefulness and removal of the flag. By the same token, the Coat of Arms, which is of King Béhanzin (and sourced from one late-19th cent. book print, so no word on accuracy relative to the actual period piece it represents), should be removed from the top of the infobox. I think both might merit reference in an infobox footnote via wikilink to the relevant articles – Flag of Benin and those of individual kings – in which the veracity of the CoA and flags can be further discussed and expert comment requested.
2. Thanks for the pdf that shows the tapestries (but why is it not linked in the article?). The use of the buffalo by Ghezo is backed up by other sources which does further motivate one to verify the works from which the elephant flag is reportedly drawn, which brings me to the next point:
3. FotW (or rather Ollé himself) in this case definitely cites in a decent manner for such an old site. Under Dahomey, it cites Flag Bulletin no. 145, (possibly?) an original flag at what is now the Musée du quai Branly, and an engraving by Albert Vallon, though it wasn't clear from the text if it was the former two or the latter from which the elephant flag is drawn (I'm thinking the latter, which would make the coloring questionable, but that's for independent verification – we can easily find someone in Paris to snap some photos, or just email a request to the curator). Also, is Ollé a user, because his copyright release was done via email request? Regardless he made the image in 1996, long before WP. Finally, Ollé himself may very well be credentialed/authoritative in relevant subject(s) or is/was overseen in this by an authoritative/academic source. SamuelRiv (talk) 01:03, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
  • You are misreading the "citation." Flag Bulletin 145 is referring to a different flag (one captured by Dodds). This is the flag in the engraving by Vallon. Here it is. Is there an elephant flag in the photo? Yes. Does it look like the one we have or come with sufficient context to know if this is a 'Dahomey' flag? Not exactly. Olle did a rendering of that flag and posted it on a user generated website. I actually think Olle did an admirable job with what he had to work with. But...WP:UGC applies to Flags of the World. Even if Olle is great, Flags of the World is not a reliable source. We seem to agree on end while disagreeing on reason. As you noted initially and correctly, we need some good context to really say what a flag was (e.g. was this a flag for a special occasion, a flag for a specific military unit (see Alpern for the discussion of this), or something else). As I noted above, Arts and symbolism are an area that needs significant work still in the article (along with religion and the Amazons). I didn't get to it yet as I like to really unpack a topic before editing on it. But if you want to throw in the pdf above or anything else, please do so. It's all helping. AbstractIllusions (talk) 07:02, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Dahomey Military

I felt that the section on the Dahomey military was lacking; It primarily discussed the unique feature of female warriors. I felt that it should be noted that the Dahomey army was able to conquer so many of the surrounding regions due to its superior military. Furthermore, should it be brought up that the Dahomey participation in the slave trade could be a result of their dependence on foreign goods? The information I added was characteristic of King Agaja’s reign. If anyone else could add more on other kingdoms that’d be swell. Kdshang (talk) 21:06, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

French colony called Bénin?

The article Benin Empire tells of an area called Benin which was annexed by the United Kingdom in 1897. The article Dahomey describes the kingdom which became French Dahomey in 1904, and only mentions Benin as the post-1975 name of French Dahomey.

No mention is made of the French colony for which postage stamps were issued in 1892, 1893, and 1894. —Coroboy (talk) 22:34, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Talk:Dahomey"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA