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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ganvie, Benin - The Venice Of Africa


Ganvie (meaning: 'the collectivity of those who found peace at last') is a lake village in Benin, lying in Lake Nokoué, near Cotonou. The village has a population of around 20-30,000, contains around 3,000 stilted buildings and is probably the largest lake village in Africa.


The village dates back to the sixteenth or seventeenth century [source] and was built to save people from slavery.

When the Dan-Homey kings armies were capturing people in the countryside to sell in the Portuguese slave trade, the people of Ganvie were saved from slavery by the Dan-Homey religious traditions...they were forbidden to attack communities on the water. Link

The people in this unique fishing village live exclusively from fishing (along with a little tourism), use pirogues (canoes) and have a system of underwater plantings that form fences to trap and breed fish.


According to this site there are only 'one and a half bits' of dry land in Ganvie. The full bit of land is the site of the school and the half bit will be a cemetery once enough dry ground has been laid to start burying people in it. The site has more information as well as photos.








Comments

curious

What a wonderful place.
But where do they bury the people now, if there is no cemetery?

manapple

they eat them

likechicken

like taste really good

Orin Zebest

Gah, what a beautiful place. Just one more interesting spot in the world that I'll have to file away under "things to do if I ever go to this country."

I don't care if they do eat people like African sus

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