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What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? - Culture - Nairaland

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What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Nobody: 7:31pm On Jan 12, 2011
Just wondering. . . . cool
Is there a significant history behind it?










I expect PhysicMHD/ PhysicQHD on this thread wink
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by fstranger1: 8:31pm On Jan 12, 2011
^^^

You forgot to put: Fstranger and SEFAGO stay out!


BRB with my unsolicited, but poignant opinion!
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by dempeople(m): 8:42pm On Jan 12, 2011
@Ileke-IdI,

Na wa 4 u oo. Why u come invite only your man to comment here. Abi u no like us again? We too, get something to add here nah. undecided
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by PhysicsMHD(m): 8:57pm On Jan 12, 2011
I have to confess, I'm not an expert in this particular area. I had asked my mom earlier and she didn't tell me anything that would shed light on where it comes from. It just seems like fashion that somebody thought up.


I googled around a bit and this is what I found:

http://www.edofolks.com/html/osahon_ethos_social.htm <------ one part of this article talks about the beads but I find this article kind of full of unsupported claims about Egypt

http://quazen.com/arts/visual-arts/the-art-of-the-edo/  <---- one part talks about the beads but is rather brief

http://books.google.com/books?id=GUs5zzIHm-MC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=benin+bead+hairstyle&source=bl&ots=kuwuXWVDmP&sig=osNsgLRpMPS-U_loLVNJwrDZ1qQ&hl=en&ei=2wIuTY6QDoSdlgedh93zCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

^^^^^

On this last link, if you go up a bit, you'll see it talks about how Yoruba women also used to wear beads and other trinkets as decorations for weddings but it doesn't say whether or not they put it in their hair or had a particular hairstyle decoration.

However the part where it seems it would have talked about Benin (p. 121-122), have been omitted from the preview. Maybe you could find that book in a library and look through that section if you really want to know. This book was really detailed and specific about origins and uses of beads for different groups in that general region from the little bit of it that I read, so it would probably answer your question, but the relevant part seems to have been omitted.
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by fstranger1: 9:00pm On Jan 12, 2011
^^^

Thank you for goggling the answer for Ileke-Idi


Hope you get something back in return.
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by dempeople(m): 9:04pm On Jan 12, 2011
fstranger1:

^^^

Thank you for goggling the answer for Ileke-Idi


Hope you get something back in return.


cheesy cheesy cheesy
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Nobody: 10:08pm On Jan 12, 2011
dem_people:

@Ileke-IdI,

Na wa 4 u oo. Why u come invite only your man to comment here. Abi u no like us again? We too, get something to add here nah. undecided

You can also post, of course.

PhysicsMHD:

I have to confess, I'm not an expert in this particular area. I had asked my mom earlier and she didn't tell me anything that would shed light on where it comes from. It just seems like fashion that somebody thought up.


I googled around a bit and this is what I found:

http://www.edofolks.com/html/osahon_ethos_social.htm <------ one part of this article talks about the beads but I find this article kind of full of unsupported claims about Egypt

http://quazen.com/arts/visual-arts/the-art-of-the-edo/  <---- one part talks about the beads but is rather brief

http://books.google.com/books?id=GUs5zzIHm-MC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=benin+bead+hairstyle&source=bl&ots=kuwuXWVDmP&sig=osNsgLRpMPS-U_loLVNJwrDZ1qQ&hl=en&ei=2wIuTY6QDoSdlgedh93zCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

^^^^^

On this last link, if you go up a bit, you'll see it talks about how Yoruba women also used to wear beads and other trinkets as decorations for weddings but it doesn't say whether or not they put it in their hair or had a particular hairstyle decoration.

However the part where it seems it would have talked about Benin (p. 121-122), have been omitted from the preview. Maybe you could find that book in a library and look through that section if you really want to know. This book was really detailed and specific about origins and uses of beads for different groups in that general region from the little bit of it that I read, so it would probably answer your question, but the relevant part seems to have been omitted.



Thanks. . . . well check out the site.

Do you have sisters? They might know the info, ask one of them tongue
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by oludashmi(f): 2:54pm On Jan 14, 2011
@Ileke
I have an elderly edo woman (Urhomu) here, seeing all the beautiful pix including the ones on the traditional wedding thread.
She said the heavily beading of hair and the weaved bead across the chest, started not more than 15 years ago cos as at their own time even when she got married about 23 years ago, beads were only worn on the neck, across the hair, the arm and around the waist.

But she said she wouldnt know if it was a lost heritage that is being re-introduced or just modernization. . .just like the Yorubas, who didnt have buba initially.
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by uplawal(f): 7:12pm On Jan 14, 2011
Ondo people too dress like that,not only benin
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Nobody: 7:28pm On Jan 14, 2011
oludashmi:

@Ileke
I have an elderly edo woman (Urhomu) here, seeing all the beautiful pix including the ones on the traditional wedding thread.
She said the heavily beading of hair and the weaved bead across the chest, started not more than 15 years ago cos as at their own time even when she got married about 23 years ago, beads were only worn on the neck, across the hair, the arm and around the waist.

But she said she wouldnt know if it was a lost heritage that is being re-introduced or just modernization. . .just like the Yorubas, who didnt have buba initially.


Wow, Olu, o seun gan. Just 15 years ago?

That's interesting.

uplawal:

Ondo people too dress like that,not only benin
Never seen ondo women with hair beads like that. Can you plz post a pix


I think Yoruba women only use the cowrie shells for their hair
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by rabzy: 7:39pm On Jan 14, 2011
Hey,
i don't think it started 15 years ago, the Binis have always been wearing beads for long, uromi where the Woman comes from is in Esan and we don't wear as much beads as the Binis. Also such heavy beads are often worn by the nobility, the King, chiefs and the King's wives,

such wearing of the beads as a vest might have been restricted to the royalty, but the advent of modernization and popular fashion has made it very common.

If you check out pictures of Bini Kings and also several carvings, you would notice heavy beads on them, so it wont be surprising if their wives also have such elaborate beads made for them.

1 Like

Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Nobody: 7:47pm On Jan 14, 2011
^^^ Interesting.

Thanks kiss
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by rabzy: 7:58pm On Jan 14, 2011
In the link below there is a carving of the Kings mother and we can easily see the beads depicted on her chest, in real life it might have been more elaborate than that and she could have had others with more bead works.

There is also a carving of the queen's maids which also have such bead work on the head and chest. I think it has now become popular culture because of fashion and modernization, so i see it as a revival and popularization of culture.

In the last picture we see a King of Owo in Ondo state having a regalia very similar to the one worn in Bini, and he also had on very elaborate bead work. This is an indication of the influence of the Bini culture on its surrounding neighbors.

http://quazen.com/arts/visual-arts/the-art-of-the-edo/

http://morecoolpictures.blogspot.com/2009/04/african-kings.html?zx=219f2cfc8a7fdc13
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by uplawal(f): 8:56pm On Jan 14, 2011
Theres nothing like influence of bini culture of ondo people,though they are neighbours,does not mean the ondo were influenced by bini culture,each has its own culture though similar,Ondo been wearing beads from time memorial and never was bead wearing influenced by bini people.
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by aljharem(m): 11:22pm On Jan 14, 2011
uplawal:

Theres nothing like influence of bini culture of ondo people,though they are neighbours,does not mean the ondo were influenced by bini culture,each has its own culture though similar,Ondo been wearing beads from time memorial and never was bead wearing influenced by bini people.

i think it has to do with the bini and yoruba people having so sort of history together undecided
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Nobody: 1:07am On Jan 15, 2011
rabzy:

In the link below there is a carving of the Kings mother and we can easily see the beads depicted on her chest, in real life it might have been more elaborate than that and she could have had others with more bead works.

There is also a carving of the queen's maids which also have such bead work on the head and chest. I think it has now become popular culture because of fashion and modernization, so i see it as a revival and popularization of culture.

In the last picture we see a King of Owo in Ondo state having a regalia very similar to the one worn in Bini, and he also had on very elaborate bead work. This is an indication of the influence of the Bini culture on its surrounding neighbors.

http://quazen.com/arts/visual-arts/the-art-of-the-edo/

http://morecoolpictures.blogspot.com/2009/04/african-kings.html?zx=219f2cfc8a7fdc13

Thanks. . . .I love the Edo arts kiss kiss

How do you know the Bini culture influence the Ondo culture? Could it not be the other way around? Or do you have a source for this claim?
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Abagworo(m): 12:19pm On Jan 15, 2011
The beads were introduced to Bini by the Portuguese and spread from Bini to other parts of Southern Nigeria.Ondo state has a lot of people of Ijaw and Edo origin around Okitipupa and Ore area who are now Yoruba.
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by fstranger1: 12:43pm On Jan 15, 2011
^^^

SO Someone like Sophie Oluwole of Unilag, is she Edo or Yoruba?
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by uplawal(f): 1:16pm On Jan 15, 2011
Ori mi wu o,am a daughter from the soil of OKITIPUPA
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by PhysicsMHD(m): 2:00am On Jan 16, 2011
uplawal:

Theres nothing like influence of bini culture of ondo people,though they are neighbours,does not mean the ondo were influenced by bini culture,each has its own culture though similar,Ondo been wearing beads from time memorial and never was bead wearing influenced by bini people.

It is absolutely true that similar traditions do not mean that one group necessarily influenced the other. It could actually just imply inherently similar cultures.

However, in this case, Benin influence on Owo and multiple other parts of Ondo state is pretty well established.

http://books.google.com/books?id=ric6OhxbCS0C&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52&dq=ondo+tribute+to+benin&source=bl&ots=t9df9wj5Or&sig=CtPNNFaKuzodumduwU0Fb04tq1Y&hl=en&ei=pUEyTfvkNcKtgQe3iYGSCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ondo%20tribute%20to%20benin&f=false


http://thenationonlineng.net/web2/articles/28141/1/Peace-returns-to-Ondo-community/Page1.html

http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/exhibitions/benin/artwork/189823

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Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by PhysicsMHD(m): 3:26am On Jan 16, 2011
I might have an answer to Ileke Idi's original question. The only thing is that in this image, only one of the women seems too possibly have coral beads on their head.








^^^^^
The woman on the right of the Iyoba, holding up one of the two fans, seems to have beads in her hair.


"Altar Tableau: Queen Mother and Attendants, 18th century
Nigeria; Edo peoples, court of Benin
Brass

H. 13 1/2 in. (34.29 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, 1991 (1991.17.111)

This cast brass tableau, or urhoto, was originally displayed on an ancestral altar dedicated to the mother of a ruler of the Benin kingdom. The queen mother, or iyoba, occupies an important place within the political hierarchy of the Benin court. By protecting the health and well-being of her son, she helps to safeguard the security and prosperity of the entire kingdom. In light of her position, she is entitled to certain prerogatives enjoyed by high-ranking male titleholders, such as a luxurious palace, a coterie of attendants, and the right to commission sculpture in ivory and brass. After her death, a large altar dedicated to her memory is constructed within the palace and decorated with an assemblage of sculptures that celebrate her achievements and facilitate communication with her spirit in the afterlife.

This urhoto is composed of nine figures upon a rectangular base with a square opening at the center. Motifs referring to her strength and achievements such as mudfish and elephant trunks with hands holding leaves, and those of sacrificial offerings in the form of goat and ram heads, appear on the sides of the base superimposed over an interlace pattern. Above, the iyoba is shown surrounded by a group of eight female servants. Similar to other examples of royal art from Benin, the iyoba's superior rank is communicated through her greater scale and the detailed depiction of coral bead regalia. She wears the peaked crown traditionally associated with her position, as well as a cylindrical collar, netted shirt, and crossed bandoliers worn by high-ranking chiefs. The female attendants who surround the iyoba carry insignia of the iyoba's importance, including circular fans and a sword and staff of authority. Two young women stand on either side of the queen mother to support her arms, an arrangement also assumed by the king when appearing in state. Behind her, a pair of attendants hold shields above her head to protect her from the sun.

The unique crested hairstyle and abundant coral ornaments found on the attendants mark them as women destined for marriage to the king or other major political figures. Raised in the palace by the iyoba herself, their sophistication and education make them valuable partners for powerful courtiers.

Source: Altar Tableau: Queen Mother and Attendants [Nigeria; Edo peoples, court of Benin] (1991.17.111) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art"
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by PhysicsMHD(m): 3:30am On Jan 16, 2011
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by rabzy: 9:13am On Jan 17, 2011
During the fifteenth century, stone beads were developed in the kingdom of Benin (known today as Nigeria) with the encouragement of Oba Eware the Great. Benin craftsmen became experts at carving stone beads coveted by the royal court. Beads were considered so important in old Benin that a member of the house of Iwebo (the keepers of the royal wardrobe) was sent by the oba to invest a worthy subject with beads. No titled chief was allowed to visit oba unless he wore his necklaces, and if he lost them, he could be punished by death. The beaded regalia of the oba became increasingly elaborate until, by the seventeenth century, entire costumes of coral beads, including skirts, shirts, and crowns became the official royal dress.

1 Like

Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by rabzy: 9:37am On Jan 17, 2011
Beads have been worn in Africa long before the coming of the Europeans and they are made from different materials, glass, stone corals etc.
The glass beads and corals were most likely introduced into Bini by the Portuguese and possibly before them by Northern traders, who would have gotten them from Arab merchants from the Mediterranean. Corals could possibly have been mined at the sea port at ughoton by the Binis.

The corals are known as Ivie and Ekan. People bear them as names now, and it is given to show how much you value the child. My Aunty gave birth to her first child after 10 years of marriage and she named the girl Ivie.

The stone beads could also have been popular in the Kingdom before the coming of the Europeans, but Oba Ewuare turned gave beads the Honor and Royal importance it later commanded.

A little Bit of Coral beads history is below:

Ivie and Ekan are members of the Coral beads family. CORALS ( Phylum coelenterata ) or ( Cnidaria ) are mined from coral stones in oceans and polished as jewelry. EKAN looks like a stone and is grayish in color. IVIE is another specie of coral beads, an important type of jewelry worn by Edo chiefs. This kind is described as precious coral. It has a hard core that can be polished to bring out beautiful red, rose, or pink colors. Precious corals seems to grow in the bush-like formations in the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Japan. Oba Ewuare in the 1400's A.D. is credited in oral tradition as the man who brought them to Benin when he stole them from the " goddess of the Sea " at Ughoton ( Gwatto ). Since Ughoton was the gateway to Europe in those days, the White man, specifically the Portuguese and the Spaniards may have brought them to Benin. The Portuguese influence on Edo culture is very great especially in the area of costume and clothing. The use of Ivie and Ekan is controlled by the Oba of Benin. There are some shapes you can not wear without being a chief. Corals beads used in Edo speaking areas are very different from those got from the North of Nigeria, in Yoruba land and the Eastern part of Nigeria.

It is historically documented that some chiefs have been barred by Royal Edict, from wearing any Ivie or Ekan as a punishment. An example is Chief Oliha of Benin. It was a punishment for collaborating with the Attah of Igala in IDAH, about 1500's A.D when the Idah soldiers invaded Benin City. Oba Esigie and his queen mother IDIA led the Edo soldiers to victory. The Portuguese soldiers fought on the side of Benin. Oba Akenzua II in the 1940's seized the bearded head gear and most of the beads belonging to Chief Okorotun, the then Iyase of Benin for being disloyal and arrogant. He also took his ADA from him. When an Oba of Benin sends a bead or beads to anybody, it means simply one thing, " you are being made a chief " whether you like it or not. To refuse to accept a bead sent to you from the palace is unpardonable sin. You have in one way or another become an " OGHIAN OBA "-the Oba's enemy.

Cheers.

1 Like

Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by oludashmi(f): 10:20am On Jan 17, 2011
rabzy:

Hey,
i don't think it started 15 years ago, the Binis have always been wearing beads for long, uromi where the Woman comes from is in Esan and we don't wear as much beads as the Binis. Also such heavy beads are often worn by the nobility, the King, chiefs and the King's wives,

such wearing of the beads as a vest might have been restricted to the royalty, but the advent of modernization and popular fashion has made it very common.


If you check out pictures of Bini Kings and also several carvings, you would notice heavy beads on them, so it wont be surprising if their wives also have such elaborate beads made for them.

I confirmed the boldened from her and she said it is true. . .so you are right
She said modernization must be the reason it is now generally used cos she started noticing it in the late 90's/2000
Re: What Is The History Behind The Gorgeous [edo] Bini's Hair Beads? by Nobody: 9:50pm On Jun 12, 2013
BUMPED

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