The Benin Dynasty

The original people and founders of the Benin Kingdom, the Edo people, were initially ruled by the Ogiso (Kings of the Sky) who called their land Igodomigodo. The first Ogiso (Ogiso Igodo), wielded much influence and gained popularity as a good ruler. He died after a long reign and was succeeded by Ere, his eldest son.

The exiled Prince Ekaladerhan had by this time changed his name to Izoduwa (meaning ‘I have chosen the path of prosperity’) and found his way to Ile-Ife. It was during this period of confusion in Benin that the elders, led by Chief Oliha, mounted a search for the banished Prince Ekaladerhan – whom the Ife people now called Oduduwa. Oduduwa, who could not return due to his advanced age, granted them Oranmiyan, his son, to rule over them. Oranmiyan was resisted by Ogiamien Irebor, one of the palace chiefs, and took up his abode in the palace built for him at Usama by the elders (now a coronation shrine). Soon after his arrival, he married a beautiful lady, Erinmwinde, daughter of Ogie-Egor, the ninth Enogie of Egor, by whom he had a son.
After residing there for some years he called a meeting of the people and renounced his office, remarking in vexation. This was out of frustration as he often expressed that “only a child born, trained and educated in the arts and mysteries of the land could reign over the people”. He arranged for his son born to him by Erinmwinde, Eweka, to be made king in his place, and returned to Ife thereafter.
son the new king was soon found to be deaf and dumb, and so the elders appealed to Oranmiyan. He gave them charmed seeds known as “omo yo” to play with, saying that to do so will make him talk. The little Eweka played with the seeds with his peers at Egor, his mother’s hometown. While playing with the seeds, he announced “Owmika” as his royal name. Thus, he gave rise to the tradition of the subsequent Obas of Benin spending seven days and nights at Usama before proceeding to announce their royal names at Egor.
Eweka thus started a dynasty that now bears his name. Oranmiyan went on to serve as the founder of the Oyo Empire, where he ruled as the first Alaafin of Oyo. His descendants now rule in Ile Ife, Oyo and Benin.