Tofinu (Benin)

Tofinu (Benin)

Indigenous people of Togo and Benin who live in houses on piles in lakes.

Ganvie is a lake village in Benin, Africa lying in Lake Nokoué, near Cotonou. With a population of around 20,000 people, it is probably the largest lake village in Africa.

The village was created in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries by the Tofinu people who took to the lake to avoid Fon warriors capturing slaves for sale to European traders. Making the shallow waters and islands of Lake Nokoue a haven, the Ganvie villager are often referred to as “water men.”

Originally based on farming, the village’s main industries other than tourism are now fishing and fish farming.

(Pictures taken in 2005)

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