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In my previous post The Yoruba Culture in viewi discussed about the Yoruba culture and stating that the Yoruba culture has a linkage with that of the emergence of the Benin kingdom.
The Benin kingdom all started in the 900s when they decided to settle down in the rain forest in Nigeria. By the 1400s the Benin kingdom became wealthy with a very powerful ruler called "OBA"
The people of Edo were the main heirs of the Benin Empire and were firstly ruled by the Ogiso (kings of the sky), who named their land Igodomigodo. The Ogiso would end, giving uprise to the Oba
Oba was a name title given to a chosen king and was first derived from Oba Eweka I, the first King Benin Kingdom who rose to power as a ‘Teenage king’ between 1,180 A.D. to 1,300 A.D
Oba Eweka I Ruled for 35 years. When he passed away, his children ruled in succession as a form of birth rite, the Oba of Benin was the Head of State of the Benin Kingdom.
The Kingdom of Benin was also then at the peak of its military and political power and the Oba maintained his positivity in spite of threats from the Portuguese, Dutch, and British.
Around the 1860s Benin was no longer as powerful as when it started and the Oba laboured hard to rule his people.
Benin was under threat from Britain as at 1800. The British wanted to control the whole of Benin so they could get extremely rich by trading its palm oil, rubber and some essentials . The Oba did all he could to stop all contracts with the British , but they insisted on their right on trading.
In 1897 a group of warriors in Benin killed and drove away a group of British men who came to Benin.
This attack made by the Benin people made the British angry, They sent over a thousand soldiers to destroy Benin kingdom. The City was burnt down and the kingdom of Benin became a part of the British Empire.
Benin was ruled by the British until 1960, it became a part of the independent country of Nigeria.
Today, the Oba of Benin leads religious ceremonies, but he no longer rules his people.
Thanks for reading stay tuned for our Cultural updates..