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Heritage >>Landscape heritage

Vodun To / Ahloboe

Vodun To / Ahloboe

Localization : Ahloboe Village (Near Avlekete village)


Date : Vers fin XVII et XVIIIe début XIXe siècle.

The vodun Tô is a sacred place near the village of Ahloboe in the Commune of Ouidah.

Several waves of people drowned there in fugitive fleeing warriors raided the kingdom of Abomey. This place was sacred memory of those fleeting and is an aquatic graveyard' 'which plays an essential ecological environment role.

The vodun Tô is bounded on its 8  ends by traps that allow young fish to grow to maturity. In the dry season (January-February) fish migrate elsewhere, following the rotting branches. In March-April, fishermen and plant new traps, the natural cycle of reproduction and development of fish continue.

Date: In late seventeenth and eighteenth early nineteenth century.

Functions :
•    Religious, Ritual
•    Historic and Memorial Site (historic village)
•    Environment Protection (aquatic)
•    Ecological role.

Traditions and Real Estate Heritage (Associated)

• It is a refuge - where were annually practiced some sacred ceremonies of purification and protection;

• Location revered by local residents and submitted to some prohibitions.

The hamlet of Ahloboe depends on the village of Hio which houses a homogeneous community, Kindoho, come, according to some of Vakon / Porto-Novo. The main activities are economic: fishing, salt production and smoked fish and coconut oil.

There are many voodou cults, dead cults and religious life is embodied by the sacred objects and spaces, convents and forests managed by the community of Ahloboe.

Avlekete and Ahloboe Villages

NAME : Avlekete and  Ahloboe Villages        
Under-Soils:  Sossoucodji, Agbètotoomè, Houédénoukon- Kokodji
Associated Anatole Kodji
Marine Site  : Ahloboé (HIO)

LOCALIZATION : Island surrounded by the coastal lagoon


Nature of the heritage : vernaculary Building
Many cult places
Village lands protected
Period of construction   : During the reign of Dahomey King Houegbadja


Brief description

Avlékété is on an island surrounded by the coastal lagoon. There are four (04) under protected land:
-  Sossoucodji
- Agbet0otome
- Houedenoukon Kodji
- Anatole Codja.

•  un habitat vernaculaire de cases et de petits temples de banco ou en parpaings de ciment avec des toits en tôle ou en paille.
•  des espaces sacrées / forêts : Xoxozun (bois des jumeaux) Abikun-zun (bois des enfants mal formés), Oro-zun (bois des adeptes de la société masculine Oro), Avlékété-zun, Gbinzun …..

Its  includes:

• a local habitat boxes and small temples in banco or cement blocks with tin roofs or straw.
• sacred spaces / Forests: Xoxozun (wood twins) Abikun-zun (wood deformed children), Oro-zun (wood followers of male society Oro) Avlekete-zun, Gbinzun ... ..

There are several divinities in the nearby hamlets: To-Kpodun (Ahloboe) Togbo-Djaka (patron deity of fishermen), and To-Tolegba Dan (SEMI), Zangbeto (guardians of the night, Agbetotome) Abikun, Sakpata, Hebiosso (Kodji - AGM and Kodji-do) ... .. which brings families and supporters at annual events.

The dominant socio-cultural group is Xwla.


• According to oral tradition, a village founded by Kadja and Aho, coming from Adja-Tado and fleeing the troops of King Houegbadja

A Hounsouke in Xwla country, they created the Geto site, located between the sea and the lagoon and offering safety and shelter against unforeseen incursion of troops from the kingdom of Dahomey. Then, they moved on the present site of Avlekete and called the village Avlekete. Avlékété is a water voodou and its Name was given to the refuge- village.
• The original is Vlekete Name (in xwla) given to a small boat to help in the unloading of large boats. Vlekete would also be a moving voodou that predicts the conflicting events.

Savi / Sahe

NAME  : Savi / Sahe                  


Commune  : Ouidah
Situation géographique : 8 Km from Ouidah
Arrondissement    : 9th district     
Population    : 7.715 inhabitants (1999)


Nature of the heritage: Historic and archaeological Sites and temples
Fonction  Initiale  : Stop Village on the ''Slave Road”
Current function : Administrative and Residential

Period of construction : Created around 1727 / Conquest by King Agadja near Sahelian Sahe


Brief description

Savi is on Abomey - Ouidah axis of and reflects the traditional ways of organizing space.
It includes two (2) areas:

- Headquarter Sogbadji in the East;
- Azacodji Headquarter in the West.

• The urban part is old and has plots where are implanted voodoo temple: Agadja Legba Ninsouxwε, Heviosso ... .... ;
• Archaeological survey Work (1996) identified the location of the the royal palace of King Houffon (artifacts, pipes, chains of slaves, ancient pottery deposited in the Museum of History of Ouidah (Portuguese Fort).


The current village of Savi was originally a military encampment that the King of Dahomey Agadja, placed in the northwest of the village Sahe (King's Houffon) after its destruction.

Savi also results from Historic and geographical components because it is a place of refuge for Houeda expelled from the lake and served as shelter against looters Popo. It is the natural outlet of the region Tori on the lagoon.

Former capital of Houeda, Sahe is known by numerous European travelers’ descriptions (Captain William Sirelgrave, 1727, Knight of Amon Dunglas E.). Sahe was destroyed by the armies of Danxomε in 1727 and gave birth to the present village of Savi, established near the old city where the slave rubbed French, English, Dutch and Portuguese settled in trading posts ( Ref. Plan Abbe Lebat / Chevalier Des Marchais 1725/1726).

From 1727, Sahean trading loses its function for the benefit of Ouidah. Savi population is mainly composed of soldiers settled by conquest. Thus, Soglo and Aza, both sons of Agadja are behind the creation of two (02) Grand Headquarters.

Djegbadji Village

NAME :  Djegbadji Village            


Commune    : Ouidah
Arrondissement  : 7th district
Situation géographique   : lagon Village / Lakeside
Population  : 5.649 inhabitants (1999)


Nature of the heritage  : vernacular Built - Lakeside environment
Fonction  Initiale  : Residential and  agricultural
Current function : Residential and  agricultural

Period of construction : Location of populations around the seventeenth century by
 Oral Tradition


Brief description

Village located on the floodplain of the lagoon islands, near the ''Slave Route'', characterized by an agricultural and fishing economy, salt mining, pig. Djegbadji includes seven Headquarters: Agogocodji, Hayecodji, Nanoucodji, Kogbocodji, Doukoucodji, Koklococji, and Foncome Xwedacome.

It is a lakeside semi-site and the inhabitants are installed on several islands of the lagoon, with weirs to catch fish.
Houses formerly built of mud and covered with palm leaves or coconuts are now built of cement blocks and sometimes decorated with African Brazilian style moldings.


Salt mining in Djegbadji village date of the seventeenth century and was practiced by Xwela, living in the villages.

The first occupant, according to the oral tradition would be Agogotenou, from Tado, after which settled also mina, Houeda, smugglers and boatmen of the bar.

Then came Fon and the King Tegbessou planted a tree at Foncodji, created a Headquarter controlled by a eunuch who controlled transactions and collected taxes to the king of Danxomε.

Zoungbodji and the Door of No Return

NAME  :Zoungbodji and the Door of No Return


Commune :    Ouidah
Headquarter    :    Zoungbodji Village
Address    :    On the “slavery Road”


Nature of the heritage: Vernacular buildings, memorial and Historic site
Initial Function : Religious, Political, Commercial, residential
Current function : Religious, residential, Memorial and historic
Period of construction :

•    village Creation / site: Conquest of the region by King Agadja (1727)


Brief description

Village between the sea and Ouidah, on lagoon a site, it was an important stop of the slave trade. It is built around the residence of Kakanaku''''and was the venue and the prior marking place before the deportation of slaves towards the Americas and the Caribbeans.

• The residence Kakanaku covering 625 m², including an exhibition space (2 rooms with an area of 6 by 6 m) in cement blocks, covered with metal sheet;

• The memorial to the victims of the slave trade, built of reinforced concrete, decorated by Bandiera (1992);

• Zomaï Location which was a pen where slaves were kept before being transported to ships.

• Door of No Return reinforced with a concrete pad, decorated by the artist KOUAS (steel structures) and (2 reinforced structures, polychrome representing Egoun).


Zoungbodji was a farming hamlet farm, near the lagoon. After the conquest of the region, King Agadja install one of his brothers responsible for receiving slaves from Ouidah to the park before boarding the slave ships. He installed Kakanaku assisted by Dognon, Warlord of Ndèhoué, Head of Customs of the pier Ndèhounkpè, Gankpe, Head of Customs and Aho, to receive the tribute of Houeda.

The last Kakanaku died in 1996 and has not yet been replaced (conflict situation?).



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