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BENIN

BeninBenin is the West African country home to the Voodoo Culture which was transported through the slave trade to the West Indies.Our Appliqué Art collection are handmade in Abomey, south Benin.

Abomey was formerly the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey. The kingdom was established about 1625. The royal palaces of Abomey are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people between the mid-17th and late 19th Centuries. One of the most famous and historically significant traditional sites in West Africa, the palaces form one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The town was surrounded by a mud wall with a circumference estimated at six miles, pierced by six gates, and protected by a ditch five feet deep, filled with a dense growth of prickly acacia, the usual defence of West African strongholds. Within the walls were villages separated by fields, several royal palaces, a marketplace and a large square containing the barracks. In November 1892, Behanzin, the last independent reigning king of Dahomey, being defeated by French colonial forces, set fire to Abomey and fled northward. The French colonial administration rebuilt the town and connected it with the coast by a railroad.

Ernest Fiogbe – Abomey National museum co-operative secretary
Cadwyn yn trafod gyda’r artistiaid o dan coeden ym maes yr Amgueddfa Genedlaethol

From 1625 to 1900 twelve kings succeeded one another at the head of the powerful Kingdom of Abomey. With the exception of King Akaba, who used a separate enclosure, they each had their palaces built within the same cob-wall area, in keeping with previous palaces as regards the use of space and materials. The royal palaces of Abomey are a unique reminder of this vanished kingdom.

From 1993, 50 of the 56 bas-reliefs that formerly decorated the walls of King Glèlè (now termed the 'Salle des Bijoux') have been located and replaced on the rebuilt structure. The bas-reliefs carry an iconographic program expressing the history and power of the Fon people.

Today, the city is of less importance, but is still popular with tourists and as a centre for crafts. Its population in 1992 was 66,595. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benin yw’r wlad yng Ngorllewin Affrig sy’n gartref i ddiwylliant Voudoun a drawsblanwyd i Haiti a rhannau eraill o Indiaid y Gorllewin trwy’r Fasnach Gaethweision. Daw’r lluniau cywrain appliqué oddiwrth y Cylch Cydweithredol o Grefftwyr sy’n gweithio o’r Amgueddfa Genedlaethol yn Abomey – tref hanesyddol yn ne’r wlad.

Abomey oedd prif-ddinas Teyrnas Dahomey a sefydlwyd tua 1625. Codwyd plasau brenhinol Abomey gan y bobl Fon (nid Sir Fon !) rhwng yr 17eg ganrif a’r 19eg ganrif. Mae’r adeiladweithiau pridd hyn ymhlith y safleoedd hanesyddol pwysicaf yng Ngorllewin Affrig ac fe’u diogelir gan UNESCO yn Safleoedd Etifeddiaeth Byd.

Cadwyn in discussions with artisans under a tree on the grounds of the National Museum.
Cadwyn yn trafod gyda’r artistiaid o dan coeden ym maes yr Amgueddfa Genedlaethol

Cafodd y dref ei hamgylchynu gan wal bridd chew milltir o hyd gyda chwe phorth. Cafodd ei hamddiffyn gan ffos 2 fedr o ddyfnder a lanwyd gan acacia pigog yn ol arfer y rhanbarth. O fewn y muriau hyn, bu pentrefi, plasau brenhinol, marchnadoedd a chaer. Gorchfygwyd Behanzin, eu Llyw Olaf, gan y Ffrancod ym 1892, a llosgodd y dref cyn dianc I ganol y wlad I’r gogledd. Ailadeiladwyd y dref gan y Ffrancod a’Iichysylltu a’r arfordir trwy reilffordd.

Mae’r rheilffordd honno’n dal yn weithredol heddiw – ond yn arafach o lawer gan fod yn rhaid i’r trenau stopio’n aml wrth groesi ffyrdd ! Mae plasau brenhinol Abomey – a godwyd gan y 12 brenin rhwng 1625 a 1900 – yn tystio i deyrnas a gollwyd. Defnyddir eu symbolau brenhinol ar y lluniau appliqué hir a welwch yma.

Ers 1993 adferwyd 50 o’r 56 llun-gerflun i waliau Plas y Brenin Glele, ac fe adnabyddir y lle nawr fel “Salle des Bijoux”. Mae’r llun-gerfluniau hyn yn portreadu hanes a grym y bobl Fon ar ffurf iconograffeg. Nid Abomey bellach yw tref bwysicaf y wlad, ond fe erys yn ganolfan hanesyddol o bwys gyda thraddodiad celf. Mae poblogaeth o dua 70,000.

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