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Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. - Culture - Nairaland

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Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 9:58am On Mar 06, 2016
Until quite recently, the Edo people of southern Nigeria wore a characteristic set of body markings called the IWU. About 50 years ago the wearing of the IWU body markings in Benin went into a decline and the habit died out through disuse, those indigenes of Edoland who still wear the IWU body markings, men and women are considerable in number, but are invariably over seventy years old as for now. A number of tribes of old Africa devised characteristic body marking which the citizens of the particular tribe wore, usually these identification marks were made naturally on the face. The Edo conformed generally to this usage of facial identification marks until five centuries ago when they de-emphasised the facial markings and created IWU, the body and torso markings that they came to be very well known by. DESCRIPTION AND USAGES. Eligibility: Every Edo adolescent on attaining Adulthood was supposed to acquire the IWU body markings. In old Benin, slaves were not eligible to wear the IWU markings. The non-possession of IWU markings in old Benin was the ultimate proof of foreigness. When to acquire the IWU: Acquisition of the IWU terminates Adolescence and commenced Adulthood. A man would usually have his IWU done before he took his wife. A woman usually had hers done just before she left home for her husband's. THE OSIWU- The IWU practitioner: The IWU body markings were made by the OSIWU a professional who performed surgical duties for the society. The IWU body or Torso markings: The IWU body markings of the male consisted of seven blades. The OBA and his children had only six of the blades. The body markings of the female consisted of sixteen blades.The OBA's female children had fifteen of these blades.See pics

Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 10:08am On Mar 06, 2016
THE MALE IWU: BACK AND SIDE VIEWS.

Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 10:11am On Mar 06, 2016
THE FEMALE IWU: FRONT VIEW

Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 10:13am On Mar 06, 2016
More pics

Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 10:17am On Mar 06, 2016
THE GREAT OBA OF BENIN KINGDOM.

Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by amtaken(f): 10:26am On Mar 06, 2016
No comment yet.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by bokohalal(m): 11:46am On Mar 06, 2016
Michael Owen will say that it is the IWU body markings that the Binis translated into their modern traditional dressing.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cine(m): 1:33pm On Feb 05, 2017
OP:

Are these tatoos? or are they actual scars done with a blade of some sort?
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 5:49pm On Feb 05, 2017
days:
OP:

Are these tatoos? or are they actual scars done with a blade of some sort?
In the olden days they were actual scars done with blades or some kind of knives but because of modernity and development they are now just some kind of black Pencil sketches but that does not mean that some people do not involve in blade and knives sketches.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cine(m): 8:58pm On Feb 05, 2017
In the olden days they were actual scars done with blades or some kind of knives but because of modernity and development they are now just some kind of black Pencil sketches but that does not mean that some people do not involve in blade and knives sketches.


Are there people still alive with the scars from blades? Any pics anywhere can't find any online.

I'm currently reading a book on the history of Obas in Benin Kingdom. It got me fascinated. Especially the stories focussed on the origins of iwu.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 12:06am On Feb 06, 2017
Cine:



Are there people still alive with the scars from blades? Any pics anywhere can't find any online.

I'm currently reading a book on the history of Obas in Benin Kingdom. It got me fascinated. Especially the stories focussed on the origins of iwu.
yes I think we still have a couple of them alive, in thick villages and remote areas of the great Bini kingdom, and maybe you may also find some in the great palace of the great Oba of Bini....but I doubt if you can find them on the internet.. You may try .
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cire80: 12:41am On Feb 06, 2017
We have this same markings in Ika culture and there are a few people alive that still bear this mark. It's called Igu markings in Ika area.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cine(m): 12:49am On Feb 06, 2017
chriskosherbal:
yes I think we still have a couple of them alive, in thick villages and remote areas of the great Bini kingdom, and maybe you may also find some in the great palace of the great Oba of Bini....but I doubt if you can find them on the internet.. You may try .

Ok thanks.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 12:42pm On Feb 06, 2017
Cine:


Ok thanks.
you are welcome.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by KingOvoramwen1(m): 5:32pm On Feb 08, 2017
Nice Post!!......Thumbs up Op
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by KingOvoramwen1(m): 5:32pm On Feb 08, 2017
Cire80:
We have this same markings in Ika culture and there are a few people alive that still bear this mark. It's called Igu markings in Ika area.


Howfar my Edo Brother?
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cine(m): 10:50am On Feb 10, 2017
Cire80:
We have this same markings in Ika culture and there are a few people alive that still bear this mark. It's called Igu markings in Ika area.

That's great. I wish someone would document them with photographs as it won't take long for those alive to die out and then we'll be left with none. sad

Visual records are much better for future generations. I guess not enough people are interested in things like that these days.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 7:46am On Sep 29, 2017
Cine:


That's great. I wish someone would document them with photographs as it won't take long for those alive to die out and then we'll be left with none. sad

Visual records are much better for future generations. I guess not enough people are interested in things like that these days.
you are very correct.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by nengibo: 2:46am On Sep 30, 2017
Cire80:
We have this same markings in Ika culture and there are a few people alive that still bear this mark. It's called Igu markings in Ika area.
Ika ppl are found in Edo so they qualify as Edo people
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cire80: 8:37pm On Oct 01, 2017
nengibo:

Ika ppl are found in Edo so they qualify as Edo people
some Ika people are of Edo state origin but remember state of origin is an artificial creation. My comment is about the kinship between the Ika and Edo people. I mean the Bini and Esan people Not Edo State.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cire80: 8:39pm On Oct 01, 2017
Cine:


That's great. I wish someone would document them with photographs as it won't take long for those alive to die out and then we'll be left with none. sad

Visual records are much better for future generations. I guess not enough people are interested in things like that these days.
very correct. I've only seen about a couple of elders with that mark within the last few decades. I don't know if there's any single person in Ika still having that mark at present. It's been a while since I visited home. Gotta find out when I visit home.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by nengibo: 9:39pm On Oct 01, 2017
Cire80:
some Ika people are of Edo state origin but remember state of origin is an artificial creation. My comment is about the kinship between the Ika and Edo people. I mean the Bini and Esan people Not Edo State.
Okay, I made that comment because of the title of the thread
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cire80: 9:43pm On Oct 01, 2017
nengibo:

Okay, I made that comment because of the title of the thread
We're still saying the same thing. Edo people is a different thing from Edo state
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by nengibo: 9:47pm On Oct 01, 2017
Cire80:
We're still saying the same thing. Edo people is a different thing from Edo state
So not every tribe in Edo state can be said to be Edo people?
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by Cire80: 10:22pm On Oct 01, 2017
nengibo:

So not every tribe in Edo state can be said to be Edo people?
The fact is, there is difference between Edo as in State and Edo people. Just take it like that. And to answer your question, not every tribe in Edo state can be classified as Edo people but most tribes are Edo and those that can't be classified as Edo are Edo related eg. The Ika speaking communities scattered in 3 local government areas of Edo state.
Re: Iwu: The Body Markings Of The Edo People. by chriskosherbal(m): 9:33pm On Feb 16
Cire80:
The fact is, there is difference between Edo as in State and Edo people. Just take it like that. And to answer your question, not every tribe in Edo state can be classified as Edo people but most tribes are Edo and those that can't be classified as Edo are Edo related eg. The Ika speaking communities scattered in 3 local government areas of Edo state.
yea .....

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