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Origin Of Ubulu-uku. - Culture - Nairaland

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Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by mohadana: 4:18pm On Jun 29, 2007
Origin Of Ubulu-Uku

||King Ezemu ||| Obi Ofulue | St Anthony's & Anglican Colleges || Festival | |Origin Of Ubulu-Uku | The Colonial Era| || Ubulu Uku Development Union ||

Ezemu was a hunter of un-equalled marksmanship, a herbalist who was known just in ubulu-uku and its immediate environs but down to every corner of the one time Benin Empire. He was so famous as a herbalist that the Oba of Benin during his time invited him to Benin to prepare certain herbs for him. “Izo-Idayi”. This helped to prolong the life of the Oba and so he told his successor to invite Ezemu or his descendants to prepare the same medicine for him any time he came to the throne. Before arriving at Ubulu –UKU however, Ezemu and his brothers first settled at Ubulu-unor. It was from Ubulu-Unor that Ezemu left for Ubulu-Uku. “Ubulu” is the name of a huge tree which today stands at the centre of Ubulu-uku. “UKU” means big or huge. It was at the foot of this tree ( which still exists today but which has experienced severe burns) that Ezemu pitched tent. A deep gulley was adjacent to the tree, and the presence of water attracted the wandering normand.

From Afor To Ubulu-Unor

In fact Ubulu oral tradition states categorically that the grand-parents of Ezemu migrated from Israel and settled at Ife hence Ezemu was often referred to as the king with long hairs – “Ezi Isi Iyomiyo”. From Ife Ezemu and his relations migrated to Afor a village in present day Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta State.

After a long stay in Afor, Ezemu’s parents assembled five of their namely Obodo, Ezemu, Alibo, Aniga and Ekelie and asked them to get ready to migrate and found other settlements.

Before they left Afor, their parents gave them a pot (Ududu) containing a mixture of some herbs and instructed them to settle anywhere the pot fell, each facing a different direction. While wandering from place to place they came to Ubulu-Unor, the pot fell and they settled there as their parents had instructed them. It was from Ubulu-Unor that Ezemu went to found Ubulu-Uku.

Ezemu Moves To Ubulu-Uku

When Ezemu made up his mind to settle in ubulu-uku he went and pleaded with his sister Obodo to come and join him. She refused told Ezemu that since he, Ezemu had founded a new and bigger Ubulu ( Ubulu-Uku) their first settlement should be called a home (Ubulu-Unor).

There was also the strong argument that Obodo was never the king of ubulu-unor because she was a woman neither were her descendants kings of ubulu-unor rather they have always been and are the Okpalas of Umuata (the descendants of obodo).

Ezemu had two children , one boy called Ijedinka-Jezie and one girl called Ozim. Since Ijedinka-Jezie was the only son, Ezemu hoped that he would succeed him on the throne and so he was grooming him with the role. He had the hope that Ozim would be given out in marriage.

Introduction

Ubulu-uku is situated some thirty kilometres (30kms) west of the River Niger in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. Eastwards it shares a boundary with Ogwashi-Uku, westwards with Obior; northwards with Issele-Uku and southwards with Ubulu-Unor.

Ubulu Uku is sited in an undulating environment with its Enugu-Iyi and Abuedo end at the top of a long stretch of hills, while its centre, fanning out from the Ubulu tree, to Isho, Akwu, Ogbeofu, Idumu-Osume etc are located in a valley.Rolling down these hills are rivers which run through the entire clan to the sea through other neighbouring clans. Iyi Agor ( River Agor) stands out prominently among these.

Ubulu-Uku is the largest and most populated town in Aniocha Local Government Area. Topograhically it is a hilly town that could be easily compared to Agbor in Delta State, Auchi in Edo State and Ibadan in Oyo State. This hilly nature of the town accounts for the serious problem of erosion which it faces. The Problem has made some of the streets impassable especially the street leading from the major road to Ogbeofu.

On the other hand when one looks at the town from any of the hilly spots especially at night, one sees a beautiful scenery that could be said to be one of the best that nature has bestowed on this part of the earth. The town has one major stream called Iyi-Agor which was the main source of water supply before the advent of pipe-borne water. A few other minor streams like Nkpitime-Isho, Iyi-Nta, Iyi-Eko and Iyi-Ozala also serve people in various parts of the town.

Three major roads run through the town . One runs from Asaba via Ibusa to ogwashi-uku then through Ubulu-uku to Obior and Umunede. The second road branches out from Ubulu-uku to umunede road at Idumu-Osume village via Akwu village and then to Issele-Uku. The third road branches out from Ubulu-Uku to Umunede road at the post office junction and runs through Akpama, Agbonta-Udogwu and Isho village to Ubulu-Unor.

Occupationally Ubulu-Uku men are farmers, weavers, hunters, and palm wine tappers. As for Ubulu-uku women they are expert weavers. With their hand looms they produce materials that are highly treasured by both foreign and Nigerian visitors to the town.

The Union that made up Ubulu-Uku

Ezemu meets Ekei One day while Ezemu was under the “Ubulu” tree he sighted smoke at a distance. He became curious and moved towards the direction from where the smoke was rising to find out its source. On getting to the spot called Ani-Ekei which now forms part of Udo Village, he met a man called Ekei, a black –smith. He was the leader of a few settlers there.

Ezemu meets Anugwe Just as Ezemu discovered Ekei and his people, he sighted some smoke rising from a spot in the bush around the present Abuedo village. Like the brave hunter that he was, he moved to find out the source of the smoke. On reaching the spot he saw a man called Anugwe working in his large farm. The exchanged greetings and introduced themselves.

Ezemu becomes the first king of Ubulu-uku

When Ezemu saw that he had surrounded himself with enough settlers he went up to Ekei and told him that it was necessary for the three groups of settlers to come together and that one of the three leaders should be made their king.

After listening to Ezemu, Ekei told him that he was already getting old and was not interested in being the king of Ubulu-Uku. Ezemu went up to Anugwe and told him of his proposals. Anugwe told Ezemu also that he was not interested in being a king. He asked Ezemu to become the king if he so wished. Thus Ezemu was accorded recognition by all the settlers in Ubulu-uku.
Then Ezemu went to Ubulu-unor and told Obodo that he was to be coronated formally. Obodo congratulated him and shaved his bushy hair in order to make him look neat on the coronation day. When Ezemu returned to Ubulu-uku he was crowned the king of ubulu-uku with a lot of pomp and pageantry.

source : C.E.A Ikemefunah and Obi Anene

Thank you for visiting Ubulu- Uku Website .
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by redsun(m): 7:41am On Jul 01, 2007
@mohadana,dian,ONYA.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by NRIPRIEST(m): 8:03am On Feb 25, 2012
Before I start with this history distoter I will like to know how all the core Igbo names seems to be prominent in ubulu ukwu history. . .and in my mothers villa in Umuoji they have a tree called UBULU ! Hence they are called Ubulu dimboko. . .well,I guess "ubulu" is a jewish word !!
You are very funny ! DUMBASSS!
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by Abagworo(m): 9:58pm On Feb 25, 2012
What I was able to deduce was that Ezemu was a priest from Nri while Ekei was a blacksmith from Awka. Nri and Awka people actually settled deep into the Delta area.

This further supports my view that Nri people were in Benin.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by PhysicsQED(m): 1:02am On Feb 26, 2012
He was so famous as a herbalist that the Oba of Benin during his time invited him to Benin to prepare certain herbs for him. “Izo-Idayi”. This helped to prolong the life of the Oba and so he told his successor to invite Ezemu or his descendants to prepare the same medicine for him any time he came to the throne.

The one thing that always doesn't make sense to me about these kinds of stories is this idea that a major center of traditional religion, "magic", traditional medicine, and "paganism" in general invites somebody from what is (to them) an obscure or minor town. The legion of herbalists and various obo and ohen in Benin would have been enough, one would think, since they were quite engrossed in their own medicine.

Abagworo:

This further supports my view that Nri people were in Benin.

As was said in another thread, Benin was not a cosmopolitan city, and the kingdom was not one in which outside groups were permitted to live in Benin.

"None but natives are permitted to live there."

books.google.com/books?id=TP5AAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA770


The notion of Benin as some former "tower of Babel" (as bokohalal once put it) is a modern invention. I have no doubt that the outskirts of the kingdom would have seen occasional immigration, as with every other kingdom everywhere, but the notion of groups just immigrating into a tightly controlled capital city without being Edo isn't that plausible.

By the way, there were traditional doctors and herbalists in Nigeria from places other than the major religious centers. One need not be from Edo, Udo, Urhonigbe, Ugo etc. to be an Edo herbalist, and the same can be said for other groups.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by exotik: 7:37am On Feb 26, 2012
"Benin was not a cosmopolitan city"

^^

really? if benin once enjoyed empire status, i don't see how the capital city would not have been cosmopolitan.

however, i think the "demonization of benin" by other groups is a modern invention after benin fell to the british. and i have noticed that those who demonize benin are those who were once directly under benin. and that is only natural because they do it when they want to impose their own authority over benin. just like how nigerians really don't have any good thing to say about britain when we wan claim authority.

"but the notion of groups just immigrating into a tightly controlled capital city without being Edo isn't that plausible."

^^

once u become an empire, ur borders ur opened to the colonies under ur control. ur colonies cannot be isolated, or they will slip away from ur control. still using britain as an example, under british rule, all her colonies were visa-free to britain including nigeria. nigeria was still visa-free till well after independence. zimbabwe was still visa-free till recently when mugabe kicked out those white farmers. so migration of groups from ur colonies does not mean ur capital city was not being tightly controlled.

now, if agho obaseki was of anioma-extract during the reign of ovonramwen centuries after the empire was founded by ewuare, and agho obaseki held an important position in the palace, how would dat have been possible if there was no free movement of people from that area into benin over the years if not for centuries?
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by PhysicsQED(m): 2:13pm On Feb 26, 2012
@ exotik

Good argument. My perception of Benin as a tightly controlled capital city with limited immigration, apart from that quote I posted, has to do with the nine gates it had over which watch was kept as noted both by oral tradition and written documents and the fact that visitors were kept under armed guard (so that no harm was done to them as strangers unfamiliar with the customs of the city) and that watch was kept over the roads leading from Benin City to other towns (like Ughoton). In fact, one of the justifications for the necessity of an eventual invasion of Benin given by Ralph Moor (the Niger Coast Protectorate's Consul-General) and J.R. Phillips (the deputy Consul-General) was the claim that Oba Ovonramwen was repeatedly stopping the very important (to Britain and to other groups in the region) trade in palm oil in the region by closing the roads. The book City of Blood Revisited: A new look at the Benin expedition of 1897 by Robert Home goes into detail about what led to the fall of Benin. It's a very interesting book.

With respect to Obaseki, certain Anioma groups were perhaps not viewed as non-Edo by the Edo, which would be a misconception, but one which would allow for them not to really be seen as foreigners.

And on the Obaseki family, it's interesting to note that in the story given of their own history, where they are descended from Anioma Igbo royalty, their family's ancestor did not actually immediately relocate to Benin:


"Chief Agho Obaseki was the great great grand son of the Obi of Nsukwa, in the now Aniocha region of the Delta State of Nigeria. The first Obi of Nsukwa himself was the son of King Ehengbuda (about 1578 A.D). Chief Agho Obaseki was the last child of his father, Ogbeide. To understand Agho’s fortune in life, it is necessary to trace how he became connected and the important role he played at the royal house in Benin. It all began with his great grand father, Prince Emokhua N’Obo (the native doctor) who had a dispute with his brother over the accession to the throne of their father, Obi of Nsukwa, during the time of King Akengbuda’s in about 1750 A.D. During King Akenghbuda’s reign, Prince Emokhua and his son, Osifo (Also known as Alias Oyoo) relocated to Isi, which is roughly 15 miles Southwest of Nsukwa. His departure from Nsukwa was a result of the bitter dispute with his brother over the throne of Nsukwa. In Isi, Prince Emokhua N’Obo subsequently settled down with his son, Osifo (Alias Oyoo) at the direction of King Akengbuda who was the supreme ruler of the entire Edo kingdom. "


So they were in Nsukwa, in modern Delta state.

Then they moved to Isi in modern Edo state.

Then from there, one of the family's grandsons found themselves in Benin later:

"However, when King Akengbuda passed to beyond, after a very long reign, King Obanosa (named so, because of his long stay as the heir apparent) succeeded him, but did not last long on the throne. Upon the passing away of King Obanosa, there was a political struggle and intrigues played by key members of the house of Iwebo, the highest of the palace associations. Due to these political intrigues by some of the high ranking chiefs in the house of Iwebo, Prince Ogbebor the second son was crowned, instead of Prince Erediauwa, the rightful heir. Soon, Prince Erediauwa was declared a fugitive by his brother Ogbebor, who quickly consolidated power. Prince Erediauwa’s flee from his brother Ogbebor landed him in Isi. Upon arriving in Isi, Prince Erediauwa met Osifo Oyoo, who was very sympathetic to the young Prince Erediauwa plight, because of the same predicament that befell his father Prince Emokhua N’Obo years before. They quickly connected, without much hard sell or conviction.

Osifo Oyoo was not only sympathetic to Prince Erediauwa’s plight, but went out of his way to help the young Prince, including housing him and being a part of his strategist to win back his throne. Since it was dangerous and suicidal for Prince Erediauwa to remain in Edo land or for anyone to be seen helping the young Prince, with his brother Prince Ogbebor on the throne and in control of the Edo army, he sought refuge in Ewohimi, his mother’s home town. Osifo instead ordered his young son, Ogbeide to accompany Prince Erediauwa as a guard to Ewohimi and serve him, while he himself continued to reside in Isi to execute some of the strategies to get him back on the throne. It was in Isi, Ogie (son of the Ezomo of Benin and one of the Uzama chiefs) [Ref. 1] who was also helping Prince Erediauwa met Osifo and they both coordinated their strategies.

When Prince Erediauwa finally defeated his brother Ogbebor, he was crowned and assumed the title King Osemwende. Chief Obaseki’s father, Ogbeide now a young man was rewarded with a lower chieftaincy title. Chief Ogbeide was highly trusted, having been with king Osemwende throughout his ordeal, without any waver of allegiance and was considered one of the members of the inner circle of King Osemwende. Although, Ogbeide started as Omada (the scepter bearer), the lowest rank in the palace, he nevertheless rose rapidly under King Osemwende’s reign. After King Osemwende passed to beyond, King Adolor ascended the throne in 1848 A.D. Chief Ogbeide was further rewarded and elevated in rank until he attained the position as the head of Ibiwe (one of the palace associations, the custodians of the Princes) and was titled the Inneh of Ibiwe. This later palace association is the third in rank to the other two associations, Iwebo and Iwegua and is divided into two, one headed by Chief Oshodi who is in charge of the King wives and harem and the other by the Inneh, who is charged with the raising of the heir apparent and princes. It was during Ogbeide’s role as the inneh of Ibiwe and being the custodian of the heir apparent, Agho his son became very close to Prince Idugbowa (later crowned King Ovonramwen in 1888)."

http://www.obaseki.org/1/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=1

The circumstances in which the Obaseki family found themselves in Benin seem unique, and they didn't just immigrate right into Benin, and when they eventually did (with Prince Erediauwa's army), there would have been good reason for them to be seen as Edo, even if their origin was actually Igbo.


I guess my idea of a cosmopolitan city is one where numerous people can just immigrate into it and live there freely without some higher authorities deciding to let them live there. That doesn't mean somebody from Nri, Arochukwu, Anioma land, Akure , Owo, Ijebu, Warri, Lagos, Ibadan, Oyo, Idah, Bonny, or Nupe land or wherever couldn't have eventually been living in Benin in the same way that Agho Obaseki eventually got to Benin, I'm just skeptical of the idea of people just walking in there and living there without special permission from the authorities and without being Edo or being seen as "related" to Edo.

And Benin's colonies seem to mainly have enjoyed a loose relationship where the ruler of those colonies paid some sort of tribute. That wouldn't necessarily preclude immigration from those places, but that sort of relationship wouldn't necessarily mean that there was immigration into the city such that people from those places actually lived in the city.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by exotik: 3:24pm On Feb 26, 2012
ok cool. but if the obi of nsukwa was the son of an oba of benin, and from what u have posted, it shows they maintained a relationship with benin afterwards. and because agho obaseki's family/ancestors did not immediately relocate to benin does not mean others who would have been commoners would not have been moving freely back and forth across borders from both sides of the border for whatever purposes, be it for trade, religious or spiritual purposes. so thats how benin would have been "cosmopolitan"

so, since benin seemed to have maintained a relationship with these places, why is it so suprising that an oba of benin would seek the service of a "famous herbalist" from ubulu uku, even though their obi seem to be very edoid as seen in this pic?



or are u saying benin never had any relationship with the people in ubulu uku, hence why it came as a surprise to u?
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by PhysicsQED(m): 3:49pm On Feb 26, 2012
I didn't say Benin didn't have any relationship with Ubulu-uku. The thing that didn't make sense to me was the idea of somebody in the capital city (the king or one of his subordinates) requesting somebody from outside of the city to minister to the king's health when the capital city itself had all those healers and herbalists. It's entirely possible, but the question I would have is why, in this particular city, where traditional medicine was so heavily practiced, would they need to do that?

I actually don't deny that the story is probably based on a real event, though. Isidore Okpewho (who is half Anioma Igbo, half Urhobo) recorded a very similar story in his book Once Upon a Kingdom: Myth, Hegemony, and Identity (which is about Benin vs. its neighbors), although in that case the person invited from Ubulu-uku to administer to the Oba of Benin's health was not the founder of Ubulu-uku. The doubts I have are whether this administering to the king's health actually happened (given that there were already herbalists and healers in Benin), or whether this was just what the person's intention upon going to Benin was (to administer to the king's health).
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by exotik: 3:53pm On Feb 26, 2012
ok cool. but i hope u know that it is in benin folkore that real reason why queen elizabeth visited benin during the reign of oba akenzua was to come seek spiritual powers from the oba.

[img]http://api.ning.com/files/C-wl7l1Rl2xs8XKVOu1gRmcsf4C8NHSA7o0x1g8owKEPy9SUWw2sB8PzB10b0jpCGyQ3ESJFUzxW9NdLcA8SdWdlZEmi2*B3/73221_169634816381872_100000060656204_542736_2717537_n.jpg?width=430&height=600[/img]

but im sure ur average oyinbo brit of today would call it nonsense if dem hear that story. but it is true. abi na lie? grin grin
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by PhysicsQED(m): 3:57pm On Feb 26, 2012
lol, I've never heard of that story before. I guess everybody sees events from their own perspective.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by exotik: 4:11pm On Feb 26, 2012
aahhhhh . . .  u have never heard of that story? shocked dats surprising.

it even goes further to say that when the queen arrived, the oba was busy in his inner chambers and was not yet in royal regalia to receive the queen. but there was no time for him to change,  so what he did was to use his powers right away in front of the queen. and when the queen shook his hand, he clothes automatically changed to the royal regalia made of beads and the queen was highly impressed and wanted to know more grin grin

so u never hear that story? coz that story is common. grin
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by PhysicsQED(m): 4:17pm On Feb 26, 2012
lol, no I've never head anything like that.  Most of the stories I've heard are from my Dad and I don't think he would tell me that kind of story and expect me to believe it. grin That's funny though. grin
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by exotik: 4:22pm On Feb 26, 2012
lol, i think know why ur dad wont tell u such stories, coz he knows u are a scientist and every story must be scientifically proven with u. grin

anyways, laters!
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by bokohalal(m): 11:29pm On Feb 26, 2012
Obo Oba ifo.They come from far and near.Okpota,who buried some charms at the old palace gate now called Urho Okpota Hall,was not a Biniman.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by NRIPRIEST(m): 1:38am On Feb 27, 2012
Onichas were once part of that Benin kingdom but they were Igbos.
Re: Origin Of Ubulu-uku. by NRIPRIEST(m): 1:42am On Feb 27, 2012
exotik:

ok cool. but if the obi of nsukwa was the son of an oba of benin, and from what u have posted, it shows they maintained a relationship with benin afterwards. and because agho obaseki's family/ancestors did not immediately relocate to benin does not mean others who would have been commoners would not have been moving freely back and forth across borders from both sides of the border for whatever purposes, be it for trade, religious or spiritual purposes. so thats how benin would have been "cosmopolitan"

so, since benin seemed to have maintained a relationship with these places, why is it so suprising that an oba of benin would seek the service of a "famous herbalist" from ubulu uku, even though their obi seem to be very edoid as seen in this pic?



or are u saying benin never had any relationship with the people in ubulu uku, hence why it came as a surprise to u?
exotik:

ok cool. but if the obi of nsukwa was the son of an oba of benin, and from what u have posted, it shows they maintained a relationship with benin afterwards. and because agho obaseki's family/ancestors did not immediately relocate to benin does not mean others who would have been commoners would not have been moving freely back and forth across borders from both sides of the border for whatever purposes, be it for trade, religious or spiritual purposes. so thats how benin would have been "cosmopolitan"

so, since benin seemed to have maintained a relationship with these places, why is it so suprising that an oba of benin would seek the service of a "famous herbalist" from ubulu uku, even though their obi seem to be very edoid as seen in this pic?



or are u saying benin never had any relationship with the people in ubulu uku, hence why it came as a surprise to u?



Right,he dressed edoid but you also notice that 90% of their names are Igboid.

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