Quick facts about the Weme
- Location: Benin
- Also Known As: Oueme
- Status: Engaged by IMB
- Population: 170,000
- Primary Religion: Animism
- Number of Christians: 50,000 (although many practice African traditional religion as well)
- Language: Wemegbe
- The Weme people are farmers and fishermen, living in southeastern Benin in the beautiful Oueme Valley, through which the Oueme River flows.
- Traditional voodoo religion and ancestor worship are predominant influences.
- Evangelical Christians are a small minority, but Baptist churches and outreach groups are growing, numbering 18 in 2006 throughout the Oueme Valley.
- Polygamy, alcoholism, illiteracy, and traditional African religions among the Weme people are problems confronting evangelical Christians and churches.
Learn more about the Weme!
The Weme people are expressive, hospitable country folk who work hard to eke out a living in the Oueme Valley. They love music, dancing, celebration, community, and laughter. Traditions and old age are highly respected, polygamy is common, and families are large. Most Weme adults are oral communicators and illiterate. Farmers labor with a short-handled hoe to raise subsistence crops of corn, cassava, beans, and peanuts. Fishermen cast their nets year round into the waters of the Oueme River. Women work hard, taking care of children, preparing meals over an open fire, helping their husbands in the fields, and selling produce. These people are plagued with malaria, gastrointestinal diseases, skin infections, and upper respiratory infections. The Weme seek security in their devotion to ancestor spirits and family and in their traditional voodoo religion, with its ritual and sacrifices and gris-gris power objects.