230315 - Rare African HOHOVI Fon couple Statue from Benin - Nigeria.


Two Rare African HOHOVI Fon couple Statue from Benin.

Height: 18 cm.

Less known than the ibeji among the Yoruba, the Fon also worship their twins, called hohovi.
Figurines of twins sculpted at the birth of these at the request of the mother, these statuettes are the cosmic representations of the latter. They are considered full members of the family, just like identical twins in person, and receive special attention. (Food, clothes, showers). The number of twin or multiple births is very high in this part of the continent.

The Fon are the largest ethnolinguistic group in Benin, with more than 4.1 million people today. In addition to the Fon proper, especially present in the south of Benin where they are the majority, there are many sub-groups established in particular in Togo in the Atakpamé region. The multitude of fon gods (the vodun), similar to those of the Yoruba under different names, are represented by fetishes of all shapes and types.

Presumed seniority: Between 1940 and 1950.


The Fon people, also called Fon nu, Agadja or Dahomey, are a major African ethnic and linguistic group.They are the largest ethnic group in Benin found particularly in its south region; they are also found in southwest Nigeria and Togo. Their total population is estimated to be about 3,500,000 people, and they speak the Fon language, a member of the Gbe languages. 

The history of the Fon people is linked to the Dahomey kingdom, a well-organized kingdom by the 17th century but one that shared more ancient roots with the Aja people. The Fon people traditionally were a culture of an oral tradition and had a well-developed polytheistic religious system. They were noted by early 19th-century European traders for their N'Nonmiton practice or Dahomey Amazons – which empowered their women to serve in the military, who decades later fought the French colonial forces in 1890. 

Most Fon today live in villages and small towns in mud houses with corrugated iron gable roofs. Cities built by the Fon include Abomey, the historical capital city of Dahomey on what was historically referred to by Europeans as the Slave Coast. These cities became major commercial centres for the slave trade. A significant portion of the sugar plantations in the French West Indies, particularly Haiti, Dominican Republic and Trinidad, were populated with slaves that came from the Slave Coast, through the lands of Ewe and Fon people.