From the Niger River on its northern border all the way down to where it meets the Atlantic Ocean the land is a mixture of coastal plains, marshy lagoons, and Guinean forest-savanna mosaic-covered plateaus and valleys. Stuck in the middle of Togo and Nigeria this small mostly tropical African country has little to no elevation until the northern border and is sparsely populated.
We are in the country of Benin and it is within the country’s thorny scrub covered and baobab tree dotted Savana region that we find the speakers of Ede Ije. Spoken by fifty thousand people Ede Ije is a part of the Niger-Congo language family and is closely related to the Yoruba language which is also spoken within the area.
With each generation the language grows and is passed on. It is spoken by all groups of people and as the agriculture of the people becoming more stable the population will increase pushing the language upwards and onwards. While there is a large population of French speakers in Benin they have had little impact on diminishing the loyalty to Ede Ije.
It is a safe and vigorously used language and unlike many other languages that are within the confines of Africa it is stable.
Thanks for joining us on this journey in language.