Friday 8 July 2022

Dahomey as it is by Skertchly, J.A. (1874)

History of Kana

"Kana, next to Whydah, is the most important town in the kingdom. It appears to be of very ancient date, and to have been a colony of the Oyos or Eyeos, a powerful Yoruba nation. When Daho began his career of conquest at the commencement of the seventeenth century, he captured it from the original possessors ; but it repeatedly changed hands, until, in the reign of Teghwesun, the Eyeos plundered and burnt the place, and imposed a tax upon the Dahomans. 

This tribute was reluctantly paid, until, in the reign of Gezu, that monarch, finding the implacable enemies of his race embroiled in a quarrel with their northern neighbours, the Foulahs and the Houssas, attacked the Eyeo garrison at Kana, and after defeating them, declared his intention to withhold the payment of the tribute for the future. Since that time Kana has remained in the quiet possession of Dahomey, and is the summer residence of the sovereign, and the rendezvous of the army previous to its starting upon any important expedition.

In memory of this signal victory, Gezu instituted the “Kana customs,” which take place before the grand customs at Abomey. In this pageant the human victims are paraded before the admiring eyes of the rabble, dressed in the garb of their former masters, the Eyeos, and carrying implements of husbandry in their hands as indicative of their unfitness to perform the part of warriors, but only that of peaceful husbandmen. "

Kehinde Thompson

1 comment:

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