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The Kings of the Sky
By:- Okorho-Prince Ena Eweka
(Evolution of Benin chieftaincy Titles)



The expanded form of the word Ogiso is Ogie-iso, which when translated in Edo means, king of the sky.  The word Ogie means king, Iso means Sky or Heaven.  Thus the Edo people believe that their kings come from the sky or more appropriately, from Heaven or from God.  It is belief which explains why the Oba or king is the embodiment of the culture of the Edo people.  The story of the people of the people cannot be written without reference to their king or Oba.  Indeed, everything revolves round the Oba.  For example, a matured man would be appropriately referred to as Okpioba (meaning Oba´s  man) Conversely, a woman would be referred to as Okhuoba (meaning Oba´s woman).


The salutations or greetings of the Edo people have not excluded their Oba.  Thus for "Good morning" Edo man or woman would say Oba Owie (meaning King of the Morning) "For good afternoon" they would say Oba Avan (King of the afternoon) and for "good evening" they would say Oba ota (meaning king of the Evening) The origin of the word Oba has been a subject of controversy. The early kings in Benin were known as Ogisos. The successors were the Obas which began with Oba Eweka1.  Some writers claim that the word Oba is a yoruba word which means King.  Others insist that the word must have been derived from the Benin word O baa meaning "it is difficult hard or dificult or probably from an abbreviation of the original name of the first Ogiso Obagodo (Oba godo: Oba-King godo.high; thus High king)  The long history of Edo people is reflected in their uniquely rich cultural heritage.

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