Nigeria's ancient crowning ceremony

Streets that had for almost a millennium been trodden by illustrious ancestors and unwelcome intruders alike.

Warriors clad in black, royalty, chiefs and noblemen, clad in red and white, and ordinary citizens, in all colors, joined a teeming, powerful procession.

At the front of the throng was the man previously referred to as Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, the Edaiken n’Uselu.

At either side of him stood two chiefs, who gently led him along by his arms to the sacred site of his coronation, across the Omi River.

Tradition, 700 years old

For the people of Benin this ceremony is of the utmost importance, as they see the king or “oba,” as next only to the creator.

Kingship as an institution is much more than a ceremony hence the kingdom’s strict and largely uncompromising adherence to ancient customs and traditions.

This is symbolized by the fact that many of these ancient ceremonies have been…

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