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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Benin Kingdom: Rituals of Kingship and Their Social Meanings
Author:Nevadomsky, Joseph
Periodical:African Study Monographs
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Benin polity
kingship rituals
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:In Nigeria, kingship represents the main social reality for many people, providing meaning amidst clashing ideologies and promising security in a politically unstable time. In the kingdom of Benin, the Oba's (King's) power is less than in past centuries, but the ideas underlying kingship persist, through myth and ritual, as a general cognitive model. This is illustrated in this paper by an examination of the succession rites Prince Solomon Akenzua went through after the death of his father, Oba Akenzua II, in 1978. The ceremonial sequence is described in three parts: the investiture ceremonies conferring upon Solomon Akenzua the position of Edaiken or Crown Prince; the burial rites called 'Emwinekhua' ('the Big Things'); and the accession itself, when the new king announced the name by which he would be known: Erediauwa. The rituals of kingship during the latter part of Oba Akenzua II's reign had diminished. Erediauwa has rallied his people by revitalizing archaic kingship rituals. Such ceremonials correspond to a need among Bini citizens for unifying symbols. Bibliogr., sum.