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PRE OBASHIP 1100 AD-1170 A.D

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IKALADERHAN

Ikaladerhan as we had already learnt elsewhere was the prince who was ordered to be executed by his father but through the hands of providence, he was freed. He went to Ughoton where he rnet the Okaevbo of the town who was kind to him. The man was Ozua who only a warrior but a great physician. He was a friend Owodo. He had foreseen that Ikaladerhan would be a king, and decided to prepare him for that position. He trained him as a native doctor, gave him all that would make him succeed as a king throughout his life. He was toughened by training as blacksmith, chief priest of Ogun and Osun - the gods of iron and herbs respectively, Ikaladerhan eventually became an herbalist, seer and diviner, after all these trainings. Ikaladerhan was known and called crowned prince of Ughoton and was respected as such.

Ozua. with the help of all the neighbouring villages at Iyekogba initiated Ikaladerhan to the mysticisms that are associated with divine kings He was regarded not merely as a prince or the crowned prince of Ughoton but he was also initiated into the various cult mysticism of the area. They knew that he was in a spiritual aural full of psychic forces.

According to Edo custom, when an heir is born there would be special rites performed on him at birth. As the heir to the throne, it is to be ensured that he does not die until he has becomes king. Hence the expression:

UWU I KE Oba ye Ediaken
Meaning ‘The heir to the throne
Will never die prematurely

Since the death of Odion the heir to the throne of Igodo, they had perfected certain rituals, particular care in preserving the life of any male child that is heir to the throne. Ikaladerhan had been ritualized by the people and the father Owodo had earlier presented him to the Nobles, Edionisen,Enigie, Ekaevbo, the Commoners in a general meeting, saying that “This is my first son, this is my edaiken and he will resign after me” wa ghee ogie uwa’‘Here is your king  and received and royal emblem.

This had been done long before he was condemned to death by his father under Pressure from Esagho. It meant that Ikaladerhan has been ritualized by special blood ties between himself and the people of Igodomigodo. He had been ritually tied with the lineage of the Ogiso kings and the Ohuede dynasty. Special cuts and marks had been made on his, body and blood rubbed with medicines. The blood and the medicines had the power to ward off evils and prevent death. These rituals gave him the powers and sanctions and special privilege to help to carry special burdens in life as a king.

In addition to the rituals which would make him ascend the throne of his father, he had annual rituals performed by the Chief priests of all the shrines in the land of Igodomigodo for him. He participated in all these rituals and ceremonies so as to strengthen his power and longevity. The ritual too, also ensures the dominance of the king and his followers in the society. The description of these rituals is too complex to be undertaken in .this work.

After three years in exile from the city of Igodomigodo Owodo knew then that his son was at Ughoton. Esagho made frantic efforts to persuade Owodo to make sure that Ikaladerhan was killed. All effort made were blocked Ozua at Ughoton. This made Ikaladerhan to flee from Ughoton to Erhua (along Ehor-Auchi road) his mother’s village It was later revealed that it was Queen Esagho that the oracle ask to be .killed not Ikaladerhan and since then the title of the first wife of any Oba in Benin kingdom  was never called esagho but Eson

At Erhua he was received with upon hands for this was the mother’s village. They were never happy about what happened to their child. He was respected and treated as if he was a king. His memory is still honoured till date at Erhua village.

n this town lkaladerhan underwent other rites of initiation as a diviner similar to that he received at Ughoton. He even received training in high divination or augury, foretelling the future and the art of geomancy, dividing by figures on earth. After these training, he now knows how to foresee things to come and uncover the past secretes of witches and sorcerers. The use of kola-nuts, lobes, shells or fruits. Wooden bowl, carved symbols of animals, drums, cowries, pieces of iron brass, bronze, ayo seeds, ivory, dices and water gazing. Iha or Oguega systems of divination were all learnt in this village.

This time Owodo had now realized that he was deceived by his wife Esagho. He then tried to persuade his son to come back but it was too late.

The prince escaped and left for Uhe land (Ife) where he was crowned king. He now assumed the appellation Ododuwa” derived from the Benin, word lmaghidoduwa.. meaning I have not missed the path to prosperity a reminiscence of his surprise at his emerging as a king in a strange land after having left his Benin home as a refugee prince.

EVIAN (1100 A.D. - 1130 A.D.) AND OGIEAMIEN (1130 1170A.D.)

Evian was a nobleman and a popular blacksmith. He had his workshop at Utantan (present Sokponba Road) but lived in the Irons meters and smiths quarters of Eyannugie near Okedo. He was a very skilled ‘iron worker, whose work was known to contribute to the growth of the economy since they manufactured work tools and implements of sundry uses

Since he resided near Okedo, he was very much concerned about the havoc and the insecurity the monster was causing in his quarters. He was a very brave man who devised a plan which he successfully used in killing Osogan

This brought relief to the people of the kingdom and they came to see Evian as a hero and saviour. This increased his popularity and songs were composed in praise of Evian such as:
I rrie orere erhamwen vbe iyemwen
I rrie ore re Evian ne urriebe

Meaning: I go to my parent’s home to play
                I go to warrior Evian‘s home to play

It means that people could now go out both day and night to Agbado market. Children can play on the moonlight in the evenings. In order to commemorate the events an acrobatic dance called Amufi was introduced.

Evian as administrator, ruled for 30 years and maintained peace and stability in the kingdom. It was the. Edionisen that made Evian to rule as Okaevbo after they had banished Ogiso  Owodo, to Ihinmwinrin. When Evian‘s end was near, he tried to persuade the people:to accepts  his son Irrebor as his successor. Some people in the kingdom supported the idea but others especially the Edionisen and other ambitious Nobles opposed it. They split into three groups. There was confusion when Evian died in 1132 A.D.

(1) The Traditional Royalists
They were the group of people who wanted kingship to continue. Their leader was Oliha and other Edionisen. They wanted the kingship line to continue because this is the only way stability could be maintained in the country. They believed that if power is given to the ordinary man in the country, slave grade would be brought back land ownership and wealthy nobles would confiscate the commoner’s property there will be segregation of the kingdom. Those Nobles in Iyekovia, Iyekorhionmwon, Isi and other areas would take over their areas.
The Edionisen also criticized the Odionwere or the rotation system. They contended that the Odionwere system of government had been tested. The system failed because they were too old and ineffective in administration.
The Traditional Royalists - edionisen had perfected plans to bring back Ikaladerhan to igodomigodo, so that the line will continue. Their hereditary position would also be stabilized.

(2) The Odionwere Royalists
These were a set of people who believed that the Edionwere system of Ogiso should continue. They also hated the republican and the ruling of the kings. They hated the kingship because power was in the hand of only one family. Whenever the crown fell either on the hand of a weak king or a tyrant there was always hostility leading to wars destroying the nation. They felt that Kings are despotic
In Odionwere system, no oppression, no civil war. They hated the republican because it is too radical and government may fall into hands of the wealthy nobles who might enslave the people and cease their property. There could be civil wars. There could be discontent and revolutionary land problems. Republican is known to perpetrate terrorism. They hated the republicans than the kings. They were of the view that if Odionwere system was not accepted, kingship should he restored

(3) The Republican Royalists
The republican royalists were the supporters of Ogieamien to continue to rule. They criticized kingship rule to be too regimented despotic and monarchical. They hated power being in one family line without a change. They believed that there must be change in anything we do in the world. Change is natural they said. They wanted adaptability because chances had been given to the kingship since 40 B.C.

They wanted to adapt republicanism and Ogieamien as a nobleman aristocratic looked polished and articulated gentleman was a good material they can use. They saw Ogieamien to have carried his adaptability to its logical conclusions by assimilating and trying to rule in accordance with the ideas associated with enlightened republicanism.

his they considered to be the political philosophy of monarchy to give room to republicans to rule with interest of the state and citizens in mind and by allowing the people of Igodomigodo to share in the government.

The republicans said that to serve the king was too difficult hence the term “Ogie Miamwen ne a ga” which came to be the name of Irrebor as “Ogieamien”.

The system of government the republicans wanted was the “plutocracy” which is the rule of the wealthy people in the society. It is a rule of the nobles where the poor will be poorer and the rich will be richer. The nobles wanted to gain back what they lost to Owodo’s reign when he dispossessed them of their landed property and freed their slaves. They saw that through Ogieamie’s republican plutocracy their lands which were the source of their wealth and the use of slave would be returned to them. They therefore had sympathy and support .his military force to deal with the situation. It was a gang of terrorist They were very bloody in their operations and they became known as ‘Red Terrorism’ They wore red cloth and operated mostly in the night .unless those who know how to use their signs. one was not free to come out in the nights.

The edionisen in particular were willing to find a way out of their problem. They were already aware that Ikaladerhan was living at Uhe and had contacted him for the restoration of the monarchy. They went but met Ikaladerhan who had become very old to come back. He was already 70 years old. But he decided to send his son Oromiyan to Igodornigodo. Also we are told that when Ikaladerhan arrived at Uhe, he became the Ododuwa of Uhe which meant that he was already a king. Before Ororniyan came Ogieamien was already ruling Igodornigodo as a republican state. He ruled for 40 years (1130 A.D- 1170 A.D)                     

THE OLD UHE (IFE AND BENIN)

For some 150 years there has been the tendency among writers and none writers to confuse Uhe with IIe- Ife. This is not true. The Uhe that ikaladerhan settled and became Ododuwa had ceased to exist after it had been sacked during the period of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The rise of city states in Hausa land and in Northern Nigeria also drove people towards the south and no doubt, the people of the present Ife may have migrated from the old Uhe which was known to the people of Evbuoto, The Edo people had the strong feeling that the present IIe-Ife is not their own Uhe- Ife to which series of visits were made during Ogiso periods.

Some writers like J.J Brown wrote in 1857 that the old Ife as Uhe lay at a place bordering on the great water of river Niger and not the present location. John Afonso de Aveiro in 1486 reported that the Bini monarch had political and cultural relationship with a great monarch of the interior whose title was Oghene and whose seat was 3—months journey to the East and North of Benin.

North East of Benin is the area from Uhumwode, Idah, Lokoja, Bida near the regions of the Great water of Niger. O.S.B.Omoregie (1974), P.A. Omoroguwa (1989), and writer on Benin history had all confirmed N:E location of Uhe and other developments. A prominent Yoruba historian J.O George (1895) had earlier warned that the present town of II-Ife should not be taken as the original IIe-Ife and that the Older was much further in the interior and the interior might as well be this N.E location is yet to be unearthed by archaeologist and historians. But A.F.C Ryder in (1968) while commenting on Ife Benin relations have already pointed the likely location by contending that the present Ife is not the Ife referred to by Benin. But the one in the Nupe-Igala area which he described as lying between Ida and Bida. Thus it was not in the present IIe-Ife that Ikaladerhan became Oduduwa, but the old Ife that moved to the present place as a result of slave trade and rise of the Hausa state.

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