The Fon, also called Fon nu and Agadja, represent Benin's largest ethnic group; they mainly live in the South of the country, but also in some neighboring states such as Nigeria and Togo.
The Fon people speak the homonymous language Fon, that is part of the Niger-Congo language group.
The Fon are famous for their history, in the past they founded the Kingdom of Dahomey, that became a great force in the area and played an active role in the Atlantic slave trade; under the leadership of King Dahomey, the army carried out incursions to neighboring populations, kidnapped men and women and then exchanged them with Europeans in arms and goods.
The Dahomey was also famous for his Amazons; the kingdom had in fact a entirely female military regiment, famous for its ferocity and tenacity.
They were called "Amazons" by Western observers and historians because of their resemblance to the legendary Amazons described by the ancient Greeks.
Most of the Fon population today lives in villages and small towns, in mud houses with corrugated iron roofs; the main cities inhabited by the Fon are Abomey, the historic capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey, and Ouidah on the Coast of the Slave.
The Fon villages, in the agricultural areas of the country, are made up of huts or houses built with mud bricks, grouped into a single compound with an open court, surrounded by a mud wall.
On the coast, the fishermen's villages facing the ocean are mostly shelters built using palm fronds.
The Fon practice polygamy, if a man has the sufficient economic possibilities, he can marry more than one wife; sometimes it happens that some men exaggerate and marry too many wives, in this case, it is called "polygamy abuse" and makes it possible for the wives to leave their husband and marry another man.
The religion of the Fon is voodoo and daily life is influenced by rituals and ceremonies; for example, a conflict between some people in a village is usually judged by voodoo priests and it is also not unusual to witness cases of aggression and of perjury through witchcraft.
Medicine is also influenced by voodoo practices, local healers, and voodoo priests usually use plants, dried animal parts to celebrate rituals, and deal with the disease.
The voodoo ceremonies are interesting rituals to attend, feticheur leaders, always dressed in white, make sacrifices and make offerings to the spirits, while adepts begin to dance at the incessant and urgent rhythm of the drums; some fall into trance, possessed by the spirits, so that they connect with the followers and give them messages, judge cases of conflict or heal the sick.
On the 10th of January every year on the beach of Ouidah is held the Festival of Voodoo, on that occasion thousands of people gather to celebrate together and pray for a better life; several traditional masks go on both the beach and around the city, and many benevolent rites are made by the priests of the various voodoo "churches" that go to the festival.
Among the Fon ceremonies, death is the most important event in a person's history and the ritual of the funeral is richer and more expensive than any other celebration or party; drummers are hired and family and friends, sorry for the loss, can dance all night for several days