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Aupiais, Francis (1877-1945)

Francis Aupiais (1877-1945) was a French missionary of the Société des missions africaines de Lyon, sent to Dahomey from 1903 to 1926. Upon his return to France, he became involved in the ethnological debate as a specialist in the ritual life of South Dahomey societies. He created a journal, La Reconnaissance africaine (1925-1927), which published the work of young Dahomean scholars, including Paul Hazoumé. He is the author of two documentary films, Le Dahomey religieux about Vodun cults, and Le Dahomey chrétien about the evangelization campaign. From the 1980s onwards, his research inspired the inculturation theories of the Mewi Hwendo (the black furrow), a catholic researchers movement in Benin.

Keywords: Missionary | Christian missions | Ethnographic film | Evangelization | Inculturation | 20th century | Benin | Dahomey | Ceremonialism | Vodun | Paul Hazoumé | Albert Kahn | Society of African Missions