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Aja

I. In Yoruba mythology, Aja is an Orisha, patron of the forest, the animals within it and herbal healers, whom she taught their art.

II. The Aja are a group of people now living in what is now Benin and what used to be Dahomey. One source (www.encyclopedia.com) reports that the Aja migrated to what is now southern Benin in the 12th or 13th centuries from Tado on the Mono River and that, in the early 17th century, three brothers, Kokpon, Do-Aklin, and Te-Agdanlin, fought for the kingdom and so divided amongst themselves. Kokpon took the thriving capital city of Great Ardra, Allada. Do-Aklin founded Abomey and Te-Agdanlin founded Little Ardra, also known as Ajatche and Porto Novo by Portuguese traders. Those Aja living in Abomey mingled with the local tribe, thus creating a new people known as the Fon or Dahomey ethnic group. This group is now the largest in Benin. Another source (www.xfer.com) claims the Ajans were the rulers of Dahomey until 1893 until the French conquered them. Currently, there are approximately 500,000 Ajans who straddle the border between Benin and Togo in an area thirty miles long and twenty miles wide. The Ajans speak a language known as Aja-Gbe or simply Aja; only 1 - 5% are literate in their native tongue. According to one source, voodoo originated with the Ajans. There are three dialects: Tgb in Togo only, Dgb in Benin only, and Hwgb in both countries. They are bilingual in w and French.

III. Aja is a Nilo-Saharan language spoken in the Southern Sudanese province of Bahr el Ghazal as well as along the Sudanese border in the Central African Republic along the Sapo and Shinko Rivers. Although the tribe considers itself to be Kresh, the language is unintelligible to the Kresh and is halfway between Kresh and Banda. It is near Banda in vocabulary and Kresh in structure. Most members of the tribe are bilingual in Kresh. Alternate names are Adja and Ajja.


Aja is also an album[?] by the group Steely Dan as well as the first song on the album. Hits from the album are "Black Cow," "Peg," "Josie," and "Deacon Blues." It was Steely Dan's biggest album, reaching #3 on the Billboard charts, reaching #5 in the UK, and staying within the top forty for a whole year. It also received a Grammy. It is also a video that documents the making of the album.



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