Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.
Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records
Herskovits, Melville J. (Melville Jean),
Dahomey, an ancient West African kingdom: volume 1
Published By: Original publisher
Evanston [Ill.]: Northwestern University Press. 1967. 402
By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication
[by] Melville J. Herskovits
HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.:
Human Relations Area Files, 2016. Computer File
Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis.
Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF
Form and rules of government (642);
Chief executive (643);
Territorial hierarchy (631);
General character of religion (771);
Cult of the dead (769);
Local officials (624);
Community structure (621);
Internal trade (438);
External relations (648);
Inter-ethnic relations (629);
Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document
This book focuses on the Fon-speaking people of West Africa
historically associated with the emergence and expansion of the Dahomey Kingdom. Centered
in the city of Abomey, now in Benin, this kingdom was ruled by hereditary monarchs that
claimed absolute control over the life and property of subjects. A great deal of the book
is devoted to discussing the religious, economic and sociological conditions that led to
the continuity of this complex political system possible. The book is the first part of a
two volume work compiled based on ethnographic data collected in 1931. The author also
makes extensive use of earlier accounts by European travelers and traders. The most
important of these accounts was compiled by E. Burton who lived in Abomey in 1863-1864.
Grouped into major headings, coverage of this volume includes geography and history,
economic life (including detailed discussion of production, distribution, property, and how
each of these related to Dahomey culture and political organization), social organization
(with particular emphasis on kinship, clanship, and secret societies), and major customs
and rituals related to life cycles.
Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents
Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits.
Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs.
Language: Language that the document is written in
Reprint of the 1938 ed. Includes bibliographical
references (v. 2, p. 373-376)
Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document
Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data
Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection.
Teferi Abate Adem
Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date).
Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site)
LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Fon (African people)//Ethnology--Benin//Benin