HISTORY: Tradition Demanded Oba of Benin to Be Buried with Live Men and Women after Death

Tradition Demanded Oba of Benin to Be Buried with Live Men and Women
Tradition Demanded Oba of Benin to Be Buried with Live Men and Women

HISTORY: Tradition Demanded Oba of Benin to Be Buried with Live Men and Women after Death

The Kingdom of Benin was a pre-colonial kingdom in what is now southern Nigeria, the kingdom of Benin still exists in Benin City, capital of Edo State Nigeria with Omo N’Oba N’Edo Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II as it’s current Oba.

According to the history of the ancient kingdom, the Oba has to be buried with live men and women who are believed to serve him as his servants in the after life.

Tradition Demanded Oba of Benin to Be Buried with Live Men and Women
Tradition Demanded Oba of Benin to Be Buried with Live Men and Women

The preparation of the Oba’s grave, which has several chambers used to occupy a period of about three months.

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As tradition demands the Oba is buried in a sitting position enthroned in state, in olden days, large number courtiers, male and female were buried alive with him to attend to him in the other world.

At that time also countless human sacrifices were required for the funeral rites but for the funeral ceremonies of Oba Ovonramwen , Oba Ewaka II, his son Oba Akenzua II the tradition was changed. Bullocks, dogs, sheep goats and fowls etc were used instead.

Immediately after the announcement of the passing away of an Oba the royal funeral rites known as emwin n’ ekhua, meaning “the big things” will start off.

The funeral rites last sometimes (at times three months) the elaborate ceremony are performed partly in secret and the open. Part of the ceremony is performed at the traditional palace ground of the Edaiken N’ Uselu, and other in the Oba palace as custom demands.

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As tradition of the Benins demands, all markets in Benin are closed buying and selling are carried out on verandas and side-street in order to minimize the hardship that the closure of market would bring on the people.

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