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The kings of Dahomey sold their war captives into transatlantic slavery, who otherwise would have been killed in a ceremony known as the Annual Customs . As one of West Africa's principal slave states, Dahomey became extremely unpopular with neighbouring peoples.    Like the Bambara Empire to the east, the Khasso kingdoms depended heavily on the slave trade for their economy. A family's status was indicated by the number of slaves it owned, leading to wars for the sole purpose of taking more captives. This trade led the Khasso into increasing contact with the European settlements of Africa's west coast, particularly the French .  Benin grew increasingly rich during the 16th and 17th centuries on the slave trade with Europe; slaves from enemy states of the interior were sold, and carried to the Americas in Dutch and Portuguese ships. The Bight of Benin's shore soon came to be known as the "Slave Coast". 
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Objectives/Student Outcomes Using this Learning Guide : Students will have a vivid understanding of the lives endured by slaves in the American South. Students will be introduced to slavery as a world-wide phenomenon that has existed for millennia and which continues to exist. Students will be introduced to the slave narrative, the first genre of African-American literature.