Definitions for dahomeydəˈhoʊ mi
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word dahomey
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Category: Geography (places)
Ref: former name of Benin (def. 1). 1
Benin, Republic of Benin, Dahomey(noun)
a country on western coast of Africa; formerly under French control
A former country in Africa, the former name of Benin
Origin: dã homè ("belly of Dã" or "snake's belly")
Dahomey was an African kingdom in the present-day Republic of Benin which lasted from 1600 until 1900. Dahomey developed on the Abomey Plateau in the early 1600s and became a regional power in the 1700s by conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast. For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Dahomey was a key regional state, eventually ending tributary status to the Oyo empire and being a major location for the Atlantic slave trade, possibly supplying up to 20% of the slaves to Europe and the Americas. In 1894, the kingdom became part of French West Africa as part of the territory of French Dahomey. French rule lasted until 1960 when the independent country took the name Republic of Dahomey, to be changed to Benin in 1975. The Kingdom of Dahomey was an important regional power that had an organized domestic economy, significant international trade with European powers, a centralized administration, significant taxation systems, and an organized military. Notable in the kingdom were significant artwork, all-female military units known as the Dahomey Amazons, and elaborate religious practices of Vodun with the large festival of the Annual Customs of Dahomey. The Kingdom of Dahomey serves as the context for a number of works of fiction dealing with West African ideas and the slave trade.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a negro kingdom of undefined limits, and under French protectorate, in W. Africa, N. of the Slave Coast; the religious rites of the natives are sanguinary, they offer human victims in sacrifice; is an agricultural country, yields palm-oil and gold dust, and once a great centre of the slave-trade.
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