“The Fon people lived in the Dahomey kingdom, which is part of the Republic of Benin. Oral tradition suggests the Dahomey kingdom was created by a Yoruba princess some time before the 17th century. During the 18th century, its territories expanded and they took part in the slave trade with the French colonials.

Two categories of Fon objects can be distinguished. The first includes royal paraphernalia such as king figures, commemorative iron staffs, called Asen, small metal emblematic figures and scepters decorated with a zoomorphic blade. The second category of objects is called Bocio and relates to the Vodun or magical ceremonies undertaken to contact the spirit world and trap harmful forces. The word Vodun is derived from the Yoruba language and also refers to the Fon gods. The Bocio are wooden figures made by blacksmiths under the order of a Fa diviner. They are usually set on a peg and covered with magical substances to the extent that the figure may be hidden. These substances are made of blood, palm oil, beer and animal parts and are believed to give power to the Bocio.

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.

Art from this Tribe