Esan Minerals

Bookmark and Share
Last Update June 4, 2020

Esanland possessed some minerals that were explicated by the early settlers. Prominent on the plateau was the clayey soil that was excavated for various purposes. For example, there was the eating of the white kaolinitic clay eko by pregnant women. It was used mixed with some herbs as a drug for diarrhea. The practice of eating crusted clay originated with the knowledge that. Kaolin effectively combated morning sickness in pregnancy. It later acquired the erroneous reputation that it was nutritious Thus eko was much sought after and it was found in many part of the Esan plateau.

The kaolinitic clay eko was distinct from the white clay erhe that was mostly found in the lowlands. Like the Bini, the Esan used the white chalk orhe to propitiate the ancestors during burial, adornment of bodies and homes during festivals and ceremonies to herald good tidings. Unlike the crusted clay eko. erhe was powder when excavated until it was, moulded with some water added into sizes for various Purposes

The third type of clay unakpa is red and was used for building houses. This was typical of the freestanding mud wall of Esan architecture. It was the predominant soil in the plateau. It’s use was profound aid marked the Esan pattern of optimum use of resources in an ecological habitat. The red clay soil met the immediate needs for mud to build houses in Esan. . Such buildings lasted for generations. Apart from meeting a practical need, the red clay was believed to have protective qualities against evil. The Edo people generally believe that red is a threatening colour which has the power to drive away evil spirits. This red combined with white, was believed to bring peace and prosperity to the Esan home. It was in this vein that E. Ogie emphasized that the Edo man loves the gorgeous colour which his soil supplies.”
Apart from clay another mineral that was found in Esanland and exploited by the people of Ekpoma and Uzea as gold. Gold, unlike clay, is a precious metal and its exploitation was controlled through religious sanctions. Gold mining activities were carried out in the cover of the dark and its production fell into hands controlled by the earth — shrine priest. Hence, only a few people knew of the location of the supply of gold in Esanland. Despite the efforts to keep the mining of gold in Esan a secret.. Van Naerssen of the Dutch company and six. Akim slaves were sent by Oba Ozolua C1483 — 1504 from Benin to locate the source of gold in the Esan country. According to Alan Ryder, at Uzea three of them went with some servants of the Oba, the ruler and his council to all area where with great labour the slaves gathered a minute amount of gold dust. This was enough evidence for the Oba to launch a war against Uzea. It was in this war for Uzea gold that Oba Uzolua died in 1504 Esanland had minerals that attracted the settlement of people in the area.

Comment Box is loading comments...