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THE ADA AND EBEN SCEPTRES

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(Last update 06-09-2018)

Ada and Ehen are scepters and not swords as many foreign writers have mistakenly written or called these two objects. They are made 1 blacksmiths iron working guilds in Benin.

These emblems of authority were first introduced by Ogiso ‘Ere’ the second Ogiso about 16 A.D. - 66 A.D. Chief J.U. Egharevba, also confirmed that Ogiso Ere’ introduced these emblems of authority into the monarchical system of Benin.
Eben Sceptre
Ada Sceptre

Every titled chiefs in Benin are given ‘Eben’ and nor ‘Ada’. But ‘Ada’ may be delegated to any high ranking chief, such as the Uzama - king makers or Enigie who may have it and use it inside their domains but not to the Oba’s palace

'Ada’ seems to be more powerful than the ‘Eben’. While both Oba and the chiefs dance with ‘Eben’‘Ada’ is only carried by the ‘Emada’ pages during public appearances of the Oba. The Oba can never appear in any gathering without ‘Ada’ nor move about even in his palace without it.

At ‘Ugie’ ceremonies, the Oba touches his ‘Eben’ to his father’s altars dancing with it thus linking himself with the ancestors through the channels cleared by ‘Eben’. The ‘Ada’ symbolizes his rights and power to take human life.. ‘Ada’ was a part of furnishings and beautifying the father’s altars were it is expected to have the power of the ancestors and made it more powerful and enduring to control the cause of events. Proclamations are made with ‘Ada’. It is often feared to be very effective when an Oba uses ‘Ada’ to curse someone.

The Edos believe that the iron has the mystical power of what is called ‘Ase’ meaning ‘the grant of words coming true’ It therefore means that every proclamation made with ‘Ada’ in Benin must come to pass. The ancient custom that started about 16 A.D still persists today with ‘Ada’ and ‘Eben’
‘Ada’ and ‘Eben’ are made by ‘Igunekhua blacksmiths’ the bras-smiths can also make brass Ada and Eben with the exclusive permission from the Oba. These two emblems are never swords neither weapons for war but are weapons for authority proclamation and ceremonial.

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