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APPELLATIONS FOR THE OBA OF BENIN.

compiled by 

Segun Toyin Dawodu,

segun@dawodu.com

Benin history is full of rich traditions and one of such traditions is the habit of addressing the Oba by various appellations instead of his actual names as a sign of deep respect and awe. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Oba of Benin is known by several appellations as listed below:

 

EDO

ENGLISH

1

Ovbi' Umogun Oza

The Child of the Oba whose mother hailed from Oza

2

Ovbi' Ekpen N' Owa

The son of the home leopard

3

Ovbi' Adimila

The son of Adimila - who is next to God

4

Ikeja Orisa

Second in command to the gods

5

Agbaghe, N'Ovbi Olokun

Olokun's son, the cynosure of all mortals

6

Abieyuwa N'Ovbi Odua N'uhe

The son of the wealthy Odua of Uhe. (Uhe is Ile-ife, a town now in Yoruba land, founded by Ekaladerhan, the first child and banished son of Owodo, the last Ogiso of Benin)

7

Ovbi' Ada, Ovbi' Eben

The child of the owner of the Ada = scimitar and Eben = royal sword, Edo symbol of sovereignty.

8

Ovbi'Ekenekene ma deyo

The son of beauty that never fades.

9

Ovbi'Ekuaho N'Olo, Ovbi'Ekuabo N'Olo

The son of the rocky arm, the brave and powerful

10

Ovbie Ikpinhianbo kpuru no Gb'oduma

The son of the short fingered man that was still able to kill a lion

11

Nohien utete no gh'ughe s'omwan

The king on a hill, who sees more than everybody

12

Ovbi'Oghonwan nei bun aro

The son of the fearless, who looks without twinkling his eyes

13

Ovbi'ode, ode n'ohan ren mu' ete

The son of the warrior whose enemies got frightened at the announcement of the approach

14

Uku Akpolokpolo

The mighty that rules

15

Ovbi' Adolo no dolo uwa dolo utomwen

The son of the wise judge and peace maker who combined wisdom and wealth with long life

16

Ovbi' oven owie no gbaisi (erhan gba iri)

The son of the morning sun that covers everywhere

17

Ovbi' okpogunla, ogie no y'igho b'owa

The child of the womb of Akpogunla - the warrior who fought big wars and built a house of cowries

18

Oba n'osa

A king that is god to his subjects

19

Ovbi' otolo n'olomi; Ologberonmwon nei rie iruen, ebo, ayemwinre eminiminimini

The son of the water controller, the son of beauty itself, the starter of things and the person whose reign saw people with many tongues

     

 

SICKNESS OR INDISPOSITION

When the Oba is indisposed you described this in the following ways

EDO ENGLISH

1

Ehoho hoho vb'ode ugha

The wind is blowing (in the inner chambers of the palace)

2

Uhun v'ekpen vb'ato

The leopard is sick in the wilderness

3

Oni fi

The weather is cold

4

Amen bi

The rain is threatening

5

Oni gb'edo

Edo has cold

6

Owen bi vb'agho

The sun is being covered by cloud

7

Emwin zebagha

A bad thing is happening (when the illness was critical)

8

Ukpo na vi'iloi gbera gh'ugbekun

The year the iloi were removed from the Oba's harem to ugbeku

9

Ukpo na ru'emwin nekhua

The year the big great events were performed

10

Ukpo na y'unu kha vb'ere khare

The year Ewuare's predictions were repeated

11

Eko - z'eken

The stool has touched the ground

12

Orie igie no bunse

He had gone to where everything is surplus

13

Obu' enikao

He has gone to join his ancestors

 

BURIAL

When the Oba is interned, the following expressions are used

 

EDO

ENGLISH

1

Oto ri' orhue

The earth has eaten some chalk

2

Adole osorhue yi ne

The chalk has been kept

3

Aye egho y'oto

The ground has been paid some tributes

 

The period between the passing away and the announcement to the Binis(public) is regarded as the time the Oba is said to be carrying out some harvesting " OBA GHA DUGIE ORHO ". The uwangue acts as a regent until the Edaiken is crowned.