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Benin Traditional Elements

By EKAIWE IGINUA OSEMWEKHA


In Benin mythology the four basic elements driving the universe are based on water, light, fire and air. To unravel these elemental beings shrouded in mysteries, let us systematically examine them individually and collectively.

No human, no matter the status or spirituality can exist without the conducive type of air which scientist referred to as oxygen as human beings inhale oxygen and expel carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The oxygen we inhale is a product from living plants and conversely, the plants also utilize the expelled carbon dioxide from man as a major raw materials for the production of food in its green leaves called photosynthesis.

The elemental forces in the air which is driven by small gods and goddess are invisible to the eye of the ordinary man on the street. But those elements have been very submissive to the spiritual head of Benin kingdom who is the custodian and owner, the Oba of Benin.

Although, many people may not understand the role he had been playing in intercession between the semi gods and his subjects, many individual with a third eyes can attest to this claim in the spiritual realm.
In retrospect, “eziza” a tornado wind could carry a man several metres high above the sea level and thrown into the forest.

The victim become lost and it will take several days or months before such individual could find his way out of the menace.

A respondent Chief Obas said: “there was a man in the village of Ivbiotor who was relaxing in the cool evening breeze after a hard day’s job. “Eziza” tornado wind was passing by and the old man was lifted high and thrown into an unknown destination in the forest. This man had two wives, the senior one had one female child and the younger one had no issue. He had to wander in the forest for two weeks before he could trace his route back home.

The elements of Eziza taught this man how to surmount spiritual battles and how to heal the sick spiritually. He actually became a traditional doctor of inestimable reputation and a legendary “Ogiobo” the king of traditional doctors. The junior wife who wept uncontrollably for not having any issue for her husband before the incidence became blessed with a male child. So, it was jubilation galore for the junior wife as she now became the landlord of her husband heritage according to Benin traditional law and customs.

In American state of Texas, a tornado wind is known to have destroyed so many buildings, lift up trailers and heads of cattle over 500 metres high and thrown into other inhabitants in the neighbourhood.

The devastating effect of elements in winds have caused Tsunami in parts of America, Pakistan, India and Australia.

The elemental beings which is easier for the human being to quickly comprehend are those elemental beings which are focused with gross materials in the universe.

They are associated with diverse groups that labour entirely in isolation from human spirits and which is led from above, actively working with the continuous improvement of new celestial bodies. They further their maintenance as well as their course, and likewise their disinteraction wherever this becomes necessary due to their over-ripeness, in order that they may come into existence again in a new form in accordance with primodial laws of creation.

Very often, we have heard of nixies, elves salamanders and griomoa, those are associated with the gross matters of the universe which we can see with naked eyes, also comparatively on all other gross material globes. They contain enormous population of people, plants and animals and these are visable to the naked eyes.

We have lived with those things, but we do not know their individual functions in real life. Somehow we imagine that we already know what they occupy themselves with, but absolutely oblivious of the patterns in which they function and effect responsibility given to them by God to accomplish on earth so that there activities are accomplished according to the law of creation.

The activities of elements fire as associated with thunderstorm. Thunder lighting, one of nature most powerful elements has been known to do some very peculiar things. In one case a lighting strikes a man dead and set fire to a house. The elements are commonly referred to as shanoo by the Yoruba worshippers.

In the era of Oba Ewuare the great he usually capture his victims with their goddess and brought to Benin City. That is way you hear the worshippers hailing these elements thus: “Kawo-kabiesel Ekeji Orisa”, the one next to God, “Alowulose”, the wares in the one that can do and undo.

So, when a retailer of “soda soap” display her wares in the public place, the consumers buy and drop money in the baskets and nobody is bold enough to steal the soap or money until the legitimate Owner comes to collect his money.

The water element sometimes stipulates very strict regime and violators of such spiritual guidelines bring untold hardship and dangers to the communities. So, when Ikpoba River was being dredged without recourse to the river elemental beings, scenario of daily occurrence of motor accident at the Ikpoba Bridge axis became un-avoidable. The consequence was loss of lives and properties.

At Adeyanba village in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State there is a river where you cannot wash clothes or do any fishing. Some people from the city when attempted to break the jinks met their waterloo. And those when were lucky to escape never came to recover their fishing gadget.

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