Iron statue of the god of arms and war, made by the Fon of Benin, in the Musée de l'Homme, …—Marc and Evelyne Bernheim—Woodfin Camp and Associates

People of southern Benin and adjacent parts of Togo. They speak a dialect of Gbe, a Kwa language of the Niger-Congo language family. Numbering about 3 million, the Fon are mainly farmers. Craft specialists include male ironworkers, sculptors, and weavers and female potters. The primary Fon social unit is the polygynous family, each woman and her children occupying a house within a compound. The village under a hereditary chief is the traditional political unit. Dahomey kingdom was peopled principally by Fon.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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