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a. His arrival and settlement
At the time Okpame arrived the site he called Odorlerle, there was a mere open land, isolated and “quiet’. To someone not used to such an area it was cool, awful and dreadful. It could not have been otherwise because there were no signs whatsoever of any earlier human existence there. Excepting for a few paths of animals which themselves did not appear to frequent the place, there were neither graves nor human skeletons it was at last not land of the dead but and of “the unknown”. There were however, some streams around on lregbe river basin.

kpame and his uncle Obazuwa who were invariably taken as the Ieaders of the immigrants had no option but to make themselves leaders of their followers as subjects. They had to behave, and to comport themselves as greatly courageous. They did not allow their initial fight to show on their faces; they displayed extreme joy for safely arriving at where they took as their providence - guided destination. There was no question whether or not the land was where they should settle, It was, and they settled. The leaders gave instructions as well as led in setting up camps. Whatever inconveniences they might have experienced at their ‘new’ place of settlement or home, were nothing to compare with the totality of all that made them leave Benin. At Odorlerle, they had freedom and greater rest of mind,  unlike in Benin before they migrated; they easily reached their leaders. had talks or issues and had satisfaction in their relationsbips The leaders and the led had cordial dialogues and pleasing decisions. Orders From their leaders were rare, and accepted in good faith.

In course of setting down, the people thinned down considerably by death. If babies arrived the destination along with them. they must have been much fewer and weaker than the adults whose primary purpose of embarking on the journey was escape from Edo. They were not sure of the route; but dogged decision to move on made them endure whatever hardships they experienced in cutting their way on-ward. The treckking from Benin to Odorlerle alone was tedious and tiresome, much more with other exertions along the journey whicch was not a familiar one nor through a beaten path.

They did not arrive Odorlerle to rest; work to them began in earnest, they made their settlement considerably comfortable. Inconveniences were seen as opportunities for endurance and energizing. Other migrants continued to leave Benin through different directions. It was some of these who traced the footsteps (so to say) of Okpame’s group, and having found the people. Settled and happily decided to stay with them. As time went on, the settlers increased in great numbers just as the huts did, to make shelter and accommodation available for all.

Life in Odorlerle became quite interesting moreso when labour in setting up huts was communal. Each person was his brother’s helper. The people readily formed large kindred. No one was treated as a stranger, and they loyally regarded Okpame and his under as their leader. To Okpame, this was a dream come through.

Food and other essentials neither did not run out.,Whatever they had was enriched with the abundance of leaves (vegetables), fruits and seeds of all kinds, and tuberous roots they found edible and which later they began to cultivate for food. As for meat, this was assured and readily available from edible insects and worms, rodents and birds, eggs, fungus, other animals as well as fishes etc in the nearby streams. There was no cannibalism in Benin where they came from, so the idea of man-eating-man in Odorlerle was unthinkable, unknown and unpracticed.

In fact, they helped themselves with as much of health care they learnt under their trusted leaders who were not only great hunters but also great healers. We are told that the people gave their dead colleagues simple but decent burials - out of vultures’ reach.

b. The Introduction of Edi as morning greetings
The language the settlers spoke at Odoslerle was Edo which they knew and used in Edo. This remained so for quite a long time, running into years. But there was a particular palace word not for utterance outside the palace and not for use outside specific occasions. But Okpame being a prince and aware of this restraint felt free in far away land, Odorlerle, and decided to adapt the word and introduced it first to his uncle for use by both of them, then later by all  in Odorlerle.

The word became Edi It was used as morning greetings between Okpame and his uncle; both of them being hunters The word also became used as call-word whenever both hunters hunted to different directions with considerable distance between them. They used the word if one required the help of the other to trace or kill escaping prey or to call the other to return to camp. The word was said ordinarily at speech level or loudly, prolonging the end-syllable i.e. di. or adding /0/to it for Edi – i-i or Edi-o-o, in accordance with the supposed distance between the caller and the called.

Much as Edo Language still remained spoken by the people, Edi attracted both men and women alike and, without any formality, the Obowie they brought for good morning went into disuse. This change is regarded as the remote beginning of replacing Edo words with words which increased to become Ora dialect.

Edi was strictly morning greetings, among the people for many years it later became used also in two other ways, said if someone wished to introduce a matter to an audience which may be one or more persons, and said simply as “thank you”. Everybody soon learnt that Edi was not said at odd times. It was strictly and initially a morning greetings said by the males.

C.  Okpame’s main activities on setting down
Okpame’s engagements in Odorlerle according to oral narration covered very wide areas. He became fully regarded as the leader in all spheres of the community’s life While he found time to go out to hunt and move outside base as a lover of adventure, he was very much occupied with governance and healing at home. He did all the couldd to ensure he had well-led, healthy and happy subjects for availability at his beck and call, not as slaves but as hands for service
Suffice it to pick the following as the main areas which kept him busy:

¡. Administration: Okpame left Edo land a banished prince. He was too young to have been appointed to fill any administrative post before he left. Necessity imposed some administrative wisdom upon him as he, with his team of all.comers, went through unfamiliar, at times non-ex existing route to the unknown. He did not know the different people who went with him yet he did not leave them to fully be on their own. In one accord under good administration, they went with him till they who survived the tedious journey arrived, their destination. This was due to a creditworthy administrative expertise among Okpame ‘s attributes.

Settlement into huts and shelters which demanded good organization could not have been without the leader’s role. Mention was made earlier on of communal labour. The success of this could not have been under a bad administration. Increase on population is always a preceding factor for complex social problems. As a decreasing population is a source of worry to anyone who aspires to build a kingdom so a heavily populated community is why heads of governments sleep with one eye. In Okpame’s case, he had the unique advantage of no one daring to frustrate their communal joy and his ambition. The prince also used the loyalty of family heads and elders to assist in areas appropriate to their status. Petty quarrels and some family matters were handled by these ‘deputies’ while the prince and Obazua had more time to concentrate on more important matters.

¡¡. Farming: Most leaders know the advantages of farming. Olcpame and his men loved farming and made as many of the able bodied members of the community go into farming. Thanks to providence, for every one mouth to eat there are two hands to work. A leader like Okpame would definitely not condone laziness or non-productivity among his followers. We are also told that farm-care and farm harvest were on communal basis. He did not allow anyone to beg or borrow since there was enough for all

Up to the end of the 15th century, these settlers enjoyed the advantage of being alone to the area. There was thus no fear of invasion, so most hands were free for farm work. Harvests were not sold (no markets), and nor sent to Benin (as tributes). Back was already turned to Benin; relationship was already informally broken or really no longer necessary as at then, so the settlers had all the harvests to themselves. What to do with the surplus was perhaps the problem, not how to find enough

ii. Hunting: Okpame with his uncle devoted much time to hunting which they loved so much. Hunting gave Okpame an added advantage of undertaking his interest in adventure. Most times the two hunters went to the bush in the same direction while only rarely they went in different directions. They often covered great distances. They had no definite route as such, so they trailed the footmarks (akpo in Ora) of wandering or escaping animals. It was of course not every time those animals were caught or killed, their call-word as already noted if the hunters went to different directions was Edi: if one shouted Edi, he listened to hear the response Edi and from which direction. They had medicine to deal with almost every hunting situation. Carrying the gun into the bush was the least of their hunting duties; they know where to hide, when to dare particular animals, how to become invisible to any animals which might wish might confront them, etc

One  day, in the course of one such distant hunting trips away from base, Okpame and his uncle saw the ordinary type of smoke rising from below and gliding skyward in obedience to the prevailing wind. There was no path or road to its unseen starting point, but they decided to go towards it, find it and think about how it began there. It was a tedious job getting near it, hunting changed into adventure, extreme caution and vigilance at watching signs became most useful. They picked unfamiliar items for study. They were thereafter, as well, on an  exploration.

On approaching the smoke the daring hunters heard the voice of human beings, Who the persons were. what they were about, where they came from or lived in and how to communicate with them, to mention a few, were the questions which immediately ran through their minds. They stayed for a while to be sure that they saw clearly what caused their surprise and their eagerness to find out what could be around it they spoke in whispers but with confidence. They at last, decided to walk towards it. They hated going back without good reason so to do. Hear Amu on where the voice of human beings came from (a farm). “Prince Uguan and his friend with hope to die or live, stepped into the farm, and immediately the farmers saw them, they ran away thinking them to be cannibals” .

The hunters were always quick to take decisions. They agreed there was no running back. Forward they must go and forward they went. They also agreed to confront the people and, in whatever way possible, communicate with them. Their confidence was based in Okpame’s palace, Obazuwa’s wisdom and advice and most importantly, their oracles which they always regarded as their gods. As they went they made sure that they observed how the winds blew. how and where on their path branches or leaves fell the  cries of passing or perching birds, and even whether or not ants on a row gave any warning . They neither heard nor saw any warning signs. In spite of their hidden fears, they always felt that it was they themselves whom other creatures should fear.

Obazua thought of something He knew Okpame would rather than talk strike if he suspected any hostility. The suggestion was put to Okpame that both of them on meeting the farmers should together and at the same time shout their call-word Edi, and repeat it a number of time without showing any signs of quarrel or fight. lf they sensed non-agitation, then way was opened for communication of some sort otherwise the alternative was to respond to any challenge and fight. certainly not to run away or beg for pardon They were not the stuff any fellow humans would capture and enslave, not even to frighten, capture and humiliate.

Okpame accepted the suggestion and added that the show of a white piece of cloth was enough to complement their peace greetings. In banishment, it was only Obazuwa who called Okpame by the alias name Uguan. In Odorlerle, virtually all the settlers (following the usage by both hunters) took Uguan for the revered oracles. So when the hunters said Uguan we Edi’ it was dthe same as the oracles say Edi. Uguan was therefore synonymous with the motionless oracles at base. This idea was put into good use to convey to the farmers the impression that the hunters were only errand men for the oracles (Uguan) who was always at their base, securely guarded, Waiting for reports from the hunters.

At last, the farmers saw the hunters more clearly, they were human beings just like themselves. They heard them shout repeatedly both Edi and Uguan we edi The people nevertheless had suppressed fears if the hunters could not be deceivers But the hunters’ Uguan in edi Was not entirely strange to the farmers whose dialect was somehow similar in voicing Yet the later did not stop, they ran faster homewards This gave the hunters great encouragement to press on behind the farmer’s heels. Oral hand-down went further to state that the hunters felt that the fleeing farmers with their people could be captured partly to people their settlement and partly lo be available as service-hands. They thus followed them into their comparatively well established settlement, which turned out to be Uokha. This was the same Uokha which the hunters knew about in history as folklore; they had no idea where it was. But with this discovery, the hunters rejoiced greatly at what their adventure had yielded them.

¡v. Adventure: Just mentioned is how a hunting outing became an unplanned adventure. Thenceforth, most of their later hunting trips became inseparable from adventure, and in preparation for which they properly equipped themselves. They always watched out for the response to their ‘Uguan we edi’ and the waving of their white piece of cloth. So, welcome or war, they were prepared

A  repeat in some details of their experience on reaching Uokha is necessary. To the hunters’ great surprise, the meeting of both groups of people at Uokha was peaceful. They interacted well using both verbal and non-verbal expressions in communicating among themselves. To Okpame it was great joy meeting with men who brought memories of their ancestral home (Edo) and who became brethren in exile.

Okpame and Obazua with their men were overwhelmed with their welcome. They however, had settled at Odorlerle. The two peoples agreed to live happily together in spite of their being in separate locations with a not too far distance between them Their later parting was good. The adventure was great especially because their coming together was not through hostility nor conquest. It was purely accidental which implied that the hand of die Great Planner was at work.

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