Béhanzin

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Béhanzin

 

(also Gbéhanzin). Born circa 1851; died 1906, in Algiers. Ruler of Dahomey, the state of the Fon people, from 1890 to 1894.

Béhanzin was already the de facto ruler of Dahomey during the last years of his father Glélé’s life, when he showed himself to be a supporter of decisive resistance to France. During Béhanzin’s rule, the Fon people waged a stubborn struggle against the French forces that had invaded their country. After the fall of Abomey, the capital of Dahomey, in November 1892, Béhanzin retreated north with the remnants of his army but did not cease fighting with the invaders. In January 1894, he was handed over to the French by the Fon nobility and exiled by the French to the island of Martinique and later to Algiers.

References in periodicals archive ?
Determined that the French would not seize the Royal palaces, King Behanzin ordered that they be burned to the ground.
Thus he pays tribute to the "Reine du royaume de Guinee / Amphore laquee de noir / laissant ebloui le potier/ Reine du royaume de Guinee / oubliee" (Queen of the kingdom of Guinea / Amphora lacquered in black / leaving the potter dazzled / Queen of the kingdom of Guinea / forgotten) as well as to "Celles qui suivirent Behanzin / celles que le navire forca / celles / effrayees par l'aurore bleme arrondi dans leur ventre / Leur chair germee loin d'elles / dans les champs negriers" (Those women who followed Behanzin / those whom the ship forced / those / frightened by the pale rounded dawn in their bellies / Their flesh germinated far from them / in the slavers' fields; 13-14).
Le president de la Republique du Benin, Thomas Boni Yayi, a visite, hier, la residence du roi de l'ex-Royaume du Dahomey (actuel Benin), Behanzin Kondo, situee dans le quartier de Douirette, dans la wilaya de Blida.
However, King Behanzin fought the French influence, which cost him deportation to Martinique.
Nous avons d'abord vu les grands seigneurs qui regardaient dans l'avenir et qui devinaient les desastres marcher, Askia, Chaka, Behanzin, tous acharnes a leur conquete .
Tovalou was the nephew of Behanzin, the late king of Dahomey, "who was deported to Martinique after his kingdom was conquered by France, and who later returned from exile to die in Algeria" (Hill 1985, Vol 5: 750).
Behanzin then took his remaining retinue and army into the forest to wage a guerrilla war before he reluctantly went into exile.