tohoungodo or vכvכdoto

In Benin (the former Dahomey), 20th century – present, a unit of dry capacity used for maize, polished rice, gari, spices and groundnuts (peanuts).

Most of the published information on the tohoungodo is stated in terms of the mass of commodities, not capacity. Comparing masses of various commodities given in source 1 both for a liter and for a tohoungodo leads to an estimate of 1.12 to 1.67 liters.

Source 1 (see footnotes) describes a tohoungodo of maize as weighing 0.99 kilograms. Source 2, who did her field work in 2004, describes it as about 0.75 kilogram of maize. Source 3 repeats source 2's table of units almost word for word, but changes the mass to “about 1 kilogram of maize”. Several sources give a density of 810 grams per liter for maize in these markets. A kilogram of maize would thus occupy 1.23 liters, which agrees pretty closely with the first estimate above.

There is an inconsistency in the sources. Both sources 1 and 3 say that a “bassia daho” contains 45-46 tohoungodo, and that the sac, ostensibly of 100 kg, contains 3 bassia daho. If that is so, the 100-kg sac holds 135 to 138 tohoungodo, making the tohoungodo 0.74 to 0.72 kg, in agreement with source 1 but not with any other source. More information is needed.

This unit appears to be identical with tongolo, described by source 4 as 1.322 liters. Source 5 describes two tongolos, and takes into account the extra amount, the brassée, sometimes given by the seller: 1.12 liters without brassée; with one brassée, 1.8 liters; with 2 brassées, 2.45 liters. The larger tongolo is 1.4 liters without brassée; with one brassée, 1.9 liters; with 2 brassées, 2.25 liters.

1. Technical Factors..., 1972, page 132.

2. Thérèse Wagner.
Le lio, un produit de terroir – Analyse des systèmes de production du lio à Abomey et Bohicon
Working Paper Number 50.
Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz

Page 19. This paper is available online at

3. Tossou R., Vodouhè S., Assogba M., Fanou J., Kouévi A.,
Dynamique d’urbanisation à Abomey-Bohicon (Bénin): opportunités et contraintes pour la filière maïs,
Working paper Ecocité n°10
UAC, Abomey-Calavi, FSA, March 2007

Available online at

4. Equipe ONASA.
Guide: Saisie des donnees prix a partir des fiches de travail des enqueteurs de l'observatoire de l'ONASA
RUN 1280. Published online 31 October 2002.

Access by entering the paper number in the searchbox at Preliminary estimates of units in local markets are given in a spreadsheet accessed through the link UM.xls in Further Documents. Retrieved 31 December 2007.

5. Republic of Benin, Ministere de L'Agriculture de L'Elevage et de la Peche.
Bio Sourokou, presenter.
Diffusion des informations commerciales. Experience du PROMIC.
July 2006.

Access at Retrieved 30 December 2007.

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