Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ewe, properly Ehwe (pron. Fy-whey), a numerous negro people whose various branches occupy a great part of the Slave Coast, Upper Guinea, between the river Volta on the west and Yorubaland on the east, and extending for een unknown distance inland. Ewe-land thus comprises the kingdom of Dahomey and the whole region stretching thence westwards to the Ashanti and Ga peoples of the Gold Coast. The chief tribal divisions are: - Ehweawo, Anfueh, Krepe, Avenor, in the extreme west; Awuna, Aflao, Geng, on the coast; Ffon (Dahoman) and Ehwemi, in the extreme east; Krikor and Ataklu inland from the Kota lagoon; Makki (Mahi), Attakpami and Aja of the mountains in the far interior. According to the national traditions, the Ewe people migrated from these mountains seawards some centuries ago, and some of the national usages seem to imply close contact with the Saharan Tuaregs (Hamites) in their original homes. But if they were originally Hamites the Ewe have long been assimilated in appearance, customs, and language to the surrounding negro populations. Their speech is fundamentally connected with the Ga and Tshi of their western neighbours, and with the Yoruba on the eeest, all these being so many distinct branches of a widespread negro linguistic family which occupies the whole region from the Lower Niger westwards to the Ivory Coast. In this region the progress of culture has been from east to west, so that in this respect the Ewe take an intermediate position between the barbarous Tshi and Ga peoples of the Gold Coast and the semi-civilised Yorubas east of Dahomey. Formerly the Spanish and French planters of Central America, the West Indies, and Louisiana, drew their chief supply of slaves from the Ewe-speaking tribes exported from Whydah and Bagary; hence the term vodu, which in the Ewe language means a supernatural agency, is still current in various forms (vaudoo, vaudoux) amongst the negro peoples of Hayti, the Lower Mississippi, and other countries first settled by Spanish and French colonists. The vaudoo practices surviving in these regions are found nowhere in the parts colonised by the English, who imported their "Coroma-ntees" mainly from the Tshi-speaking populations of the Gold Coast. The standard work on the Ewe nation is Major A. B. Ellis's Ewe-speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa, London, 1890.