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Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. - Culture (4) - Nairaland

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Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 7:43pm On Mar 05, 2011
1. Nobody is denying influence from Ife to Benin, but which particular artworks are you talking about? The vast majority of Benin and Ife artwork are quite different in even their material composition, not to talk of artistic style. If you mean the depiction of Ife characteristics in figures in Benin bronzes, that's to be expected since they were linked. Nobody is saying there was no link. The question is whether Benin initiated the link with Ife even before Oranmiyan.

2. The Portuguese never made contact with Ife. There are several pre-Portuguese Benin bronzes.

3. With regard to Oduduwa, "On the story that the Benin people went to Ife to ask for a king, Akenzua asked,  “How can a group of people you do not know before just come to you and demand for a king and you[b] will just give your eldest son to them[/b] – to go to the land you don’t know to  be their king?  Simple reasoning will tell you that it is not true." (Prince Edun Akenzua). That's part of what the issue of Oduduwa is about. The claim that Oranmiyan just agreed to go and Oduduwa agreed to send him when there was no prior link with Benin arouses skepticism.

4. What does the slave trade have to do with anything? You do know that Ife had little or nothing to do with the slave trade and Benin had little to do with the slave trade?

5. Who did Oduduwa send to the Ijaw?

6. My main point was that you can't rely on Jacob Egharevba as the Ooni of Ife and his partisans have been doing for their argument.

7. Does the cultural exchange from Hausa to Nigerian Fulani imply that the relationship between Hausas and Nigerian Fulanis is like what the Ooni of Ife thinks the relationship between Ife and Benin was?
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Nobody: 8:57pm On Mar 05, 2011
Trying to change history is futile. Study the ife bini artworks again and get back to me. So what do you think the portuguese were looking for on the west african coast? Bubble gum?
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by fstranger3(m): 9:20pm On Mar 05, 2011
^^^^

Good one Tpiah. Dont mind PhysicsMHD. He is trying to tell us our history instead of working on improving Schroedinger's flawed equation.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 9:33pm On Mar 05, 2011
How do you know history wasn't already changed? The issue is that the first version of history proffered as authoritative was neither logical nor was it promoted by people who were unbiased towards certain quarters.


And please don't tell me that common symbols of mud fish, ram's heads, etc. in art are evidence of exchange in artworks because those animals are prominent all over Nigeria and are found in different Nigerian art for that reason. Mudfish can be found in Nok art, rams in Ikenga, etc.  
The overwhelming majority of Ife and Benin bronzes, apart from those that seem religious, do not have similar themes and motifs. For example the cross motif so important in Benin bronzes is absent in Ife work.




However, if people in Benin could make Ife style art as late as 1880, when Ife's prominence was nonexistent, it doesn't follow that the reason that Benin artists ever made Ife style art was because the story the Ooni of Ife asserted was true.

My real question is how you conclude that cultural exchange from Ife to Benin in art supports the view of the Ooni of Ife and his partisans.

Let's see:


“By and large, since evidence of an Ife stylistic influence has yet to be convincingly demonstrated, a new and independent chronology is needed for Benin art, and this should be structured on internal evidence, rather than on an assumed continuum of Ife naturalism” - Babatunde Lawal, THE PRESENT STATE OF ART HISTORICAL RESEARCH IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS AND POSSIBILITIES, Journal of African History, XVIII, 2 (1977), pp. 193-2I6


“As for the Ife-Benin succession in bronze casting, recent analysis of mould- and core-stuff does not seem to support the tradition.” - from Sources of Yoruba History (1973), p. 163, edited by Saburi Biobaku


You said it was all about the slave trade in a topic about Ife and Benin, not about West Africa and Portugal. Bizarre.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 9:40pm On Mar 05, 2011
fstranger3:

^^^^

Good one Tpiah. Dont mind PhysicsMHD. He is trying to tell us our history instead of working on improving Schroedinger's flawed equation.


The truth is that people were trying to tell Benin their history without taking in all accounts.


And when the "Yoruba tribal marks drawn and then washed off an Oba of Benin during coronation" lie got published in a supposedly authoritative history of Nigeria by a British historian, you have to wonder about the validity and objectivity of such history.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Xfactoria: 11:26am On Mar 07, 2011
PhysicsMHD:

How do you know history wasn't already changed? The issue is that the first version of history proffered as authoritative was neither logical nor was it promoted by people who were unbiased towards certain quarters.


And please don't tell me that common symbols of mud fish, ram's heads, etc. in art are evidence of exchange in artworks because those animals are prominent all over Nigeria and are found in different Nigerian art for that reason. Mudfish can be found in Nok art, rams in Ikenga, etc.
The overwhelming majority of Ife and Benin bronzes, apart from those that seem religious, do not have similar themes and motifs. For example the cross motif so important in Benin bronzes is absent in Ife work.


However, if people in Benin could make Ife style art as late as 1880, when Ife's prominence was nonexistent, it doesn't follow that the reason that Benin artists ever made Ife style art was because the story the Ooni of Ife asserted was true.

My real question is how you conclude that cultural exchange from Ife to Benin in art supports the view of the Ooni of Ife and his partisans.

You said it was all about the slave trade in a topic about Ife and Benin, not about West Africa and Portugal. Bizarre.



In the bolded: Thank God you mentioned Ife's influence on religion-inclined Benin arts. I wrote the following in my previous post:

"Oduduwa came to Ife with so many deities that were not known in Benin history. There are more influence on the Benin culture by the Yoruba culture which were attributable to Oranmiyan's sojourn in Benin for some time. Chief among this culture transfer is the Ifa Oracle and some Ife arts assimilated into the Benin arts. There are no known ancient Benin deities or spiritual beliefs that were present in Ife. This would have been impossible if Oduduwa was from Benin because he was a serious spiritual priest. In fact, record has it that in the 365days in a year, there is only one day in which sacrifices are not made in Ife. Oduduwa instituted this and it is still so till today"

Again I ask you, Is it possible that Oduduwa was a Benin prince who came to Ife to rule the people there without influencing their religion?? If the answer is no, how come no Yoruba deity has any Benin origin and how come we can find deities in Benin with Yoruba origin, at least we know of the Ifa oracle

Waiting for your response,
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Xfactoria: 11:50am On Mar 07, 2011
PhysicsMHD:

A few points:

1. Please read http://www.edo-nation.net/edoghimioya1.htm with regard to the Ooni of Ife and the Western region, and with regard to the many biases of Egharevba to get a good idea of what some of the problems are with accepting the version of the Ooni of Ife.

2. Also, it should be noted that Michael Crowder, who worked extremely closely with J.F.Ade-Ajayi , another Yoruba historian, was directly responsible for concocting the fabrication that Yoruba tribal marks were drawn on to the Oba of Benin's face during coronation and then wiped away. This story, with no evidence of originating from Benin, was promulgated by a British historian (Crowder) who just so happened to be affiliated with Obafemi Awolowo University (then known as University of Ife) and just so happened to have close ties to Ade-Ajayi. The story was later published as though it were actually true in a later edition of Crowder's The Story of Nigeria (1978) despite the fact that Crowder never witnessed the videotaped 1979 coronation of Oba Erediauwa or the earlier 1933 coronation of Oba Akenzua II (Crowder wasn't even born in 1933). The significance of that is that there is already evidence of a British historian with close ties to Yoruba historians trying to distort Benin history.

3. I've addressed the head burying fable. It's simply not true. In fact, according to Egharevba's original claim, every third Oba's remains after Eweka I was buried in Orun-Oba-Ado near Ife on order of Oba Eweka I before his death and Oba Eweka I's remains were taken to Ife as well for burial. However, even by the list of Obas given by Egharevba himself, Oba Esigie died around 1547 according to Egharevba's estimate, and he was exactly one of the Obas who was was one of every third Obas after Eweka I. Yet I provided a quote from circa 1540, from a European explorer (Ramusio), which describes what happened when an Oba died - many people were buried with him, and this was already the ancient custom there. So much for the decapitation. A combination of Egharevba's own claims and written documentation already rules out his own made up story. Also I posted a link to an article (that google books link) in an earlier post which addresses this claim. It's also curious that in the first English edition of A Short History of Benin, and the Edo language version that preceded it, he claimed that Oba Eweka I was buried in Usama, in Benin, and made no mention of Eweka I or any other Obas being buried in Ife but asserted the Ife burial idea in the second edition of the book.

[b]4. Jacob Egharevba never said explicitly that Oduduwa was ethnically Yoruba. In the first edition he merely said that Oduduwa was the forefather of the Yoruba kings and sent his son from Ife to Benin. Nobody is actually arguing with that, it's about who Oduduwa was and where he was from. In the second edition (1953), Egharevba said the Binis journeyed from Egypt, stopped at Ife, and founded Benin. This had earlier been stated in a colonial intelligence report (Intelligence Report on Benin City (1938)) in which he had been involved. He also repeated this in The Origin of Benin (1954).The implications of this statement by Egharevba are quite clear. A whole group of Bini “Egyptians “ just settled in and then left another city/kingdom and left no traces or influence? Of course not. It's implicit in his statement that although Benin as a prominent city came after Ife's prominence (although both cities are of similar antiquity), the Binis did something at Ife during its early days or the Binis in ancient times initiated the link with Ife that they would use at the end of the Ogiso dynasty. This was in the 50s, long before any complaints about the version recently advocated by Erediauwa. It's quite different from the version recently advocated by Oba Erediauwa but the implications are similar. The main thing to realize though, is that Egharevba in his histories was never describing anything like what the current Ooni of Ife and some other people are claiming with regard to an ethnically Yoruba origin for the present dynasty. It was Egharevba, after all, that stated that Oduduwa was not Yoruba in 1975.[/b]

5. The claim that Egharevba or the older historians didn't introduce convenient manipulations into their interpretations of history is simply not true. They took some stories, ignored others, and molded what they accepted into coherent histories with a little bit of ingenious theorizing. With regard to art, for example, Egharevba claimed that bronze casting was introduced to Benin in the 14th century from Ife. However, not only was a bronze bracelet dating from the 12th century found at Benin by Graham Connah, other Benin bronzes were found that have been dated to be over 900 and 950 years old by thermoluminescence, making them as old as any known Ife bronzes (which are often ascribed dates of 12th-15th century, but some are actually from even later than that). See http://www.galerie-herrmann.com/arts/art3/Ife_Benin/index_eng.htm#top for more. William Fagg's and Frank Willett's ideas about the origins and dates of various pieces of Benin art do not stand up to scrutiny - and they based most of their claims on Egharevba's writings.

For example, see http://www.galerie-herrmann.com/arts/art3/Ife_Benin/08_Kopf_gr_m/e_Benin_450J.htm about Egharevba's false claim on the date that the headdress with “earflap” like projections was first used by an Oba. He stated that this style of crown was introduced by Oba Osemwede in the early 19th century and this was accepted uncritically by Frank Willett and then repeated in multiple other books on Benin or its art. However, it is clearly depicted on a 16th century memorial head of an Oba. Additionally, the bronze dwarfs were usually held by art historians like William Fagg and Frank Willett who relied upon Egharevba's writings to be from around the 14th-15th century based on their supposed “Ife-like” realism and the idea that Benin art started off as being like that of Ife after bronze casting was transplanted there in the 14th century and then Benin bronze casting departed from Ife bronze casting gradually over time. In reality, the bronze dwarfs are much older, and date from around the 1000-1100s A.D. Egharevba's assertion about the introduction of brass ("bronze"wink casting from Ife in his second (but not first) edition of A Short History of Benin has long been a point of contention.


6. The claim that stories collected earlier, during the colonial era, were necessarily more factual than any later versions, doesn't make much sense from a historical standpoint. In the study of history, it's often the later books, interpretations, scholarship, etc., that are accepted as most plausible, well-researched, and sensible over the earliest theories, historical writings, and conjectures. A good example is Herodotus, the “father of history” who, writing from a limited perspective and with limited knowledge of the many cultures and groups he wanted to describe, wrote many things about different groups that simply were not true. Modern scholarship approaches his writings with a healthy dose of skepticism.

7. [b]The reason that I claimed that the version of history advocated by Oba Erediauwa may have been suppressed due to the socio-cultural atmosphere of the time, in which a part Yoruba, part Bini historian in the person of Egharevba may have been trying to solidify the links between Benin and Yorubas to the fullest extent and trying to make the Edos more closely “tied” to their neighbors by ignoring the other version of the Ekaladerhan story in his first version is that when Richard Burton visited Benin in 1863, he was informed that Benin had bequeathed “civilization” on the Yorubas in earlier times. This may or may not actually be true but what is clear is that they certainly had a certain view of things in 1863 yet it was never really reflected in Egharevba's first version from the 1930s, which shows that he had already not succeeded in incorporating all Benin histories in his accounts. The 1863 view, the story contained in Egharevba's second version from 1938 and the 1950s, and the 1970s version that Oba Erediauwa recently advocated in 2000 all link up into one more coherent picture of things in which Benin initiates the link with Ife before Oranmiyan. I think the weight of evidence, not only from a logical standpoint, but from the murkiness of the current Ooni of Ife's view of who Oduduwa actually was (actually descended from heaven? An Arab from Mecca? undecided ) makes me lean towards accepting the Ekaladerhan as Oduduwa version.[/b]

8. Ifa and Yoruba religion is held to have been introduced to Benin in the 17th century, so claiming that Yoruba influence on Benin was due to Oranmiyan, who didn't even stay in Benin and has always been held by both sides to have been frustrated out of Benin or to be frustrated with integrating into Benin (either one, makes little difference) and then to have gone and founded Oyo after this frustration, is pure fabrication and quite dishonest an approach to take.

9. The version advocated by Prince Edun Akenzua in the 1970s was never contradicted or denied by his father (Oba Akenzua II) while Oba Akenzua II was alive or by Egharevba, although both Egharevba and Oba Akenzua II, who were friends, were alive at that time.


The parts in bold:

Point 4: How possible is it that the Europeans only listened to Egharevba and the Ooni of Ife and ignored the Oba of Benin (the custodian of the Benin tradition and history and widely reverred as such) in accepting evidences for the story published in the European journal in 1938??

Point 7: Socio-cultural heritage induced suppression of a "true story of a people" with educated folks as far back as when the history was written?? Thats laughable!

Point 8: The Ifa oracle came from Ife to Benin through Oranmiyan. There are so many "odu-ifa" which lends credence to this. Their was no dating at that time so the 17th century date is utter falsehood. In fact, any argument on dates may be totally unreliable. Sequence of events sounds more plausible. Then to say that Oranmiyan barely stayed in Benin is not true as well. His son, Iweka was of age before he left Benin back to Ife. He watched the child grow and was convinced that he could hold forth before he left Benin. He also beaquethed the Ifa oracle to him to guide him.

Point 9: How can the Oba antagonize his son's falsehood aimed at salvaging their age-long bruised ego?? Does the fact that his father didn't antagonize him lend credence to the story told in 1970??

Please let me know what historians say about the age of Ife and Benin?
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Meyan: 4:46pm On Mar 07, 2011
The reason why I joined this discussion is to learn more for me to have a better understanding. So making empty statements without any back-up should be avoided.

In fact, record has it that in the 365days in a year, there is only one day in which sacrifices are not made in Ife. Oduduwa instituted this and it is still so till today"

^^^^^

Now, I avoided addressing this comment because I thought it was an empty one. But since you have decided to bring it up again, then it means you must really know what you are talking about and I am now interested to know.

If Oduduwa’s 364days rituals are still practiced today over 900 years after its initial inception, it must have become an institution that is well-defined with specific names, meanings, purposes and practices.

So please can you post the rituals for each day of the year? What they mean and their purposes? It will help me in understanding the mystery of Oduduwa.
Thanks in advance.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 7:22pm On Mar 07, 2011
X-factoria:

In the bolded: Thank God you mentioned Ife's influence on religion-inclined Benin arts. I wrote the following in my previous post:

"Oduduwa came to Ife with so many deities that were not known in Benin history. There are more influence on the Benin culture by the Yoruba culture which were attributable to Oranmiyan's sojourn in Benin for some time. Chief among this culture transfer is the Ifa Oracle and some Ife arts assimilated into the Benin arts. There are no known ancient Benin deities or spiritual beliefs that were present in Ife. This would have been impossible if Oduduwa was from Benin because he was a serious spiritual priest. In fact, record has it that in the 365days in a year, there is only one day in which sacrifices are not made in Ife. Oduduwa instituted this and it is still so till today"

Again I ask you, Is it possible that Oduduwa was a Benin prince who came to Ife to rule the people there without influencing their religion?? If the answer is no, how come no Yoruba deity has any Benin origin and how come we can find deities in Benin with Yoruba origin, at least we know of the Ifa oracle

Waiting for your response,

This is the kind of made up stuff that drives rationalists to criticize the original "authoritative" version of history proffered to us.


I have to ask a rational question with regard to distinguishing between which group originated which deity and when. How could you possibly know that there are Yoruba deities that were introduced in Benin at the time of Oranmiyan rather than much later? This is an unsupportable assertion on your part. The other unsupportable assertion is that Oduduwa introduced every single one of 400 Yoruba deities all at once, rather than these gods developing gradually among the Yorubas after he introduced some initial ones.

Take the Olokun deity, for example. There is no evidence that it was ever introduced from outside of Benin, unlike Ogun, which very likely derives from Yoruba Ifa due to its historical prominence in several places very far from Benin and even some places outside of Nigeria (such as Dahomey). Now Olokun on the other hand, is very highly developed, very central, and highly complex in Benin religion, but not detailed and not central in (standard) Yoruba religion, suggesting that Yorubas under Benin influence possibly adopted it into their pantheon of gods.

Take a look at these:

http://chiefdrdaryl.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/great-benin-influence-on-the-yoruba-in-the-americas/
http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Inspiration-Benin-Joseph-Nevadomsky/dp/1890157171
http://santeria.tribe.net/thread/9f2460e6-27ca-4c87-9014-366efb3ab935


"Two Origin Stories of Olokun Worship
While most Olokun initiates in Africa are female, the legends that mark the beginning of Olokun worship feature stories of men being their initial worshippers.

The Hunter
There was a hunter that resided in Urhoniigbe. One day he ventured off into the woods to find the source of distant singing and was met by a King and his court. He decided to stay awhile and at the invitation of the King participate in a spiritual ritual that was to take place. He ended up staying as the guest of the King (who is Olokun, if you haven’t guessed by now.) for the following three (3) years. During this time he learned the spiritual sciences and worship practices associated with Olokun. His family and neighbors assumed he was dead after being gone so long. They were surprised to say the least when he returned mute and dumbfounded (without the ability of speech or general sensibilities) carrying a water pot on his head. He only danced to the shock of townsfolk. Eventually the crowd that had gathered began to mock his dance and it started what was to become a 14-day tribute of ritual dancing to Olokun. At the end of this period the hunter began to talk again and chose to share some of his experiences. All skepticism about his story were eased as his began to do spiritual work that created positive results for those around him. He was named chief priest of Olokun at this point. Even until today, hunters re-act this famous prodigal son’s life with the annual festival and Ekabo dance. Urhoniigbe’s Olokun temple sits on the spot where he rested his Olokun pot/shrine on the 14th day.

The Palm Tree
In Ebvoesi, there was a boy named Omobe (rascal, troublesome child) that had great physical ability and was trained to be a wrestler. As he grew older his wrestling abilities grew stronger and before long he was considered the greatest wrestler in the world. At his birth the local priest/diviner warned his parents to not allow Omobe to climb palm trees. But one day while his parents were away he decided to climb a palm tree any way. From high up he could peer into the spirit world and he noticed that several divinities had gathered for a fantastic wrestling match! He immediately climbed down and made his way to the spirit world to test his own luck amongst a variety of spirits. He beat every opponent. Ancestors, Gods and all others lost at his hands, even Ogun. Finally he prepared to wrestle Olokun. While he summoned all of his physical strength, Olokun drew on His spiritual powers.
During the match Omobe attempted to throw Olokun to the ground, but instead Olokun ended up firmly attached to his head. All attempts at removing Olokun from his head failed and Olokun declared it His permanent abode as a sign of Omobe’s arrogance and disrespect towards the other spirits.

When Omobe returned home the local priest/diviner advised him to appease Olokun or die. So for seven days Omobe made sacrifice. On the last day Omobe was initiated as the first Olokun priest. After this Olokun loosened his grip on Omobe’s life.

It is said that Omobe’s lack of respect for his parent’s, and spiritual elders and the divinities had landed his in such dire straits.

Edo State, Nigeria

In Edo State of Nigeria, the people called Bini (Benin City) regard Her as the mother of all creation, so they worship Olokun. Olokun governs fertility, social status and wealth and as such is very popular. Every year in Usonigbe a festival is held for Olokun. This is considered one of the first places that Olokun shrines were ever be constructed."

http://www./?p=50



In particular, note this:

" "In fact, the Yoruba and the Afro-Cuban Lukumi systems
have fused several traditions found in Africa. Deities
from Dahomey (Obaluaye, Nanu, Nana Buruku, etc.) and
Benin (Olokun) are among them. In the case of the
deity known as Olokun from Benin, John Mason documents
that, ', in the 12th century A.D, , Prince
Ekaladeran, the only son of Ogiso Owodo, was banished
from Benin City by his father, and then founded the
town of Ughoton, established an Olokun shrine for
communal worship, and later introduced Olokun worship
among the Yoruba. Ile Ife is the only city in
Yorubaland where Olokun is actively worshipped', ;
this, despite the fact that Orisas are known to come
from many places throughout Yorubaland, Dahomey and
Benin.

In contrast, Olokun is widely accepted amongst the
followers of Cuban Palo and Lukumi traditions, and is
considered to be one of the most influential and
respect deities.
"Both the shrine sculpture and the sacred drums
employed by the Lukumi in Cuba, when they worship
Olokun, shows a direct link with the Edo of Benin" ---
John Mason, Orin Orisa, 1992 " - from Respecting &
Recognizing Established Afro-Cuban Traditions"

http://www.edofolks.com/html/pub120.htm


Yet I've never had the gall and arrogance to assert that John Mason's observation proves conclusively that Ekaladerhan of Ughoton went and spread Olokun worship to Ife when he got there and that this supports Akenzua's story. Why? Because I have no way of proving such a claim. It could easily be the case that Yorubas, including those Yorubas at Ife, adopted Olokun worship later, although it is also true that the Edo "culture hero" prince Ekaladerhan is very much associated with Olokun.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 8:23pm On Mar 07, 2011
X-factoria:

The parts in bold:

Point 4:   How possible is it that the Europeans only listened to Egharevba and the Ooni of Ife and ignored the Oba of Benin (the custodian of the Benin tradition and history and widely reverred as such) in accepting evidences for the story published in the European journal in 1938??

Point 7: Socio-cultural heritage induced suppression of a "true story of a people" with educated folks as far back as when the history was written?? Thats laughable!

Point 8: The Ifa oracle came from Ife to Benin through Oranmiyan. There are so many "odu-ifa" which lends credence to this. Their was no dating at that time so the 17th century date is utter falsehood. In fact, any argument on dates may be totally unreliable. Sequence of events sounds more plausible. Then to say that Oranmiyan barely stayed in Benin is not true as well. His son, Iweka was of age before he left Benin back to Ife. He watched the child grow and was convinced that he could hold forth before he left Benin. He also beaquethed the Ifa oracle to him to guide him.

Point 9: How can the Oba antagonize his son's falsehood aimed at salvaging their age-long bruised ego?? Does the fact that his father didn't antagonize him lend credence to the story told in 1970??

Please let me know what historians say about the age of Ife and Benin?


4. I don't think you understood my point about number 4. My point was that immediately after publishing the first edition of A Short History of Benin (1934), Egharevba took part in a colonial intelligence report (1938) in which he and five others claimed that the Binis were in Ife in ancient times before moving on to Benin. He later repeated this in 1953 and 1954 and later. My point is that Egharevba implied a link between Ife and Benin was initiated by the Binis before Oranmiyan. Yet nobody complained that he was contravening the "authoritative" history that he had helped establish in 1934. Now that Akenzua, Omoregie, and others come with a version that makes sense, others are complaining because it doesn't match up with their interpretations, yet they were silent when Egharevba continuously changed histories.

7. It's about there being the wrong educated folks, i.e. Egharevba's mentors and influences all being actually educated folks who all lean towards one story and him being far less educated. Do you know about Egharevba and Benin in this period? Let's see:

"Egharevba once posed a question to the oracle in 1936, at a time of rising
Nigerian nationalism: "Would Benin ever rise again to become a great and
populous empire, fight wars, and lord it over others?"''2
He received a positive answer-of course, the oracle told him what he
wanted to hear-but the very fact of posing it was a commitment to Edo nationalism,
as he and many others became nostalgic over the famous Benin
empire at a time of an imagined marginalization of their town in colonial
Nigeria. In the 1940s he lamented the slow pace of progress among the Edo.
In 1948 he berated many Edo for abandoning the ethnic cause and accused
them of despising their land of birth.2' For Benin to rise again, the people
must unite. He offered a major piece of advice in 1949:

Let us unite for the improvement of the country (Edoland) for unity is
strength. Let us leave off the saying 'I am for the Oba' and others 'I
am for the country'. Let us rather be saying we are for the Oba and we
are for the country.
There have been changes from time immemorial, because if there is
no change there will be no progress or improvement at all, whereas a
country without improvement is void.22"

- The Scholarship of Jacob Egharevba of Benin
Author(s): Uyilawa Usuanlele and Toyin Falola
Source: History in Africa, Vol. 21 (1994), pp. 303-318


"Egharevba probably did not do much research on the earliest period
before going to press. Moreso, he gave his manuscript (Ekhere)
for approval to Oba Eweka, who advised him to remove some materials.
19 When both Ekhere and the first edition of Short History were
published, he was challenged by many people, who criticized the
book for either distortion or bias towards the reigning dynasty.20


20: The late Chief D.N. Oronsaye (1914-1996) claims to have been one of those who
accused Egharevba of distorting Edo history before the revised and enlarged Short
History2 in 1953. See Oronsaye, An Ancient History of the Benin Empire and Kingdom,
forthcoming, preface. Egharevba alleged that he was accused of some bias towards
the reigning dynasty in his work, especially during the political crisis that engulfed
Benin in the late 1930s and early 1940s. See Egharevba, Itan Edagbon Mwen, 29."

- A Comparison of Jacob Egharevba's "Ekhere Vb Itan Edo" and the Four Editions of Its English
Translation, "A Short History of Benin"
Author(s): Uyilawa Usuanlele, Toyin Falola
Source: History in Africa, Vol. 25 (1998), pp. 361-386



8. Please stop making stuff up. The 17th century date is from a tradition that a prominent Queen Mother of Benin introduced the cult of orunmila to protect of her son  and ensure his ascension to the throne in the 17th century. That's something that was collected as an oral tradition by an American anthropologist/historian before this claim about Oranmiyan being some Ifa priest.

See this

http://books.google.com/books?id=LPHLodczsOQC&pg=PA235&lpg=PA235&dq=ogun+iron&source=bl&ots=qysL5lv1-y&sig=4ttzvTD1Whu7DW8PI_7vySnyuFw&hl=en&ei=6TF1Tbv0LvCw0QGr4-nEAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CC4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=ascension&f=false

for a specific quote.

If Ifa was in Benin since Oranmiyan (+/- 800 years), why are so many of the Yoruba gods (orisha) in Ifa unknown to Benin tradition? Why are the overwhelming majority of them obscure to Binis? Who's Obatala? Who's Yemaja? Who's Ibeji? Why do most of the Edo have no idea who these gods are? They know orunmila (god of fortune/divination), ogun (god of war and iron), and one or two others, but have and had no idea who the overwhelming majority of the Ifa deities are. Next time you make something up, try to make sure that it actually makes sense.

To say that Eweka was of age before Oranmiyan left is another outright fabrication that shows you've probably never even read the original  "authoritative" story that you've been here defending but instead are just making up as many things on a whim as could support your view. After Oranmiyan left Benin was controlled by the seven Uzama (who originally went to Ife to make the initial request) until Eweka came of age. Oranmiyan was long gone before the child was grown. It was these same Uzama that later crowned Eweka as king. There is simply no book, not even among those that advocate Egharevba's first story, as you do, that asserts that Oranmiyan stayed in Benin until Eweka was of age. This also makes no sense from a logical standpoint, if Oranmiyan was able to reign in Benin until Eweka was of age (13 or 14 years, at the very least), then why this stuff about him realizing that only a culturally Edo person could rule, integrate into the society, etc., without vexation and then leaving and going off to found Oyo? You do realize that the reigns of many of the Alaafins of Oyo and the Obas of Benin are held to have been less than 13 or 14 years, so why should he even have bothered to leave and found Oyo in the first place if he could reign for nearly a whole decade and a half in Benin? Once again, I ask that you approach things with some degree of rationality.

9. How can Egharevba sit back while his "authoritative" history is being eroded by the palace? He was being interviewed as late as 1975 about his thoughts on Benin history, so if he had something to say then about these new (1970) versions, why didn't he say anything? For the record, I pointed out #9 not because I think it has any significance, but because you kept asserting that the fact that the Obas of Benin (Eweka II and Akenzua II) consulted with Egharevba to some degree and didn't speak out against their first (1933, 1934) history means that they approved of every single claim that he made, which is ludicrous because by the same inane reasoning the Oba of Benin must have approved of every single later change to Egharevba's history by Egharevba himself and by others because the Oba didn't speak out against or oppose these versions. Oba Akenzua didn't say anything when Egharevba later introduced the claim that his ancestors were buried at Ife, despite the earlier writings of Egharevba specifically saying otherwise, so does that mean that the Oba (Oba Eweka II) who approved of the earlier writings in which Obas were buried in Benin was somehow some sort falsifier of the truth? (Pardon the language, for other people reading this, but that's the only way to put it, as that's more or less what's being implied about Oba Erediauwa.)

Also, I have to ask, if the Oba of Benin is "the custodian of the Benin tradition and history and widely reverred as such" as you stated, when you implied that the Oba of Benin's opinion on all of the history must have been incorporated into the first Egharevba account, then why is the current Ooni of Ife asserting that the heads of the kings of Benin were buried in Ife when Oba Eweka II somehow "forgot" to mention that to Egharevba when Egharevba originally had them buried in Benin in his writing?

Furthermore, if the Oba of Benin is the custodian of Benin tradition and history and is revered as such, how is Oba Erediauwa opting to go for a rational explanation and one which doesn't make Oduduwa as semi-mythical as in earlier versions, getting all sorts of passionate rebukes, even from J.F. Ade-Ajayi, who went as far as claiming that the Oba of Benin had no locus standi to say who his ancestor (Oduduwa) is likely to have been?


Also, what's this about age-long bruised ego? This might have escaped your attention, but Prince Edun Akenzua, like his father, is a descendant of Oranmiyan, so there is no version of the story, whether mine or yours, that could make him or his immediate family come out as "weak" or "inferior". He seems to think that the first story offered by Egharevba was illogical and he's on pretty firm ground there as far as Oduduwa giving away one of his sons to some unseen and unknown kingdom in "turmoil". If the first story is true however, it doesn't affect him in any negative way. In the same way that the Alaafin of Oyo is not, has never been, and will not be a vassal of the Ooni of Ife, and the current Alaafin will certainly not kowtow to the current Ooni, Prince Edun Akenzua's immediate family will never have to kowtow if the Ooni's version is somehow proven to actually be accurate.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Xfactoria: 12:46pm On Mar 08, 2011
PhysicsMHD:

This is the kind of made up stuff that drives rationalists to criticize the original "authoritative" version of history proffered to us.

I have to ask a rational question with regard to distinguishing between which group originated which deity and when. How could you possibly know that there are Yoruba deities that were introduced in Benin at the time of Oranmiyan rather than much later? This is an unsupportable assertion on your part. The other unsupportable assertion is that Oduduwa introduced every single one of 400 Yoruba deities all at once, rather than these gods developing gradually among the Yorubas after he introduced some initial ones.

Nobody, not even me can assert that Oduduwa introduced all Yoruba deities. There are over 400 of them and some like Oya, Osun, Sango (the god of thunder and former Alaafin of Oyo) were introduced much later as you pointed out.

However, I insist that the Ifa Oracle had been in Benin since Oranmiyan time. You do not have to agree. Go and study "Odu-Ifa" to get knowledge of this. It has wise sayings of Oranmiyan's activities in Benin.


PhysicsMHD:

Take a look at these:

http://chiefdrdaryl.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/great-benin-influence-on-the-yoruba-in-the-americas/
http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Inspiration-Benin-Joseph-Nevadomsky/dp/1890157171
http://santeria.tribe.net/thread/9f2460e6-27ca-4c87-9014-366efb3ab935


"Two Origin Stories of Olokun Worship
While most Olokun initiates in Africa are female, the legends that mark the beginning of Olokun worship feature stories of men being their initial worshippers.

The Hunter
There was a hunter that resided in Urhoniigbe. One day he ventured off into the woods to find the source of distant singing and was met by a King and his court. He decided to stay awhile and at the invitation of the King participate in a spiritual ritual that was to take place. He ended up staying as the guest of the King (who is Olokun, if you haven’t guessed by now.) for the following three (3) years. During this time he learned the spiritual sciences and worship practices associated with Olokun. His family and neighbors assumed he was dead after being gone so long. They were surprised to say the least when he returned mute and dumbfounded (without the ability of speech or general sensibilities) carrying a water pot on his head. He only danced to the shock of townsfolk. Eventually the crowd that had gathered began to mock his dance and it started what was to become a 14-day tribute of ritual dancing to Olokun. At the end of this period the hunter began to talk again and chose to share some of his experiences. All skepticism about his story were eased as his began to do spiritual work that created positive results for those around him. He was named chief priest of Olokun at this point. Even until today, hunters re-act this famous prodigal son’s life with the annual festival and Ekabo dance. Urhoniigbe’s Olokun temple sits on the spot where he rested his Olokun pot/shrine on the 14th day.

The Palm Tree
In Ebvoesi, there was a boy named Omobe (rascal, troublesome child) that had great physical ability and was trained to be a wrestler. As he grew older his wrestling abilities grew stronger and before long he was considered the greatest wrestler in the world. At his birth the local priest/diviner warned his parents to not allow Omobe to climb palm trees. But one day while his parents were away he decided to climb a palm tree any way. From high up he could peer into the spirit world and he noticed that several divinities had gathered for a fantastic wrestling match! He immediately climbed down and made his way to the spirit world to test his own luck amongst a variety of spirits. He beat every opponent. Ancestors, Gods and all others lost at his hands, even Ogun. Finally he prepared to wrestle Olokun. While he summoned all of his physical strength, Olokun drew on His spiritual powers.
During the match Omobe attempted to throw Olokun to the ground, but instead Olokun ended up firmly attached to his head. All attempts at removing Olokun from his head failed and Olokun declared it His permanent abode as a sign of Omobe’s arrogance and disrespect towards the other spirits.

When Omobe returned home the local priest/diviner advised him to appease Olokun or die. So for seven days Omobe made sacrifice. On the last day Omobe was initiated as the first Olokun priest. After this Olokun loosened his grip on Omobe’s life.

It is said that Omobe’s lack of respect for his parent’s, and spiritual elders and the divinities had landed his in such dire straits.

Edo State, Nigeria

In Edo State of Nigeria, the people called Bini (Benin City) regard Her as the mother of all creation, so they worship Olokun. Olokun governs fertility, social status and wealth and as such is very popular. Every year in Usonigbe a festival is held for Olokun. This is considered one of the first places that Olokun shrines were ever be constructed."

http://www./?p=50



In particular, note this:

" "In fact, the Yoruba and the Afro-Cuban Lukumi systems
have fused several traditions found in Africa. Deities
from Dahomey (Obaluaye, Nanu, Nana Buruku, etc.) and
Benin (Olokun) are among them. In the case of the
deity known as Olokun from Benin, John Mason documents
that, ', in the 12th century A.D, , Prince
Ekaladeran, the only son of Ogiso Owodo, was banished
from Benin City by his father, and then founded the
town of Ughoton, established an Olokun shrine for
communal worship, and later introduced Olokun worship
among the Yoruba. Ile Ife is the only city in
Yorubaland where Olokun is actively worshipped', ;
this, despite the fact that Orisas are known to come
from many places throughout Yorubaland, Dahomey and
Benin.

In contrast, Olokun is widely accepted amongst the
followers of Cuban Palo and Lukumi traditions, and is
considered to be one of the most influential and
respect deities.
"Both the shrine sculpture and the sacred drums
employed by the Lukumi in Cuba, when they worship
Olokun, shows a direct link with the Edo of Benin" ---
John Mason, Orin Orisa, 1992 " - from Respecting &
Recognizing Established Afro-Cuban Traditions"

http://www.edofolks.com/html/pub120.htm


Yet I've never had the gall and arrogance to assert that John Mason's observation proves conclusively that Ekaladerhan of Ughoton went and spread Olokun worship to Ife when he got there and that this supports Akenzua's story. Why? Because I have no way of proving such a claim. It could easily be the case that Yorubas, including those Yorubas at Ife, adopted Olokun worship later, although it is also true that the Edo "culture hero" prince Ekaladerhan is very much associated with Olokun.


These are conflicting stories of the origin of the Olokun. The Olokun as you described it above could be different from the Yoruba's Olokun (God of the Sea). The Olokun as worshipped by Yorubas is a water spirit in the Sea or the Ocean. Even the word Olu (god) and Okun (Sea) tells the full story of where it could have originated from. I seriously doubt the veracity of these stories attributing the origin of the Olokun to Benin judging its distance from the sea although I do not know the story on the origin of the Olokun.

Secondly, you cannot premise your acceptance of the two stories on the worship of the Olokun originating from Benin on the fact that it is widely worshipped there. I will give you a good example. The Eyo masquerade that is widely/popularly worshipped in Lagos originated from Iperu-Remo in Ogun State. The family that worship the masquerade in Iperu-Remo came to marry in Lagos sometime in the 19th century and the Eyo came with them and that is the family that later popularized it in Lagos. Today, the Eyo masquerade is the face of Lagos cultural heritage. You cannot ascribe origin to a particular place based on popularity there.

Similarly, though without certainty, the Olokun could have been one of the Yoruba deities introduced to Benin and made popular there.lol!

The second story on the Olokun and the John Mason story dating the origin to sometime in 12th century AD, could add up to mean that the Ogun deity predates the Olokun and had been present in Benin before the 12th century since Omobe - the prodigal boy, wrestled with it. So how did the Ogun find its way from Ife to Benin at that time and the Ifa Oracle only came to Benin several centuries later (17th century according to you)? You may wish to know that the Ifa Oracle and the Ogun deities are the most popular of all Yoruba deities from time immemorial and the most likely to be primarily exported to any other tribe or people.

Lastly, I found one thing constant in all your submissions. You easily qoute whatever the Europeans write about Benin that you find favourbale and utterly disreagrd ones that do not recognize the Ekaladerhan story (most especially) in which case you will readily posit that the story was false and inaccurate. Aren't you also quilty of what you accused Egharevba of doing?
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 7:21pm On Mar 08, 2011
@ X-factoria

You apparently posted either a very long response with many links or a very long article, hence the spam blocker banning you when it shouldn't have and not displaying your response. Email the antispam email like it says and you should be unbanned in a few days. Or you can just use a new user name with a different email.

Then take the article, and post it in separate (shorter) parts in this thread.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by bokohalal(m): 12:18am On Mar 09, 2011
Is it true that the Oonis after Oduduwa till the present are not direct descendants of Oduduwa as the Obas of Benin and the Alaafins of Oyo? If so, who is in a better position to tell their family history than the children? And why has the Alaafin been silent all this while?Does he know something he does not want the world to know so as not to upset some people who are advocating spurious irrationality as history? Can someone seriously take the 'history book' version of the origin of the present dynasty of Benin Obaship as established and absolute truth?The lacunas therein are not just glaring but ludicrous and meant to satisfy ethnic need. To make matters worse,Ife was not, has not and will never be a military or diplomatic power that will send send forth conquerors or bureaucrats to govern other people.The religious power it exercises are strictly limited to Ife.No Mecca.No Rome. No Olokun n'Urhonigbe.Why then would it attract a foreign people who from the foregoing, had absolutely no reason to go beg for a king?Common people. Ronu!
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 1:18am On Mar 09, 2011
bokohalal: Is it true that the Oonis after Oduduwa till the present are not direct descendants of Oduduwa as the Obas of Benin and the Alaafins of Oyo?


No. This is basically an old lie brought up by Oyo partisans during the Yoruba debates about the primacy of the Ooni vs. the Alaafin in Yorubaland.


Samuel Johnson distorted Yoruba history by claiming that the Alaafin of Oyo was the Alaafin of Ife (King of Ife) since ancient times and the title first originated as Alaafin of Ife before becoming Alaafin of Oyo. Even more bizarrely, he claimed that the Alaafin had overlordship over all Yorubas (false) and overlordship over the king of Benin. In fact, if he hadn't tried to make the claim that anybody called Alaafin ever had political overlordship over Benin he might have actually gotten away with his dishonest attempt to throw the Ooni of Ife into the dustbin of history and under the boots of the Alaafin. But the claim was so untenable that it made his whole story crumble in the face of all the research by scholars, both Western and from Nigeria, into Benin and Ife.

Samuel Johnson basically replaced the Ooni with the Alaafin in every instance that he could in his book.


This is why it's even more ironic when people rely on Samuel Johnson for the origin of Oduduwa, as it's pretty obvious that he concocted the idea that Ooni means son of a sacrificial victim rather than indicating a royal title, and most fantastical of all, wrote that Oranmiyan set out on an expedition against Mecca to avenge the expulsion of Oduduwa from Mecca but was stopped from using the route to Mecca by an army of black ants blocking the path!

I doubt whether Samuel Johnson ever even intended to write as accurate a version of history as he could, given the Mecca stories and the act of over elevating the Alaafin.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 3:06am On Mar 09, 2011
I just went through X-factoria's lasts posts by clicking on his profile and I saw the post that got banned as spam (because he quoted all of my post that had several links and was long).

Let's see.


X-factoria:

Nobody, not even me can assert that Oduduwa introduced all Yoruba deities. There are over 400 of them and some like Oya, Osun, Sango (the god of thunder and  former Alaafin of Oyo) were introduced much later as you pointed out.

However, I insist that the Ifa Oracle had been in Benin since Oranmiyan time. You do not have to agree. Go and study "Odu-Ifa" to get knowledge of this. It has wise sayings of Oranmiyan's activities in Benin.

So basically you just made it up despite it not making the least bit of sense and then assert and insist that it's true? And then mock the credibility of other people who have taken the time to think about whether the history insisted by others is true?



X-factoria:

These are conflicting stories of the origin of the Olokun. The Olokun as you described it above could be different from the Yoruba's Olokun (God of the Sea). The Olokun as worshipped by Yorubas is a water spirit in the Sea or the Ocean. Even the word Olu (god) and Okun (Sea) tells the full story of where it could have originated from. I seriously doubt the veracity of these stories attributing the origin of the Olokun to Benin judging its distance from the sea although I do not know the story on the origin of the Olokun.


More made up claims. The Benin Olokun is absolutely the god of the sea and not something different. Please stop attempting your own fake etymology and stop making stuff up. Olokun has the same meaning in Edo and in Yoruba (these are related languages) and it is Olo (owner) Okun (sea) contracted into Olokun (owner of the sea). I see you didn't even bother to read my links which discussed this. There is no such thing as "Olukun". There is no reason to just keep making stuff up. Yes there is a Yoruba story about the origin of Olokun and there is a Benin story and I never said that either one was authoritative; rather, I said that there is no evidence that Olokun originated from outside of Benin, yet it is prominent in certain parts of Yorubaland, so your religious argument holds no weight.

I find your claim about Benin and the sea even more ludicrous than your false etymology. If you had bothered to learn more about Benin before joining this debate you would have known that the Edo believed that they were forbidden to cross water because of their belief in Olokun. They believed the sea separated the world of the living from the world of the dead (the spirit world). No surprise then that they relied upon Itsekiri and Ijaw for much of their maritime trade with Europeans. This means all Edo, not just those actually in the city of Benin. Ughoton later became a port for Benin trade with Europeans so claiming that Benin city had to be next to the coast to worship the sea god is ludicrous. The city of Benin never moved towards the sea at any period, yet the number of Benin bronzes from Benin city depicting sea motifs and Olokun motifs is enormous. Olokun is the god of all water and the Edo reverence for seas, rivers, and all large waters was quite real.

Furthermore, if you think Olokun came from Yorubaland, name the important ancient city in Yorubaland that was next to the sea that it came from. Here's a hint before you begin your search - you won't find one. I know Ife isn't near the sea and is even further from the sea than Benin. You'll have to try real hard with what you can concoct on this one.


Secondly, you cannot premise your acceptance of the two stories on the worship of the Olokun originating from Benin on the fact that it is widely worshipped there. I will give you a good example. The Eyo masquerade that is widely/popularly worshipped in Lagos originated from Iperu-Remo in Ogun State. The family that worship the masquerade in Iperu-Remo came to marry in Lagos sometime in the 19th century and the Eyo came with them and that is the family that later popularized it in Lagos. Today, the Eyo masquerade is the face of Lagos cultural heritage. You cannot ascribe origin to a particular place based on popularity there.

Similarly, though without certainty, the Olokun could have been one of the Yoruba deities introduced to Benin and made popular there.lol!

I absolutely did not base my argument that the origin of Olokun was Benin on the fact that it is widely worshiped there. Rather I pointed out that it is extremely developed and detailed and central among the gods there unlike in Yorubaland where it seems peripheral (minor) and simple, as though it were an addition or appendage, rather than foundational. In the same manner, Shango, Orunmila, and other Yoruba gods are extremely developed and detailed and very central in parts of Yorubaland but not so in Benin.

Your example of the Eyo masquerade actually supports the idea that Olokun was brought from Benin into Yorubaland (Ife) as much as it suggests the possibility of Olokun not originating in Benin, so that example doesn't prove anything.

Like I said, my argument was never about Ekaladerhan of Ughoton definitely bringing Olokun to Ife, it was just about your unfounded claim that when Yoruba deities must have been brought to Benin and your unsupportable assertion about Yoruba influence on Benin proving something about Oduduwa.


X-factoria:
The second story on the Olokun and the John Mason story dating the origin to sometime in 12th century AD, could add up to mean that the Ogun deity predates the Olokun and had been present in Benin before the 12th century since Omobe - the prodigal boy, wrestled with it. So how did the Ogun find its way from Ife to Benin at that time and the Ifa Oracle only came to Benin several centuries later (17th century according to you)? You may wish to know that the Ifa Oracle and the Ogun deities are the most popular of all Yoruba deities from time immemorial and the most likely to be primarily exported to any other tribe or people.

How are you not getting this? Ifa, in whole, never came to Benin. Did you not read that google books link I posted? Benin adopted deities gradually. The overwhelming majority of Ifa deities were unknown to Benin, so how can any reasonable person claim Ifa was transplanted to Benin by Oranmiyan? At best you could suggest Ogun or one other deity like Shango was brought by Oranmiyan, but even that would be a completely unprovable assertion.

And for the record, there is no date associated with Ogun, I just said it was most likely to be Yoruba in origin for geographical reasons. If one story implies that Ogun has long been in Benin and another story doesn't either one could be true, but that's not important for my general argument.

I also find it interesting that you're now seeing implied pre-Oranmiyan contact between Ife and Benin in the story, because it's convenient for your hypothesis (a from Ife to Benin hypothesis of Ogun being transplanted) but immediately saw pre-Oranmiyan contact in which Olokun is transplanted to Ife from Benin as doubtful. For the record, even if Ogun was transplanted to Benin in pre-Oranmiyan times from Ife, it wouldn't somehow disqualify Olokun from being transferred to Ife by Ekaladerhan, so as I said it's not relevant to the general argument against your religious claim.


X-factoria:
Lastly, I found one thing constant in all your submissions. You easily qoute whatever the Europeans write about Benin that you find favourbale and utterly disreagrd ones that do not recognize the Ekaladerhan story (most especially) in which case you will readily posit that the story was false and inaccurate. Aren't you also quilty of what you accused Egharevba of doing?

Are you serious? You think I easily quote whatever I find favorable? Me, that quoted a European account that said that Benin people threw themselves into graves to die with their king, is quoting whatever I find favorable? I quote things with a purpose - to point out that the whole story is not being told. If you can find many European or American authors that just repeat Egharevba's first story and disregard the Ekaladerhan story how does that affect the validity of my arguments or the distortions, fabrications or the logical gaps I want to point out?


I pointed out that Willett's and Fagg's ideas on Benin art were often false because with regard to some things they just started conjecturing based on Egharevba's work and their conjectures were contradicted by facts.

I pointed out that Robert Bradbury's writings on the burial place of Benin kings being Ife was contradicted by facts and by Egharevba himself.

I pointed out that the "Yoruba palace language" story told to Bradbury, apart from being contradicted by European explorers, simply has no merit and no source from the palace itself.

I pointed out that Michael Crowder's claim on Yoruba tribal marks being drawn onto the face of an Oba of Benin during coronation and then washed away was a complete fabrication and that the man had never even seen a coronation at the time that he wrote it nor was there any source for the claim.

And  you're saying that I'm just "disregarding" these European writers because they don't agree with my view? I'm debunking them and their claims. There's an enormous difference. I don't recall Egharevba debunking the Ekaladerhan story. I just said that he didn't incorporate all accounts. Other people accused him of distorting Benin history in 1945, so I don't need to be the one to accuse him of disregarding or distorting. Rather, every story should have been told, and preferably by somebody without his series of biases. This is not about Jacob Egharevba personally, because I definitely respect the man, it's what people are trying to turn his apparent errors into - their source of personal aggrandizement.

Imagine someone asserting that the Oba of Benin was decapitated after death and then buried in Ife and then repeating this as though it were fact without bothering to check the sources for the claim and comparing it with other evidence and then telling you that you're a dishonest falsifier when you point out that it's a distortion.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Nobody: 3:21am On Mar 09, 2011
everybody wants to reinvent the wheel.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 3:27am On Mar 09, 2011
tpiah!:

everybody wants to reinvent the wheel.

So you feel I should have just the claims stand? People were claiming that Yoruba was the official language of the Benin palace.

If the shoe was on the other foot, I doubt you'd be saying this.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Nobody: 3:29am On Mar 09, 2011
People were claiming that Yoruba was the official language of the Benin palace

can you post links or quote that.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by ezeagu(m): 3:31am On Mar 09, 2011
With the people involved, no ones opinion is going to change, so it's best that the people speaking the truth work on trying to prove their theory true without flaws instead of trying to convince a side that's trying to convince you. I'll say that I don't believe the Edo came from the Yoruba, or the Yoruba came from the Edo, but the kingship thing. . . . . . that's all I'll say.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Nobody: 3:33am On Mar 09, 2011
edo did not come out of yoruba- they have other origins.

the bini monarchy, however is another matter.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 3:34am On Mar 09, 2011
tpiah!:

can you post links or quote that.



The Ooni of Ife's statement is enough.

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-392592.64.html#msg7726462
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 3:44am On Mar 09, 2011
What could be proved to convince the other side on either group's part?

The first written history of the Yoruba was by a man who was deliberately trying to distort their own history to elevate the Alaafin of Oyo above the Ooni of Ife, when that was unnecessary.

Later he wrote that Oranmiyan was on his way to topple Mecca but was blocked by a lot of black ants.

So you can't tell me that the earliest accounts are infallible.

Of course nothing is going to be proved on a tribal issue, but I'm not the one that resurrected this thread. I just couldn't let fabrications slide and I wanted to point out that Oba Erediauwa is at least on the side of logic, even if he's wrong, and he's not "condemning" Egharevba by pointing out just some of several of his errors.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Xfactoria: 1:59pm On Mar 09, 2011
Thanks PhysicsMHD. I have resolved the ban issue.

PhysicsMHD:


Imagine someone asserting that the Oba of Benin was decapitated after death and then buried in Ife and then repeating this as though it were fact without bothering to check the sources for the claim and comparing it with other evidence and then telling you that you're a dishonest falsifier when you point out that it's a distortion.


Let me quickly point out a misconception here. You keep getting things mixed up about Ooni's statement featured in this link: http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-392592.64.html#msg7726462

"Since Oranmiyan dynasty started in Benin, all the heads of the Obas of Benin on demise were buried in Ife in a sacred place called “Orun-Oba-Ado” up to the year 1900. 4. Records in the archives made it clear that since 1191AD, the Ooni of Ife had to be informed, and clearance must be given by him on the new Oba of Benin to be installed up to 1916"

Ooni mentioned that only the head of the Obas were buried in Ife. It is possible that the bodies were buried in Benin with slaves like you suggested in your previous posts. Ooni may not be wrong here except you can proof that the Oba's heads were buried with them in the graves in Benin.

I feel strongly that very soon either you or me will sponsor an archeological research to unravel the truth about this. Certainly, it has to be so one day.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Xfactoria: 2:41pm On Mar 09, 2011
PhysicsMHD:


So basically you just made it up despite it not making the least bit of sense and then assert and insist that it's true? And then mock the credibility of other people who have taken the time to think about whether the history insisted by others is true?


Guy, nothing was made up. I have been consistent in my statements. The Ifa came with Oranmiyan to Ife. If you are able to pursue research in Odu-Ifa (the verses of the literary corpus of the Ifa Oracle. There are 256 chapters of it), it will address your ignorance and show clearly what I'm talking about.

PhysicsMHD:

More made up claims. The Benin Olokun is absolutely the god of the sea and not something different. Please stop attempting your own fake etymology and stop making stuff up. Olokun has the same meaning in Edo and in Yoruba (these are related languages) and it is Olo (owner) Okun (sea) contracted into Olokun (owner of the sea). I see you didn't even bother to read my links which discussed this. There is no such thing as "Olukun". There is no reason to just keep making stuff up. Yes there is a Yoruba story about the origin of Olokun and there is a Benin story and I never said that either one was authoritative; rather, I said that there is no evidence that Olokun originated from outside of Benin, yet it is prominent in certain parts of Yorubaland, so your religious argument holds no weight.

I find your claim about Benin and the sea even more ludicrous than your false etymology. If you had bothered to learn more about Benin before joining this debate you would have known that the Edo believed that they were forbidden to cross water because of their belief in Olokun. They believed the sea separated the world of the living from the world of the dead (the spirit world). No surprise then that they relied upon Itsekiri and Ijaw for much of their trade with Europeans. This means all Edo, not just those actually in the city of Benin. Ughoton later became a port for Benin trade with Europeans so claiming that Benin city had to be next to the coast to worship the sea god is ludicrous. The city of Benin never moved towards the sea at any period, yet the number of Benin bronzes from Benin city depicting sea motifs and Olokun motifs is enormous. Olokun is the god of all water and the Edo reverence for seas, rivers, and all large waters was quite real.

Furthermore, if you think Olokun came from Yorubaland, name the important ancient city in Yorubaland that was next to the sea that it came from. Here's a hint before you begin your search - you won't find one. I know Ife isn't near the sea and is even further from the sea than Benin. You'll have to try real hard with what you can concoct on this one.


I absolutely did not base my argument that the origin of Olokun was Benin on the fact that it is widely worshiped there. Rather I pointed out that it is extremely developed and detailed and central among the gods there unlike in Yorubaland where it seems peripheral (minor) and simple, as though it were an addition or appendage, rather than foundational. In the same manner, Shango, Orunmila, and other Yoruba gods are extremely developed and detailed and very central in parts of Yorubaland but not so in Benin.

Your example of the Eyo masquerade actually supports the idea that Olokun was brought from Benin into Yorubaland (Ife) as much as it suggests the possibility of Olokun not originating in Benin, so that example doesn't prove anything.

Your two stories that bordered on the Benin Origin of the Olokun (the first in which a hunter met with Olokun in the woods and the second in which a prodigal boy - Omobe climbed a palm tree) can in no way support an assertion that the Olokun you described in your post was the same Olokun (god of the Sea) as known to the Yorubas.

FYI, the Olokun does not reside on land. It resides in water or so we learnt in Yoruba mythology. So, how could it have been met by people who stayed far-away and who had no direct contact with the sea? Those far-away beaquethed the worship of that Sea god to the people closer to the sea? Your story could have made more sense if you had mentioned that the Benin people (in fact, the ruling families of Lagos) who settled in Lagos pre-colonial days had gone back to Benin to introduce the Olokun deity. That would sound more credible because I know the Olokun worshippers abound among the original indigenes of Lagos in areas like Epe and Ibeju-Lekki (all close to the sea).

Yes, Ife isn't close to the sea but history has it that the Yoruba people of that time had contact with the sea. In particular, Owa-Obokun of Ilesha, one of the sons of Oduduwa went to the sea to get water for some rituals and that is where he derived his title. The people of Epe (Ijebus) also had early contacts with the sea as well. So they could have met the god of the sea somehow.

About the name, you seem to lack some basic Yoruba understanding of how words are spoken and written. Olu + Okun consumated to form one word Olokun; the "U" disappeared due to pronounciation just like Olu+Orun = Olorun and Olu+Edumare = Olodumare (note the "U" and "E" formed the "O" in this case). This phenomenom is called Asunki (consolidation of words) in Yoruba Langauage . Get it?

1 Like

Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Meyan: 3:18pm On Mar 09, 2011
@x-factoria

Am I not worth a response?

What about the 400 deities that Oduduwa came with, which I requested for? I have been researching it and can’t find them. Or was that amongst one of the made-up stories Yorubas concocted to make Oduduwa look mysterious till date?

Help me out with my research please, since you are vast in Yoruba history.

Thanks once again, in advance.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Xfactoria: 5:40pm On Mar 09, 2011
Meyan:

@x-factoria

Am I not worth a response?

What about the 400 deities that Oduduwa came with, which I requested for? I have been researching it and can’t find them. Or was that amongst one of the made-up stories Yorubas concocted to make Oduduwa look mysterious till date?

Help me out with my research please, since you are vast in Yoruba history.

Thanks once again, in advance.


The list of the over 400 deities is hard to come by.

Wikipedia helped with a few: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Yoruba_deities

If you are really doing a research, then I will advise you visit the Ooni's palace. He has the record. On my own I may be able to come up with say 150. Ask me how? All the masquerades I know are deities and I know at least 50 of them. All the past warriors being worshipped are also deities and I know quite a few too. All Streams and Rivers with any mysterious story about them and are being worshipped would also make the list. Oduduwa himself is one. Oranmiyan is one. The list is endless and my knoledge is limited.

Please visit the Ooni's place in Ile-Ife.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Meyan: 6:39pm On Mar 09, 2011
^^^^

Wow!! So out of 400 deities that came with the mysterious Oduduwa and were instituted by him, I still can’t find the info without visiting the Oni’s palace, for an Institution of over 900 years that still enjoys daily sacrifices till date?

And out of the few you posted, I don’t even want to go into their origins with you because a lot had nothing to do with Oduduwa and even Yorubas would admit with that. But thanks anyway for the efforts.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 8:47pm On Mar 09, 2011
X-factoria:

Thanks PhysicsMHD. I have resolved the ban issue.

Let me quickly point out a misconception here. You keep getting things mixed up about Ooni's statement featured in this link: http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-392592.64.html#msg7726462

"Since Oranmiyan dynasty started in Benin, all the heads of the Obas of Benin on demise were buried in Ife in a sacred place called “Orun-Oba-Ado” up to the year 1900. 4. Records in the archives made it clear that since 1191AD, the Ooni of Ife had to be informed, and clearance must be given by him on the new Oba of Benin to be installed up to 1916"

Ooni mentioned that only the head of the Obas were buried in Ife. It is possible that the bodies were buried in Benin with slaves like you suggested in your previous posts. Ooni may not be wrong here except you can proof that the Oba's heads were buried with them in the graves in Benin.

I feel strongly that very soon either you or me will sponsor an archeological research to unravel the truth about this. Certainly, it has to be so one day.

Let me point out some misconceptions

1. The Orun Oba Ado head claim was completely made up.  It was ingenious, I admit, because Ado is definitely a Yoruba word for Benin (Edo). Unfortunately, it is simply not grounded in facts.
Igbo, for example, apart from being a word for forest or bush, is coincidentally the word for an ethnic group or nation that happens to be not too far from the Yoruba and also from the same language family. With the trend that the Ooni of Ife has advocated with regard to Orun Oba Ado, I wonder if he or his descendants will later start complaining if Igbo scholars at some later time exploit the abundance of the word Igbo (forest, bush, etc.) in ancient Yoruba sites, including Ife (Igbo Obameri, for an example of an Ife site) to start claiming that they (Igbos) laid these foundations in ancient times? See how distortion can backfire?
2. Egharevba introduced the claim that Eweka I ordered that upon his death his remains should be taken to Ife and that this was repeated in every third reign after him. There was never any reference to a head. The after death decapitation is precisely the abomination that makes the claim even sillier.
Orun Oba Ado, which supposedly means the spiritual domain of the Oba of Benin, is among the earliest – actually, the earliest – significant archaeological site in Ife, with radiocarbon dates going back to the 6th century AD, from one of Frank Willett’s numerous archaeological excavations in Ife (see 1968. Radiocarbon Dates, WAAN, IX, 73.  and 1969. New Radiocarbon Dates for Ife, WAAN, XI, both by Frank Willett. Or, see  Archaeology in Nigeria(1969) by Thurstan Shaw  if you can’t access those articles.) The only comparable significant archaeological features of Ife are the ancient walls also dated to the 6th century. So 6th century Ife had earthen walls/ramparts and an important foundational site that was already or was to become the  "spiritual domain" of Benin (whether on the initiative of Benin or Ife, doesn't really matter to me)?

So if you actually believe that Orun Oba Ado – the supposed spiritual domain of the Oba of Benin or the "the heaven of the kings of Benin"– which is at the heart of Ife  near the Ife palace itself (by this I mean that is occupies a much more central location relative to the archaeological remains of Ife and the walls/ramparts of Ife, as contrasted with Ita Yemoo, for example, which is on the periphery) and is conspicuously close to Opa Oranmiyan, is tied to Benin, surely you can see the implications of this. Backfire #2. Once again, distortion bites the hand that feeds it .

3. You don’t seem to have grasped what a real burial of a king of Benin was like in olden times so let me give it to you in full detail and I hope you can use your immense knowledge of Ifa to divine the point at which the head is taken and enlighten the rest of us:

"Among others, there is in the kingdom of Benin an ancient custom, observed to the present day, that when the king dies, the people all assemble in a large field, in the centre of which is a very deep well, wider at the bottom than at the mouth. They cast the body of the dead king into this well, and all his friends and servants gather round, and those who are judged to have been most dear to and favoured by the king (this includes not a few, as all are anxious for the honour) voluntarily go down and keep him company. When they have done so, the people place a great stone over the mouth of the well, and remain by it day and night. On the second day a few deputies remove the stone, and ask those below what they know, and if any of them have already gone to serve the king; and the reply is, No. On the third day the same question is asked, and someone then replies that so-and-so, mentioning a name, has been the first to go, and so-and-so the second. It is considered highly praiseworthy to be the first, and he is spoken of with the greatest admiration by all the people, and considered happy and blessed.  After four or five days all these unfortunate people die. When this is apparent to those above, since none reply to their questions, they inform their new king; who causes a great fire to be lit near the well, where numerous animals are roasted. These are given to the people to eat, and he with great ceremony is declared to be the true king, and takes the oath to govern well." - From the account of a 'Voyage from Lisbona to the island of San Thomé south of the Equator, described by a Portuguese pilot, and sent to his magnificence Count Rimondo della Torre, gentleman of Verona, and translated from the Portuguese into Italian', published in Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1550), and retranslated by Blake (1942), i, pp. 150-1. The account was written in about the year 1540, according to Blake, and 'the author may have been one of the scores of Portuguese pilots who at this time were familiar with the navigation from Lisbon to the island of São Thomé'. - From the book Nigerian Perspectives (2nd ed.) by Thomas Hodgkin

4. “No human remains or artifacts of Benin culture were found in six burials excavated at Arun-Oba-Ado”

The source for this conclusion being Frank Willett’s article in the book The African Iron Age,  P. L. SHINNIE, (ed.)








Guy, nothing was made up. I have been consistent in my statements. The Ifa came with Oranmiyan to Ife. If you are able to pursue research in Odu-Ifa (the verses of the literary corpus of the Ifa Oracle. There are 256 chapters of it), it will address your ignorance and show clearly what I'm talking about.

I’m well aware of the Odu Ifa. That’s precisely my point. You claimed that Oranmiyan came with the Ifa oracle to Benin (you said Ife in this post that I’m quoting, but it’s clear that that’s a mistake from our preceding discussions, and that you actually meant Benin).
Let’s see:

“The great Oracle of the Yoruba country is Ifa. He is represented chiefly by 16 palm nuts each having from four to 10 or more eyelets on them. Behind each one of these representative nuts are 16 subordinate Divinities. Each one of the whole lot is termed an Odu -which means a chief, a head. This makes the number of Odu altogether 256. Besides these, there are 16 other Odus connected with each of the 256, and this makes the whole number of Odus 4,096. Some increase this large number still by an addition of 16 more to each of the last number of Odus, but the 16 principal ones are those more frequently in requisition.
There is a series of traditional stories, each of which is called a road, a pathway, or a course, and is connected with some particular Odu. Each Odu is supposed to have 1,680 of these stories connected with it, and these, together with those of the other Odus, every one aspiring to the office of "A Babalawo," who is a divining or sacrificing priest, is expected to commit to memory, though scarcely has any one been found to perform the feat. Many learn by heart a very, considerable number, rather an appreciable number connected with the principal Odus. Upon the appearance of an Wit on the divining or consulting bowl, the "Babalawo," thinks of some of the stories attached to it, and from any of them that appears to him to suit the case upon which he is consulted, he delivers his Oracular response, and prescribes the sacrifice that would be accepted.” –Richard Edward Dennett, At the Back of the Black Man's Mind, 1906

And yet out of hundreds of deities the only ones which are known in Benin are the handful that could easily have been transmitted at later times due to Benin being part of the same larger sociocultural and religious community as the Yorubas. Your claim is ridiculous beyond belief.



Your two stories that bordered on the Benin Origin of the Olokun (the first in which a hunter met with Olokun in the woods and the second in which a prodigal boy - Omobe climbed a palm tree) can in no way support an assertion that the Olokun you described in your post was the same Olokun (god of the Sea) as known to the Yorubas.

Their depiction in art is the same, their names are the same, their powers and functions are the same, and you’re asserting that they are coincidental twins of different origins when the different origin points are right next to one another? Unbelievable. Olokun is Olokun my friend, there is no doppelganger Olokun. Please learn more about this deity since you’ve implied that you’re an expert on Yoruba religion.


FYI, the Olokun does not reside on land. It resides in water or so we learnt in Yoruba mythology. So, how could it have been met by people who stayed far-away and who had no direct contact with the sea? Those far-away beaquethed the worship of that Sea god to the people closer to the sea? Your story could have made more sense if you had mentioned that the Benin people (in fact, the ruling families of Lagos) who settled in Lagos pre-colonial days had gone back to Benin to introduce the Olokun deity. That would sound more credible because I know the Olokun worshippers abound among the original indigenes of Lagos in areas like Epe and Ibeju-Lekki (all close to the sea).

Yes, Ife isn't close to the sea but history has it that the Yoruba people of that time had contact with the sea. In particular, Owa-Obokun of Ilesha, one of the sons of Oduduwa went to the sea to get water for some rituals and that is where he derived his title. The people of Epe (Ijebus) also had early contacts with the sea as well. So they could have met the god of the sea somehow.

About the name, you seem to lack some basic Yoruba understanding of how words are spoken and written. Olu + Okun consumated to form one word Olokun; the "U" disappeared due to pronounciation just like Olu+Orun = Olorun and Olu+Edumare = Olodumare (note the "U" and "E" formed the "O" in this case). This phenomenom is called Asunki (consolidation of words) in Yoruba Langauage . Get it?

1. With regard to Olokun as a word, yeah that was a mistake on my part to assume the etymology could only have been one way. I’m aware that the compounding of words results in (sometimes, but not always) dropping middle letters and condensing the word as my own name first name is actually a testament to that. I’m aware of the “Asunki” phenomenon and it’s actually extremely common in Edo, but my perception was that they dropped the long “o” and kept only one (Olokun, rather than “Olo-Okun”) because owner of the sea is what Olokun is frequently called. Olu-Okun as Olokun makes sense though, so it could easily be that in Edo or Yoruba as well as Olo + Okun. My point still stands, however.

2. Did I claim Olokun resided on land? How are you not getting this? I don’t think you understand who Olokun is. Olokun is paramount over all waters.

Saying that Benin had no direct contact with the sea is ill-thought out, because Olokun and sea symbolism in Benin art is enormous so your assertion that they needed to be near the sea at all times is already rubbished by reality. The Edo certainly had contact with water. Ughoton was a port, for example. You also completely failed to explain the unique Edo reverence of and religious laws with regard to large bodies of water when you implied that they were an inland people.
Also, did you forget that a Benin prince founded the Itsekiri kingdom of Warri that was right by the coast and frequently directly at the sea?
As for your statement about Lagos, it’s completely ludicrous. Lagos was of no significance before the 15th century, so I would be absolutely foolish to claim Binis established Olokun in Awori land (Lagos) and then transplanted it back to Ife and Benin when Olokun related art already appears in art from before the 15th century.

3. Owa-Obokun is now related to Olokun? When there isn’t a single reference to their association in the vast and enormous corpus of literature on Yoruba history and religion? More made up claims. I’ll only point out that Ekaladerhan and his actions at Ughoton necessarily precedes one of the very youngest sons of Oduduwa, regardless of whether Ekalderhan and Oduduwa are claimed to be the same person or not.

4. With regard to Ijebu, Olokun related art motifs do not appear in Ijebu bronzes or art before the 17th century, at which time Ijebu is said to have been under Benin dominion by Dapper and other European writers of that time. Subsequently, it appears frequently in Ijebu art. I wonder why?
Then there are the Ikales, a Yoruba subgroup found in Ogun and Ondo state that are held by various writers, including numerous Ikales themselves, to have migrated from Benin towards the Ogun and Ondo areas, but there is no record of movements from the Ogun and Ondo areas to Benin.
Furthermore, I would suggest you read or reread Saburi Biobaku’s Sources of Yoruba History with regard to his observations on Ijebu and Benin to understand how your suggestion of an Olokun-from-the-Ijebu area idea only strengthens the idea of Olokun originating from Benin.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsHD: 8:57pm On Mar 09, 2011
Hmmm. Responded, but spam blocker banned me as it was somewhat long. I might post it in parts under this user name if it doesn't reappear when I'm unbanned.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsHD: 9:53pm On Mar 09, 2011
What I posted earlier:


X-factoria:

Thanks PhysicsMHD. I have resolved the ban issue.

Let me quickly point out a misconception here. You keep getting things mixed up about Ooni's statement featured in this link: http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-392592.64.html#msg7726462

"Since Oranmiyan dynasty started in Benin, all the heads of the Obas of Benin on demise were buried in Ife in a sacred place called “Orun-Oba-Ado” up to the year 1900. 4. Records in the archives made it clear that since 1191AD, the Ooni of Ife had to be informed, and clearance must be given by him on the new Oba of Benin to be installed up to 1916"

Ooni mentioned that only the head of the Obas were buried in Ife. It is possible that the bodies were buried in Benin with slaves like you suggested in your previous posts. Ooni may not be wrong here except you can proof that the Oba's heads were buried with them in the graves in Benin.

I feel strongly that very soon either you or me will sponsor an archeological research to unravel the truth about this. Certainly, it has to be so one day.

Let me point out some misconceptions

1. The Orun Oba Ado head claim was completely made up. It was ingenious, I admit, because Ado is definitely a Yoruba word for Benin (Edo). Unfortunately, it is simply not grounded in facts.
Igbo, for example, apart from being a word for forest or bush, is coincidentally the word for an ethnic group or nation that happens to be not too far from the Yoruba and also from the same language family. With the trend that the Ooni of Ife has advocated with regard to Orun Oba Ado, I wonder if he or his descendants will later start complaining if Igbo scholars at some later time exploit the abundance of the word Igbo (forest, bush, etc.) in ancient Yoruba sites, including Ife (Igbo Obameri, for an example of an Ife site) to start claiming that they (Igbos) laid these foundations in ancient times? See how distortion can backfire?

2. Egharevba introduced the claim that Eweka I ordered that upon his death his remains should be taken to Ife and that this was repeated in every third reign after him. There was never any reference to a head. The after death decapitation is precisely the abomination that makes the claim even sillier.
Orun Oba Ado, which supposedly means the spiritual domain of the Oba of Benin, is among the earliest – actually, the earliest – significant archaeological site in Ife, with radiocarbon dates going back to the 6th century AD, from one of Frank Willett’s numerous archaeological excavations in Ife (see 1968. Radiocarbon Dates, WAAN, IX, 73. and 1969. New Radiocarbon Dates for Ife, WAAN, XI, both by Frank Willett. Or, see Archaeology in Nigeria(1969) by Thurstan Shaw if you can’t access those articles.) The only comparable significant archaeological features of Ife are the ancient walls also dated to the 6th century. So 6th century Ife had earthen walls/ramparts and an important foundational site that was already or was to become the "spiritual domain" of Benin?

So if you actually believe that Orun Oba Ado – the supposed spiritual domain of the Oba of Benin or the "the heaven of the kings of Benin"– which is at the heart of Ife near the Ife palace itself (by this I mean that is occupies a much more central location relative to the archaeological remains of Ife and the walls/ramparts of Ife, as contrasted with Ita Yemoo, for example, which is on the periphery) and is conspicuously close to Opa Oranmiyan, is most strongly tied to Benin, surely you can see the implications of this. Backfire #2. Once again, distortion bites the hand that feeds it .

3. You don’t seem to have grasped what a real burial of a king of Benin was like in olden times so let me give it to you in full detail and I hope you can use your immense knowledge of Ifa to divine the point at which the head is taken and enlighten the rest of us:

"Among others, there is in the kingdom of Benin an ancient custom, observed to the present day, that when the king dies, the people all assemble in a large field, in the centre of which is a very deep well, wider at the bottom than at the mouth. They cast the body of the dead king into this well, and all his friends and servants gather round, and those who are judged to have been most dear to and favoured by the king (this includes not a few, as all are anxious for the honour) voluntarily go down and keep him company. When they have done so, the people place a great stone over the mouth of the well, and remain by it day and night. On the second day a few deputies remove the stone, and ask those below what they know, and if any of them have already gone to serve the king; and the reply is, No. On the third day the same question is asked, and someone then replies that so-and-so, mentioning a name, has been the first to go, and so-and-so the second. It is considered highly praiseworthy to be the first, and he is spoken of with the greatest admiration by all the people, and considered happy and blessed. After four or five days all these unfortunate people die. When this is apparent to those above, since none reply to their questions, they inform their new king; who causes a great fire to be lit near the well, where numerous animals are roasted. These are given to the people to eat, and he with great ceremony is declared to be the true king, and takes the oath to govern well." - From the account of a 'Voyage from Lisbona to the island of San Thomé south of the Equator, described by a Portuguese pilot, and sent to his magnificence Count Rimondo della Torre, gentleman of Verona, and translated from the Portuguese into Italian', published in Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1550), and retranslated by Blake (1942), i, pp. 150-1. The account was written in about the year 1540, according to Blake, and 'the author may have been one of the scores of Portuguese pilots who at this time were familiar with the navigation from Lisbon to the island of São Thomé'. - From the book Nigerian Perspectives (2nd ed.) by Thomas Hodgkin

4. “No human remains or artifacts of Benin culture were found in six burials excavated at Arun-Oba-Ado”

The source for this conclusion being Frank Willett’s article in the book The African Iron Age, P. L. SHINNIE, (ed.)
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by PhysicsMHD(m): 10:58pm On Mar 09, 2011
Well, my response does not seem to be reappearing, but I'll post it later in a modified and separated form tomorrow.
Re: Edo Colonized Yorubaland Not Vice Versa. by Nobody: 11:34pm On Mar 09, 2011
Meyan:

^^^^

Wow!! So out of 400 deities that came with the mysterious Oduduwa and were instituted by him, I still can’t find the info without visiting the Oni’s palace, for an Institution of over 900 years that still enjoys daily sacrifices till date?



well, the question is why is anyone obliged to give you that information?

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