Edogun family of Benin: The influence and tradition

The Edogun family play a pivotal role in the traditional institution of Benin Kingdom. Edogun is a high chief and third ranking personality to the Oba of Benin in present day Edo state. Today, the influence and prominence of the Edogun family extends throughout Nigeria, not just Benin.
According to history, it was the great ancestor of the Edogun family who usually led onslaught against external aggressors, who wanted to encroach on Benin kingdom. The King also inform him when the town is expecting visitors from other towns and villages for easy passage.
As the war general, Edogun had the prerogatives to deny visitors entry in the interest of the king and people of Benin Kingdom.
The king believe so much in the efficacy of his charms and ability to defeat enemies with his skilful traditional fighting skills.
It was Edogun, who wrestled and defeated Ogiamen before the king was crowned in 1701.
There were other warriors in his time but he was the war general because of his powers and influence. He has several people working under him as warriors and priests.
Before the death of the progenitor of Edogun family, various traditional rites has been embedded in the way of life. The issue of making sacrifice using animals and female mutilation remain a key feature. While there is a global campaign against female mutilation, some African societies or families regard it as a must because of the covenant presumably made with their forefathers to their gods for protection.
In the Edogun family, female mutilation and other traditional rites is carried out durning the ognutonmwenmwen festival.The traditional priests and elders of the family expect family membersĀ  to bring their girl-child for mutilation to avoid what they call curse from the gods.
– By Igbite Gale

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