The enthronement of the Edaiken as Oba of Benin
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{Last Update August 2, 2022}

The relocation of the crown prince to his traditional domain the Egua Edaiken is a pre-requisite to his enthronement to the throne of the Obaship  of Benin which discretions is that of his father  or of the appropriate palace chiefs if circumstances (like ill health) does not permit his father to  decide. This is to allow him go through all the traditional processes before his coronation on the demise of his father.

Firstly, he will be initiated into the Iwebor palace society where he becomes the Uko n’ Iwobo being the lowest rung in the chieftaincy title hierarchy. This is done before the demise of his father.

When the Oba finally joins his ancestors, the crown prince and his brothers and sisters are taken to Ugha-Ozolua site located within the Oba’s palace where the demise of the Oba is formally announced to the Benin people by the Iyase of Benin in the palace language the “Orhue Oghe Oba Brurun “which means “the chalk of the Oba is broken”

The royal funeral rites known as emwin n’ ekhua, meaning “the big things” will start off. Meanwhile, the crown prince will be conferred with the Edaiken titles and goes ahead to perform all the four stages of the chieftaincy ceremonies. He then confers some titles on some selected Uselu indigenes that will perform some functions in the palace.

The royal funeral rites last sometimes (at times three months) because of modern living while in the early days, the crown prince being the eldest son of the demise Oba takes the responsibilities of the elaborate ceremony, which are performed partly in secret and the open; part of the ceremony is performed at the traditional palace ground of the Edaiken N’ Uselu, and other in the Oba palace as custom demands.

It is after the interment of the demise Oba had been concluded that processes for the coronation of the Oba are initiated; but not without undergoing some coaching or training about the functions of the Oba of Benin. This training ends in the Usama palace which precedes the return of the Edaiken to the traditional stool of the Oba of Benin.

There are many stages that the Edaiken goes through before he takes his seat as the Oba of Benin, which activities are of elaborate rituals. They include;

  1. Installation as the Edaiken:
  2. Usema:
  3. Evbiekoi:
  4. Ego:
  5. Iyanhien  title:
  6. Use and
  7. Oba’s palace

It is at one of the above locations that the Oba- to- be chooses the name he will be called on the throne thenceforth, which is made public by the Oliha of Benin at the coronation venue (Urhokpota) after the crown had be put on the head of the Oba-to-be (Edaiken) and sealed with prayers by the Isekhure; and the Edaiken will be pronounced Oba of Benin by Chief Oliha. This is the climax of the coronation of the Edaiken as the Oba of Benin.

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