Queen Iden
Queen Iden Vial Of Edo Culture
{Wife of Oba Ewuakpe 1700AD-1712AD}
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By written By Amrose Ekhosuehi (Last update March 14, 2021)

Queen Iden was the faithful wife of Oba Ewuakpe who remained married to him, made herself the sacrifice, offered herself to be buried alive to the gods for a handsome presents to the Oba and peaceful co-existence of Edo people.

In those days of Oba Ewuakpe, the Benin people revolted against the Benin Monarch. The elders and the people left the Oba, went to the palace and seized the royal properties, opened the doors of the harem for the Iloi to go to their homes and set the pages and others free, but Iden remained with the Oba.

The Oba loved playing the Asologun harp, the small Lamellaphone used for entertainment. It is played solo to accompany story telling or dances.

It is said that witches are supposed to be attracted to the music of this Lamellaphone.

The following was the song played by the Oba on the harp. “lyase lend me sum of money Esogban lend me sum of money Eson lend me sum of money to buy tray, to buy sac to enable me trade in Oba and Agbado markets, lend me sum of money”

The monarch had almost given up hope when he was advised by sage- seer to offer a human sacrifice to the gods; and to scatter about the tower of the palace some newly emptied kegs of palm oil and the pads-Ukoki for carrying the load.

Queen Iden urged the Oba to act according to the advice and offered herself to be the human victim to the gods.

The Oba did the sacrifice but Queen Iden maintained, “there is no other human being as she is the only person steadfast to the Oba, she should be used for the sacrifice” .

The grave was prepared and the Queen entered into it to be buried alive, she told her husband that the sacrifice had been accomplished but warn the Oba that he must not let dirt remain on her grave, and any one treading on the grave must die on the spot. Iden was buried alive near the Oba market.

A day after these happenings, when chief Esogban saw the pads-Ukoki and the empty kegs of palm oil scattered about, he taught that the other rebel Chiefs had submitted, so he made a handsome presents-gifts of slaves, servants, coral beads and other precious things to the Oba and took the Oath of allegiance.

The Iyase saw what Esogban had done, made valuable presents and surrender also. Gradually the other chiefs and people acknowledged the Oba to be their Lord and king. They availed themselves loyally to the end.

When Oba Ewuakpe was very old, he made a law which was passed by the house of the Benin executive council-Eghaevbo and met with the approval of the Kingsmakers-Uzama, that no one except the eldest son of the Oba should wear the crown and the Law has been in the Benin constitution.

Queen Iden vail of Edo culture through herself sacrifice, brought prestige, doff in salutation, submission, profit, respect, and lift of hat, yield and to do homage to the revere Benin monarchs.

Queen Iden was one of the ancient Benin women of faithful worthiness, faithful to give her life and died for her husband, to thrive.

By faith worthiness, human beings work in the fields of philosophy, history, mathematics and science to cultivate the arts, towards bringing the human race to higher understanding of truth, goodness, beauty of view; having universal value, thus human beings will be more clearly enlightened by the wondrous wisdom from eternity, rejoicing in the inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men.

The human spirit is freed from the bondage of material things, can be more easily drawn to the worship and contemplation of the creator. Moreover, human beings is disposed to acknowledge under the impulse of grace, the word of God, who was in the world as the true light that enlightens every person.

There is no doubt that modern scientific and technical progress can lead to certain phenomenism when scientific methods of investigation are incapable of penetrating the deepest nature of things. These draw backs are not necessarily due to modern culture and should not tempt people to overlook its positive values.
Vail of culture recalls to mind that culture must be subordinated to the integral development of the human person, to the good of the community and of the whole mankind.

One must aim at encouraging the human spirit to develop its faculties of wonder, of understanding, of contemplation, of forming personal judgments and cultivating a religious, moral and social sense.

Culture flows from person’s rational and social nature. It has continual need of rightful freedom of development and a legitimate possibility of autonomy according to its own principles. It demands respect and enjoys certain inviolability, provided that the rights of the individual and the community are safeguarded within the limits of the common good.

Moreso in Benin Kingdom, Queen Idia seized control and expanded it far and wide through her military leadership, and tactical mobilization of war lords and soldiers. The Emotan of Oba market did risk her life a spy to save the kingdom, Queen Iden did not fight, nor raised up arm against any one but offered herself victim for sacrifice to the gods to save the kingdom of Benin at a very precarious and threatened period in its history where no one honours or give respect.

Queen Iden vail of Edo culture might be singled out as a woman of onerous character, rare brevity and faithfulness who offered herself a victim; buried alive to thrive the culture.

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