Gezo, King of Dahomey
This image shows the king of Dahomey in regalia with one of his retainers holding an umbrella. Forbes described "His Dahoman Majesty, King Gezo, is about 48 years of age, good looking. . . his appearance commanding, and his countenance intellectual, though stern in the extreme. That he is proud there can be no doubt. . . the king was plainly dressed, in a loose robe of yellow silk slashed with satin stars and half-moons, Mandingo sandals, and a Spanish hat trimmed with gold lace; the only ornament being a small gold chain of European manufacture" (vol. 1, pp. 76-77). Frederick E. Forbes went to Dahomey in the Bight of Benin region on a British anti-slavery mission in 1849 and 1850. On his first voyage, he "rescued" an Egbado princess, Sara Forbes Bonetta, whom he "gifted" to Queen Victoria.
Frederick E. Forbes, Dahomey and the Dahomans: being the journals of two missions to the king of Dahomey, and residence in his capital, in . . . 1849 and 1850 (London, 1851), vol. 1, facing title page.
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"Gezo, King of Dahomey", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed September 30, 2023, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2625