Dahomey, a French dependency in Africa, extending inland from the Slave Coast, bordering on Yoruba. The seaboard is confined to a district of 35 miles; and the long lagoon which, shut in from the ocean by a protecting bank of sand, affords an easy route along nearly the whole of this coast. About midway is the port of Whydah, whence a road extends inland to Abomey, a distance of 70 miles. Dense forests and dismal swamps cover nearly two-thirds of this distance, but from the Great Swamp of Agrime vast undulating plains rise for many miles, in the direction of the Kong Mountains. The Avon and Denham lagoons receive the rivers. The soil is extremely fertile. Groves of oil-palms encircle each town, and palm-oil is made in large quantities. Cotton cloth is made, and weapons and tools are forged from native iron. The Dahoman kingdom dates from the beginning of the 18th century, and reached its zenith about 1850. Fetich-worship prevailed, taking the form of* serpent-worship on the coast; and wholesale murder was one of the chief features in religious and state ceremonies, as many as 500 human victims having been sacrificed at one of the grand 'customs' which took place annually. The revenue depended largely upon the sale of slaves. The French established a footing on the coast in 1851, and gradually extended their influence till, in 1894, the whole kingdom was taken in. The colony comprises, besides the native kingdom of Dahomey, all the French possessions bounded on the north by the French Soudan, on the east by British Nigeria and Lagos, on the south by the Gulf of Guinea, and on the west by German Togo. The total area is estimated at 60,000 sq. m., and the population at 1,000,000. There are about 70 miles of coast. The capital is Porto Novo (pop. 50,000). Other centres are Abomey (15,000), the former capital of Dahomey; Allada (10,000); Agone (20,000); Grand Popo; Cotonu, a port; Whydah, a port; Nikki, and Say. In 1901 the imports (liquors, cotton, and tobacco) were valued at 15,752,650 francs, the exports (chiefly palm kernels and oil) at 10,478,900 francs. See works by Burton (1861), Skertchly (1874), Bouche (Paris, 1885), Aubley (Paris, 1894), and Lee (1900); and Ellis, The Ewe-speaking Peoples (1890).