Information about the Fon

Fon is a major West African ethnic and linguistic group in the country of Benin or Dahomey, and southwest Nigeria, made up of more than 2,000,000 people. The Fon language is the main language spoken in Southern Benin, and is a member of the Gbe language group. Closely related cultures include the Ewe, Aja and Guin peoples. The Fon are said to originate from Tado, a village in south east Togo, near the border with Benin.

The culture is patrilineal and allows polygamy and divorce. Funerals (and anniversaries of deaths) are among the most important cultural events, with mourning activites including drumming and dancing often lasting for days. The Fon believe that part of the person dies and part is reincarnated.

Most Fon today live in villages and small towns in mud houses with corrugated iron gable roofs. Cities built by the Fon include Abomey, the historical capital city of Dahomey, and Ouidah. These cities were major commercial centres for the slave trade.

Fon religion

While many Fon identify as Christian, the majority practice Benin's national religion Vodun. The Fon name for a god or spirit is "Vodu". Practise can involve drumming to induce possession by one of these gods or spirits. Fon religion is polytheistic, with a supreme (but not omnipotent) deity known as Nana Buluku.

Fon influence in the New World

Many descendents of the Fon now live in the Americas as a result of the Atlantic slave trade. 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, Candomblé and Santería), dance and musicial styles (Arará, Yan Valu).

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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