The Ouidah Museum of History
The Lost Communities of the Kingdom of Xweda
Ouidah Museum of History
Lost Communities Exhibit

Version française

The Lost Communities of the Xwéda Kingdom exhibit was implemented by Hope NORMAN and Neil NORMAN in cooperation with the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Abomey-Calavi. Oversight and support was provided by the leadership of the Department of Cultural Patrimony, part of the Ministry of Culture, Artistry and Tourism of the Republic of Bénin , including Mr. Mahoun Constant NOANTI, Mr. Richard SOGAN, Mr. Cossi Zéphirin DAAVO, and Mr. Nicolas AGO. Professor Alexis ADANDE of the Department of History at the University of Abomey-Calavi provided academic council and logistical support throughout the project. Thanks also go to Mme. Micheline EGOUNLETY, the museum curator, as well as museum guides Lucresse ADANDÉ, Serge RUSTICO and Gabriel HADJI.

Archaeological material presented in the exhibit was collected during a cooperative research program between the University of Abomey-Calavi and the University of Virginia . This project was directed by Neil L. NORMAN (University of Virginia) and represents a contribution to a larger program conducted throughout southern Bénin by Prof. Alexis ADANDE (University of Abomey-Calavi), in the Ouidah area by Prof. Merrick POSNANSKY (University of California Los Angeles), at the Xwéda palace complex of Savi by Prof. Kenneth KELLY (University of South Carolina), in the Cana area by Dr. Cameron MONROE (Washington University of St. Louis). In addition, Professors ADANDE and Klavs RANDSBORG ( University of Copenhagen ) co-directed the benino-danish archaeology project in the Abomey-Bohicon area.

Special thanks go to the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bénin in Cotonou , who generously supported this exposition through a special grant. Mr. Norman's fieldwork was supported by a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, the National Science Foundation USA, the Explorers Club Washington Group, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.

Historical information for the exhibit was drawn from Robin Law's The Slave Coast of West Africa , 1550-1750: The Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on an African Society , published by Clarendon Press of Oxford University. Translation of all text from English into French was performed by Ms. Dora Hall.