Princely Lineage

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Don Francisco Félix de Souza

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The princes of the seigneury of Ouidah derive their authority and legitimacy from the fraternal relationship that existed between the first Chacha, Don Francisco Félix de Souza, and His Majesty King Guézo of Dahomey. King Guézo elevated the first Chacha to the rank of Royal Highness and granted to him and to his lawful descendants the title of Viceroy of Dahomey and Lord of Ouidah, a title that the Chachas retain to this day.

Since Don Francisco Félix de Souza, eight Chachas in succession have sat on the throne of Ouidah.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text]

King Guézo

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Tomb of Don Francisco Félix de Souza

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Reproduction of an oil portrait of Isidoro de Souza, Chacha II

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ChaCha II

The succession of Don Francisco Félix de Souza was disputed by three of his sons and was finally decided by the King of Dahomey in favour of the eldest, Isidoro de Souza, who acceded to the throne of Chacha in March 1850. Educated in Brazil, Isidoro had 24 children, 13 of whom had offspring, thus swelling the ranks of the House of de Souza. Chacha II died in 1858, the same year in which King Guézo died.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

ChaCha III

Francisco Félix (“Chicou”) de Souza was instated as Chacha III in 1864 and occupied the throne until his death in 1880. A shy and self-effacing man, little of his life is remembered by history.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text]

Reproduction of the portrait photograph of Julião de Souza, Chacha IV

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ChaCha IV

Julião Félix de Souza was designated in 1880 by King Glélé to succeed Chacha III on the throne. He was outgoing and colourful, both a visionary and a builder. In particular, he commissioned the construction of the “Lisséssa” (the “house under the smooth tree”), the Chachas’ summer palace, which is a red-brick colonial-style house with glass windows and spacious balconies supported by pillars made out of tropical wood. In 1887, Chacha IV met a tragic end when he was assassinated along with his entire entourage at the order of King Glélé in a settling of accounts between Ouidah and Abomey regarding the payment of bills related to the sale of slaves to in Sao Tome and Principe.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

ChaCha V

Despite the charge of treason brought against Chacha IV, King Glélé, responding to public pressure, preserved the title of Chacha and named Lino Félix de Souza as Chacha V. Lino Félix de Souza was the last of the children of Don Francisco Félix de Souza, Chacha I, to accede to the rank of Chacha, as well as the last Lord of Ouidah to be directly chosen by the King of Dahomey. From the fifth Chacha onwards, there has been a rift between Ouidah and Abomey, with Ouidah distancing itself and asserting its social, cultural, and economic autonomy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

ChaCha VI

In 1917, Roberto Norberto de Souza, son of “Chicou,” was chosen by the House of de Souza as Chacha VI and presented to the King of Abomey. Chacha VI was responsible, among other things, for the construction of the de Souza family compound on the land belonging to his late father, Chacha III.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

ChaCha VII

On the death of Roberto Norberto de Souza, Jérôme Anastacio de Souza was installed on the throne as Chacha VII, remaining there until his death in 1961.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

ChaCha VIII

On the death of Jérôme Anastacio de Souza, Chacha VII, the throne of Ouidah remained vacant for 26 years, until 995 when the House of de Souza appointed Honoré Feliciano Julião de Souza as Chacha VIII. Honoré Feliciano Julião de Souza, a former driver and postal worker, quickly rose to the highest social echelons, becoming the head of several large companies in Togo and Benin. An honourable statesman, Chacha VIII died on October 23, 2014, leaving 22 children to mourn his passing. For his exemplary contribution to the social life and outreach of Beninese culture, he was posthumously elevated to the rank of Grand Officer of the National Order of Benin.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Chacha VIII lors de son Intronisation en 1995

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