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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dahomey's Royal Road
Author:Alpern, Stanley B.
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Benin
Subjects:Dahomey polity
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3172135
Abstract:The Cana-Abomey road in the kingdom of Dahomey was the last leg of the regular route from Dahomey's Atlantic port of Whydah to the royal capital at Abomey. Its purpose was to allow the kings of Dahomey to travel to and from Cana in style. In Fon traditions Cana dates back to the origins of the kingdom in the early 17th century and may have preceded Abomey as tribal 'chef-lieu'. The royal road would seem to have predated King Gezo (1818-1858), but the author has found no eyewitness testimony earlier than Gezo's reign. He describes what is known about the road from accounts by 19th-century European visitors: the road's direction, its length and width, its surface, the trees that lined it, fields and villages along the road, religious structures, and the royal palace (Adanwe), situated about halfway along the road. Notes, ref.