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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Belief and ritual in the Edo traditional religion Welton, Michael Robert 1969

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BELIEF AND RITUAL IN THE EDO TRADITIONAL RELIGION by MICHAEL ROBERT WELTON B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia , 1964 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d staiydard^ THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1969 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced deg ree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t he L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and S t udy . I f u r t h e r a g r ee t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y pu rpo se s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s thes, i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l no t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia Vancouve r 8, Canada ABSTRACT The pr imary purpose o f t h i s study i s to desc r ibe the Edo t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system. Four assumptions unde rg i rd the genera l t h e o r e t i c a l framework of the s tudy . 1. That the d i v i n i t i e s are p e r s o n i f i e d beings capable of responding to r i t u a l a c t i o n as w e l l as man i fe s t ing themselves i n c u l t u r e . 2. That the i n t e r a c t i o n between man and d i v i n i t y w i l l be pat terned a f t e r such r e l a t i o n s h i p s and o b l i g a t i o n s tha t c h a r a c t e r i z e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . 3. That i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h d i v i n i t y w i l l be r e l a t e d to the at tainment of goals at d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l r e f e r e n c e . 4. That the d i v i n i t y - t o - g r o u p c o o r d i n a t i o n w i l l r e f l e c t the con-f l i c t s and compe t i t i on w i t h i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I have f i r s t of a l l sought to determine what the Edo b e l i e f s about d i v i n i t y a r e , i . e . what p e r s o n a l i z e d beings are b e l i e v e d to e x i s t i n the ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' or ' e x t r a - s o c i a l ' w o r l d . Th i s has been done through e l i -c i t i n g o f statements from p r i e s t s and other r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f the d i v i n i -t i e s , through an a n a l y s i s of some myths and songs sung before the shr ines o f 01okun and Ogun. C l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the d i s c o v e r y of how the Edo r e -present t h e i r d i v i n i t i e s i s the ques t ion o f how these d i v i n i t i e s are b e l i e v e d to manifest themselves i n nature and c u l t u r e . For i f they are b e l i e v e d to be ' p e r s o n a l i z e d ' e n t i t i e s , then they w i l l have i n t e l l i g e n c e , p e r s o n a l i t y and speech. When the researcher s tud ies the r i t u a l i n t e r a c t i o n a l process between man and the d i v i n i t i e s , one of h i s i n t e r e s t s w i l l be to see how the man to d i v i n i t y communication process p a r a l l e l s the pa t te rns o f i n t e r a c t i o n on the s o c i a l l e v e l . He w i l l a l so be i n t e r e s t e d i n what r e l a t i o n s h i p s there are between the goals an i n d i v i d u a l i n the c u l t u r e pursues at the d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s o f s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l re ference and the d i v i n i t i e s as instruments to the at ta inment of t h i s va lued ends. F i n a l l y , we want to see whether there i s any r e l a t i o n s h i p between the r i t u a l i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the d i v i n i t i e s and the c o n f l i c t s and compe t i t i on w i t h i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I f s t r u c t u r a l al ignments i n the s o c i a l order are ' m i r r o r e d ' i n man's r e l a t i o n s h i p to d i v i n i t y i n A f r i c a n c u l t u r e s , then i t could be hypothes ized tha t changes w i t h i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e w i l l a l s o be r e f l e c t e d i n changed or new r e l a -t i o n s to o l d or new d i v i n i t i e s . The ' m u l t i p l e x ' meaning of r i t u a l may be taken fo r g r an t ed . Man's ' v e r t i c a l ' r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h d i v i n i t y cannot be i n t e r p r e t e d as a c u l t u r a l i s o l a t e , fo r b e l i e f and r i t u a l i n t e r s e c t the . s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e and are r e l a t e d to the e c o l o g i c a l environment . Th i s study i s l i m i t e d to r i t u a l as i t p e r t a i n s to d i v i n i t y . For example, I have not been able to examine r i t e s of passage i n the Edo c u l t u r e . I f I had I would have d i scussed changes of r o l e as i n v o l v i n g i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o new groups which u s u a l l y have pe rsona l beings behind them who keep the group f l o u r i s h i n g or weaken i t i n response to breaches o f group norms. Therefore r i t e s o f passage i n v o l v e r i t u a l i n order to b r i n g the new member under t h e i r c o n t r o l . The ques t ions I b r i n g to the study of r i t u a l are o f a d i f f e r e n t o r d e r . I have chosen three broad ca t egor i e s as o r g a n i z i n g d e v i c e s : the Edo r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f D i v i n i t y ; The Edo m a n i f e s t a t i o n of D i v i n i t y ; and the Edo response to D i v i n i t y . A f t e r g i v i n g a b r i e f e thnographic i n t r o d u c t i o n to the Edo, fo l lowed by an i n t r o d u c t i o n to the s t r u c t u r e of the Edo cosmology, I w i l l examine the main d i v i n i t i e s i n the Edo cosmology, and conclude w i t h an overview of the Edo religious system. TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE Preface v i A Note on the Orthography v i i I INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN TRADITIONAL BELIEF AND RITUAL 1 A Genera l D e f i n i t i o n of R e l i g i o n 2 Themes i n A f r i c a n T r a d i t i o n a l B e l i e f ' a n d R i t u a l 7 D i v i n i t y i n A f r i c a n B e l i e f 7 R i t u a l i n A f r i c a n R e l i g i o u s Systems 27 I n t r o d u c t i o n to the Study o f the Edo T r a d i t i o n a l R e l i g i o u s System 32 I I ETHNOGRAPHIC OUTLINE OF THE EDO 35 General I n t r o d u c t i o n to the Edo 36 Main Features of the Economy 40 S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n and P o l i t i c a l S t r u c t u r e 44 The L i f e Cyc le 58 I I I THE STRUCTURE OF THE EDO COSMOLOGY 67 I n t r o d u c t i o n 67 C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and D e s c r i p t i o n of the Edo D i v i n i t i e s 72 C l a s s i f i c a t i o n and D e s c r i p t i o n of Some R e l i g i o u s and M a g i c a l P r a c t i t i o n e r s 93 IV OSANOBUA: THE SUPREME KING AND CREATOR OF ALL THINGS 97 The Edo Represen ta t ion of Osanobua 97 Osanobua as He i s Represented i n the Mythology 98 Osanobua as He i s Represented i n the Osa-names 104 i i CHAPTER PAGE The M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Osanobua 107 P r e s e r v a t i o n of the Edo Value System 107 . Desperate Circumstances P a r t i c u l a r l y Rela ted to the B i r t h Process 109 H e a l t h and Harmony i n the Edo N a t i o n 113 The Edo response to Osanobua . 114 The Holy Aruosa as Response to Osanobua 115 V OLOKUN: THE POWERFUL SON OF OSANOBUA 127 The Edo Represen ta t ion of Olokun 128 01 okun as He i s Represented i n the Mythology 128 Olokun as He i s Represented by the ohenOlokun 129 Olokun as He i s Represented i n the Olokun Songs 130 The M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Olokun 135 The Dream-Experience as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Olokun 136 The Possess ion-Exper ience as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Olokun . . 139 D i v i n a t i o n as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Olokun 142 The Event as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Olokun 143 The Edo Response to Olokun 144 The I n d i v i d u a l Approach to Olokun 144 The C u l t i c Approach to Olokun 145 VI OGUN: THE ARBITER OF JUSTICE 154 The Edo Represen ta t ion o f Ogun 154 Ogun as He i s Represented i n the Mythology 154 Ogun as He i s Represented i n the Ogun songs 155 Ogun as He i s Represented by the OhenOgun 159 i i i CHAPTER PAGE The M a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Ogun 163 The Dream-Experience as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Ogun 163 The Possess ion-Exper ience as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Ogun . . . . 164 The Event as a M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Ogun 170 The Edo Response to Ogun 170 S a c r i f i c e as Response to Ogun 172 Elements i n the UgiOgun as Response to Ogun 178 V I I ESU: THE DESTRUCTIVE ENEMY OF OSANOBUA AND MAN 180 The Edo Represen ta t ion o f Esu 180 Esu as He i s Represented i n the Mythology 180 Esu as He i s Gene ra l l y Represented by the Edo 182 The M a n i f e s t a t i o n of Esu 183 The Edo Response to Esu 184 V I I I THE ANCESTORS: SPIRITS OF THE DEPARTED 189 The Erha 190 The Edo Represen ta t ion o f the Erha 190 The M a n i f e s t a t i o n 'of the Erha 191 The Eho F e s t i v a l as Response to the Erha 196 The Ed i o n 201 The Edo Represen ta t ion of the Ed i o n 201 The M a n i f e s t a t i o n of the Ed i on 203 The Edo Response to the Ed i o n 203 IX THE. AZEN: BRIDGE BETWEEN AGBON AND ERIMWIN 205 The Edo Represen ta t ion of the Azen 205 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Azen on the S o c i a l L e v e l 205 i v CHAPTER PAGE C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Azen as Erimwin Beings 207 The M a n i f e s t a t i o n of the Azen 210 The Edo Response to the Azen 214 X EHI: DESTINY IN THE EDO TRADITIONAL RELIGION 219 The Edo Represen ta t ion of E h i 219 The M a n i f e s t a t i o n of E h i 226 • The Edo Response to E h i 226 X I THE EDO RELIGION: AN OVERVIEW 230 D i v i n i t y i n the Edo R e l i g i o n 230 R i t u a l i n the Edo R e l i g i o n 232 BIBLIOGRAPHY 244 V LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Page 1. The Edo Cosmology 69 2 . The Edo Cyc le of Death 92 3 . Olokun Shr ine 126 4 . Ogun Shr ine and Ceremonial Area 164 5. I n c a r n a t i o n of E h i 221 v i PREFACE I am g r a t e f u l to have been able to conduct a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l r e sea rch i n N i g e r i a w h i l e t each ing w i t h Canadian U n i v e r s i t y S e r v i c e Overseas . Two weeks a f t e r I a r r i v e d i n the Mid-West S ta te of N i g e r i a i n September 1966, r i o t s broke out i n a number o f important no r the rn c i t i e s i n c l u d i n g Kano, Jos and Gusau. These r i o t s were fo l lowed by a massive exodus o f Igbos back to the Eas te rn Region and the i n e v i t a b l e a l i e n a t i o n o f the Igbo e l i t e . The A b u r i t a l k s i n January 1967 d i d not a l l e v i a t e the Igbo losses and sense of i n j u s t i c e . Four months l a t e r the Eas te rn Region seceded from the F e d e r a t i o n under the m i l i t a r y l e ade r sh ip o f Odumegwu Ojukwu. A f t e r un-s u c c e s s f u l economic embargoes aga ins t B i a f r a , f i g h t i n g erupted on the no r the rn f ron t near the u n i v e r s i t y town of Nsukka. Al though there was cons ide rab l e t en s ion i n the Mid-West I was able to cont inue my study o f the Edo t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system wi thou t i n t e r -r u p t i o n u n t i l B i a f r a invaded the Mid-West i n August 1967 and occupied the c i t i e s of B e n i n , Sapele and W a r r i . I was evacuated by my o r g a n i z a t i o n from Ben in and posted to the fa r no r th at Sokoto . F o r t u n a t e l y I was able to r e t u r n to Ben in i n A p r i l 1968 to f i l l i n some gaps i n my r e s e a r c h . I t i s important to keep i n mind that t h i s study was not done on a f u l l time b a s i s . v i i A NOTE ON THE ORTHOGRAPHY R. Bradbury ' s orthography w i l l not be used i n t h i s work. There i s no o f f i c i a l agreement on an Edo orthography but I w i l l use one tha t i s g e n e r a l l y accepted by l i t e r a t e Edo. Bradbury Weiton £ - e (Open e as i n get) 3 . o (Open o as i n got) 'v n ( N a s a l i z a t i o n of vowel) qh gh (Voiced v e l a r f r i c a t i v e ) X" kh (Unvoiced v e l a r f r i c a t i v e ) (~h r h (Asp i r a t ed r ) \ ) raw ( B i l a b i a l f r i c a t i v e . This phoneme i s n a s a l i z e d when p laced next to a n a s a l vowel) The i n i t i a l 0 i n Oba i s an open o , but i t i s becoming q u i t e common to w r i t e Oba wi thou t the d o t . I have fo l lowed t h i s procedure . CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN TRADITIONAL BELIEF AND RITUAL A f r i c a n s tud ies have advanced to the stage where c e r t a i n t ru isms rega rd ing the r e l a t i o n s h i p between r e l i g i o n and the study of c u l t u r e can be made. Among these we could i nc lude the fac t tha t myth and mytholo-g i c a l ca t egor i e s def ine a wor ld -v i ew which i s r e f l e c t e d i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e ; that the most important r i t u a l s cent re around b i r t h , puberty and dea th . The work of the Oxford School ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d , L i e n h a r d t , M i d d l e t o n , Hor ton , Fo r t e s ) stands out from many others i n t h e i r w i l l i n g -ness to take p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o u s systems at t h e i r face v a l u e : that i s , as se r ious attempts to p rov ide a body of theory which w i l l enable a man to ga in unders tanding o f the wor ld around him (Horton 1962: 215) . The Marce l G r i a u l e School o f French a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s ( G r i a u l e 1954, 1965; D i e t e r l e n 1965), on the other hand, have been p r i m a r i l y o r i e n t e d to the r e c o r d i n g of in formant ' s statements to por t r ay the complex i ty of the symbolism and i t s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h every phase o f the l i f e and environment of the peoples s t u d i e d . Both schools take p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s e r i o u s l y ; the fundamental d i f f e r e n c e between these two schools of thought (Horton c a l l s them the symbol i s t and l i t e r a l i s t approaches. See Horton 1962: 217ff) i s that the ' s y m b o l i s t s ma in ta in that statements about gods and r i t e s devoted to them are now r e a l l y what they seem to be: they r e a l l y r e f e r o b l i q u e l y to events i n the observable wor ld o f those who use them, or they " symbol ize" these e v e n t s . . . F o r the l i t e r a l i s t s , t r e a t i n g the gods as mere symbols for events i n the everyday wor ld denies what we know as a matter of o b s e r v a t i o n - - i . e . - 2 -that for the people who b e l i e v e i n them, they are r e a l l y t h e r e . The " L i t e r a l i s t s 1 1 see t h i s approach ( symbol i s t ) as obscur ing some o f the most important f ac t s about the gods. Thus, for t h e i r b e l i e v e r s , the gods are o f ten forces from which they do t h ink they can get a i d o f va r i ous s o r t s ; and for at l e a s t some people i n every s o c i e t y , they are v i t a l s o c i a l par tners i n whom a great dea l o f emotion c a p i t a l i s locked up . Severa l wel l -known w r i t e r s have taken t h i s p o s i t i o n i n recent years .V /(Horton 1962: 2 1 7 ) . 1 I . A GENERAL DEFINITION OF RELIGION Al though there are numerous problems connected w i t h d e f i n i n g r e l i -g ion (See T i t i e v 1960, Goody 1961, Sp i ro 1966, Geertz 1965 and Horton 1960), every a n t h r o p o l o g i s t operates w i t h some c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f what r e l i g i o n i s . Since my study o f the Edo r e l i g i o u s system has been h i g h l y in f luenced by the " l i t e r a l i s t " school o f thought , p a r t i c u l a r l y Hor ton , I w i l l set out Hor ton ' s approach to the problem of d e f i n i t i o n i n some d e t a i l . Horton (1960: 201-225) suggests that there are three e s s e n t i a l approaches to the problem o f d e f i n i n g r e l i g i o n : ( i ) r e l i g i o n i s imposs ib le to d e f i n e , ( i i ) r e l i g i o n r e f e r s to a c l a s s of metaphor ica l statements o b l i q u e l y denot ing s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s and c la ims to s o c i a l s t a t u s , ( i i i ) and r e l i -g ion i s the b e l i e f i n s p i r i t s . Nadel (1954: 7-8) i s an advocate of the f i r s t approach which suggests that because r e l i g i o n i s very d i f f i c u l t to See, for example, E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1956; Goody 1961 and Lienhard t 1956. L ienhard t w r i t e s : ' T h i s , at l e a s t , i s not to deny to f o r e i g n gods some so r t o f r e a l e x i s t e n c e ; and t r i b a l peoples do indeed represent t h e i r gods to themselves as r e a l persons e x i s t i n g apart from men, not as f i g -ments of human thought and f e e l i n g . ' (1956: 312) . - 3 -def ine i t should be l e f t undef ined . Horton says that i t i s necessary to s p e c i f y those v a r i a b l e s whose behaviour we have to t r y to e x p l a i n ; i f n o t , i t i s p o s s i b l e to ca r ry on an endless and e n t i r e l y bar ren argument about whether a g iven i tem of human behaviour i s or i s not r e l i g i o u s (1960: 201) . Leach represents the second t y p e . Hi s v iew i s tha t r i t u a l a c t i o n and b e l i e f are a l i k e to be understood as forms of symbol ic statement about the s o c i a l o r d e r . Horton counters t h i s argument by c i t i n g an example from the K a l a h a r i c u l t u r e and the New Testament. He notes that when ' a person i s seen to be u s i n g p raye r , s a c r i f i c e , or p r o f e s s i o n of b e l i e f i n a god merely to make a statement about s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s or about h i s own s t r u c -t u r a l a l ignment , K a l a h a r i say that the one concerned "does not r e a l l y b e l i e v e " (1960: 203) . And C h r i s t condemned the Phar isees for u s ing r e l i -g ious r i t u a l as a s ta tus-symbol and po in ted to t h e i r a t t i t u d e as the essence of i r r e l i g i o n (1960: 204) . Thus Horton i s making the po in t that the ' r e l i g i o u s ' always def ine the ' r e l i g i o u s ' i n terms of exper ience w i t h d i v i n i t y , and not s imply i n terms o f what they do on s o c i a l l y important o c c a s i o n s . I t i s not hard to see that t h i s approach to r e l i g i o n counters the Durkheimian, for as Horton s t a t e s : ' D e f i n i n g r e l i g i o u s as s t r u c t u r a l symbolism comes to much the same t h i n g as d e f i n i n g the substance " l i n e n " i n terms o f i t s o c c a s i o n a l use as a f l a g : the symbol ic f u n c t i o n i s as i n c i d e n t a l to the nature o f the f i r s t as i t i s to that o f the second ' (1960: 204) . T y l o r i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the l a s t group. As i s we l l -known , he def ined r e l i g i o n i n i n t e l l e c t u a l i s t terms as the ' b e l i e f i n the super-n a t u r a l 1 (For c r i t i q u e s of T y l o r ' s d e f i n i t i o n of r e l i g i o n see L ienhard t 1956 and E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1965) . Not ing the p o t e n t i a l dangers inherent i n - 4 -such a d e f i n i t i o n , i . e . that the s p i r i t s w i l l be thought of as a c l a s s of ob jec t s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s p e c i f i c mode o f ex i s t ence or i n terms o f s p e c i -f i c c o n d i t i o n s of knowledge r e l e v a n t to the making of t rue statements about them (Horton c i t e s data from E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f kwoth 2 (1956: 315-6) and h i s own data from the K a l a h a r i ) , Horton never the less suggests that w i t h some m o d i f i c a t i o n T y l o r ' s d e f i n i t i o n has some v a l u a b l e a p p l i c a t i o n s . 'For the purposes of d e f i n i t i o n put forward he re , i t w i l l be assumed that i n every s i t u a t i o n commonly l a b e l l e d r e l i g i o u s we are d e a l i n g w i t h a c t i o n d i r e c t e d towards ob jec t s which are b e l i e v e d to respond i n terms o f c e r t a i n c a t e g o r i e s - - i n our own c u l t u r e those o f purpose, i n t e l l i g e n c e , and emot ion--which are a l so the d i s t i n c t i v e ca tegor i e s for the d e s c r i p t i o n of human a c t i o n . The a p p l i c a t i o n o f these ca tegor i e s leads us to say tha t such ob jec t s are " p e r s o n i f i e d . " The r e l a t i o n s h i p s between human beings and r e l i g i o u s objec ts can be fu r the r def ined as governed by c e r t a i n ideas o f p a t t e r n i n g and o b l i g a t i o n such as c h a r a c t e r i z e r e l a t i o n -sh ips among human b e i n g s . In s h o r t , r e l i g i o n can be looked upon as an  ex t ens ion of the f i e l d o f peop le s ' s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s beyond the conf ines  o f pu re ly human s o c i e t y ' (1960: 211) . What i s the usefu lness of such a d e f i n i t i o n ? A f t e r demonstrat ing 3 t h a t . . . ' t h e r e i s no "something e x t r a " which d i s t i n g u i s h e s a l l r e l i g i o u s 2 Many of the gods o f p r i m i t i v e peoples could be c i t e d as resembl ing the K a l a h a r i Water-People i n t h e i r thorough-going m a t e r i a l i t y (See Horton 1960: 205-6 ) . 3 Th i s "something e x t r a " has been c a l l e d v a r i o u s t h i n g s : awe before r e l i g i o u s l y charged ob jec t s (Marret 1914); the numinous (Otto 1923) . D. Forde commenting on M a r r e t ' s v iew s t a t e s : 'He d i d not apprec ia te that t h e i r (ob jec t s ) evoca t ive power depended on t h e i r symbol ic c h a r a c t e r , and was not l e d to exp lo re the c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l contexts o f the i n t a n g i b l e e n t i t i e s ' (1958: 4 ) . See V . Tu rne r ' s work (1967) for such an a n a l y s i s of symbolism i n i t s s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . - 5 -r e l a t i o n s h i p s from a l l s ecu l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p s ' (1960: 212) , Horton s ta tes t h a t . . . ' v a r i a b l e s found u s e f u l i n the a n a l y s i s o f man-to-man r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i l l a l s o be found u s e f u l i n the a n a l y s i s of man-to-god r e l a t i o n s h i p s ' (1960: 212) . F i r s t , the two poles of r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the sphere of i n t e r -pe rsona l r e l a t i o n s h i p s : pure communion and pure man ipu l a t i on w i l l be p a r a l l e l e d i n the man-god r e l a t i o n s h i p . Secondly , a theory of god- to-group c o o r d i n a t i o n C ) r e p l a c i n g those de r ived from Durkheim can be e l abora ted from the d e f i n i t i o n as f o l l o w s . There are three b a s i c assump-t i o n s . Assumption I : The i n d i v i d u a l member o f any s o c i e t y pursues a g iven goa l w i t h s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s o f s o c i a l - s t r u c t u r a l r e f e r e n c e . A member of a g iven A f r i c a n community may a c t i v e l y pursue the goals o f h e a l t h , wea l th and increase for the v i l l a g e as a whole , fo r the descent-group of which he i s a member and for h i m s e l f as an i n d i v i -dual . Assumption I I : The r e l i g i o u s r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n which the members o f a s o c i e t y are i n v o l v e d f u n c t i o n as instruments to the ach ieve-ment of t h e i r v a r i o u s g o a l s . Assumption I I I : In a s o c i e t y where the r e l a t i o n s between segments o f the t o t a l group are markedly c o m p e t i t i v e , the f ac t tha t a god and i t s c u l t are seen as c o n t r i b u t i n g to the member's goals at the t o t a l group l e v e l o f re ference ipso fac to i m p l i e s that they cannot be seen as c o n t r i b u t i n g to the same goals at the next lower l e v e l o f r e f e r e n c e , i . e . tha t o f the segments. Converse ly , where - 6 -4 r e l a t i o n s between segments of a group are not markedly c o m p e t i t i v e , re levance of a god to a member's goals at t h e i r t o t a l group l e v e l of re ference does not debar i t from re levance to the same goals at the segment l e v e l of reference (Horton 1960: 213 -4 ) . Th i s approach to r e l i g i o n s h i f t s the emphasis from t r a d i t i o n a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l no t ions of r e l i g i o n . For M a l i n o w s k i (1948) r e l i g i o n was r i t u a l a c t i o n o r i e n t e d to n o n - e m p i r i c a l ends whereas magic had as i t s end some e m p i r i c a l l y d i s c o v e r a b l e g o a l , e g . b e t t e r c rops , r a i n , e t c . As i s we l l -known , Durkheim (1961) i n t e r p r e t e d superna tu ra l e n t i t i e s as symbol ic express ions of the common sentiments tha t sus ta ined the c o l l e c t i v e l i f e of the s o c i e t y . Durkheim con t ras ted r e l i g i o n w i t h magic by l i m i t i n g magic to i n d i v i d u a l and i s o l a t i v e acts."* However, i f a l a r g e par t o f r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t y i s an attempt to persuade or c o n t r o l these p e r s o n i f i e d beings i n s i m i l a r ways as one would c o n s t r a i n or persuade a'.human b e i n g , then e i t h e r an i n d i v i d u a l or c o l l e c -t i v i t y cou ld i n t e r a c t w i t h d i v i n i t y to a t t a i n p a r t i c u l a r ends. I t i s a l so worth n o t i n g tha t e i t h e r r e l i g i o u s or secu la r means might be used to a t t a i n any end i n any s o c i a l c o n t e x t . W i t h i n the framework of t h i s s tudy , then , magic i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from r e l i g i o n not i n terms of an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c act hav ing an e m p i r i c a l l y de f i nab l e end as opposed to a c o l l e c t i v e act hav ing a n o n - e m p i r i c a l l y de f inab l e end but by the c r i t e r i o n tha t the 4 The K a l a h a r i , for example, are a compe t i t i ve - t ype s o c i e t y where d i f f e r e n t segments of the s o c i e t y have c u l t s d i s t i n c t from a l l other l e v e l s i n the system. The gods become human par tners i n the c o m p e t i t i o n ; or i f what they want to do i n v o l v e s l i t t l e c o m p e t i t i o n , t h e i r wor ld of the gods i s l i k e l y to be more concerned w i t h the c o l l e c t i v e we l fa re and harmony of a l l (Horton 1960: 215) . ~*See Ames 1963: 503-4 for a b r i e f a n a l y s i s o f Durkheim's under-s tand ing of r e l i g i o n . - 7 -magic ian does not conduct t r a n s a c t i o n s w i t h p e r s o n i f i e d b e i n g s , but uses ' t h i n g s ' b e l i e v e d to have some innate 'power' to achieve e i t h e r e m p i r i c a l or n o n - e m p i r i c a l ends. Th i s i s not to say tha t r e l i g i o n and magic con-s t i t u t e two conceptual systems. Most c u l t u r e s have u n i t a r y magico-r e l i g i o u s systems r a the r than d i s t i n c t l y separable systems of magic and r e l i g i o n . I I . THEMES IN AFRICAN TRADITIONAL BELIEF AND RITUAL A . DIVINITY IN AFRICAN BELIEF 1. The One and the Many: The Problem Sta ted The fundamental ' p roblem' w i t h A f r i c a n cosmologies i s to understand how the one (God) and the many ( m y s t i c a l f o r c e s , ghos t s , ances to r s , c l a n d i v i n i t i e s and free d i v i n i t i e s ) can e x i s t for the ac tors i n a non-con t ra -d i c t o r y system. I t has o f t en been s a i d tha t the High God i n A f r i c a n r e l i g i o n s i s an abs t r ac t sky god who has been pushed back i n t o the f a r t h e s t recesses of the un ive r se and has l i t t l e to do w i t h man s ince h i s e s s e n t i a l c r e a t i v e f u n c t i o n has been f u l f i l l e d . Th i s n o t i o n that A f r i c a n s do not worship the h igh god i s a common theme i n the w r i t i n g s of e a r l i e r e x p l o r e r s . Frobenius w r i t i n g i n The Voice o f A f r i c a (1912) s a i d : 'God i s n e i t h e r worshipped nor cons idered i n any way but leads an e n t i r e l y p l a t o n i c and m y t h o l o g i c a l e x i s t e n c e . ' Even G. P a r r i n d e r , w r i t i n g as r e c e n t l y as 1949 says: 'The Yoruba c a l l God O l o r u n . . . n o c u l t i s o f fe red H i m ' . . . a n d he goes on to - 8 -d e s c r i b e Him a s . . . ' H i s Supreme but unworshipped God' (Pa r r i nde r 1949: 2 6 ) . Sbe l ton (1964) w r i t e s tha t Europeans have overes t imated the extent of t h i s w i t h d r a w a l . He po in t s out that God ^Ls worshipped r i t u a l i s t i c a l l y ; that He _is immanent i n l e s s e r d i v i n i t i e s ; tha t He i s i n v o l v e d i n the continuous process o f emanating a l l th ings which have a v i t a l f o r c e , fo r forces u l t i m a t e l y come from God (She l ton 1964: 5 3 ) . Counter ing O ' C o n n e l l (1962), She l ton argues tha t God, i n s o f a r as he i s separated from the a f f a i r s of men, i s separated not because he i s so pure but because he i s vas t and p o w e r f u l - - i n f a c t , incomprehensible (1964: 5 4 ) . With re ference to the Yoruba o f Western N i g e r i a , Idowu d i s p e l s the idea of the withdrawn h i g h God. A f t e r n o t i n g that the o r i s h a ( l e s s e r gods) do seem to be predominant i n Yoruba r e l i g i o n , he says that the Yoruba do not e rec t temples for the h i g h God: Olodumare. 'The Yoruba cannot conceive i n what form the D e i t y o f such a t t r i b u t e s cou ld be represented i n images' (Idowu 1962: 141) . Idowu a l s o demonstrates that the Yoruba do worship Olodumare, not i n temples but i n the open. The worshipper makes a c i r c l e o f ashes or whi te c h a l k ; w i t h i n the c i r c l e , which i s a symbol of e t e r n i t y , he pours a l i b a t i o n o f c o l d wa te r , and i n the cent re he p laces a k o l a - n u t on co t ton w o o l . He then takes the k o l a - n u t , s p l i t s i t , and h o l d i n g the va lve s f i r m l y between the h o l l o w of h i s palms, he s t r e t ches them up and prays to Olodumare, o f f e r i n g the k o l a - n u t ; then he cas ts the va lves w i t h i n the c i r c l e (Idowu 1962: 142) . Idowu concludes by s t a t i n g that Olodumare i s ' ve ry r e a l to the Yoruba , as one wi thou t whom noth ing remains ' (1962: 143) . S h e l t o n ' s m a t e r i a l (1965) confirms Idowu's d a t a . With re ference to the Igbo o f Eas te rn N i g e r i a , he shows that the 'High God i s present i n the l i v e s o f NorthTTsukka Igbo v i l l a g e r s i n s o f a r as the v i l l a g e r s c o n s i s t e n t l y ma in t a in tha t Chukwu crea tes and r e c a l l s the i n d i v i d u a l , the i n d i v i d u a l must possess c h i to - 9 -be a person and to be a l i v e (and c h i i s Chukwu w i t h i n the pe r son ) , and that the v i l l a g e r s c o n s i s t e n t l y p r a c t i s e d i r e c t worship of and s a c r i f i c e to Chukwu. Such worship takes the s e v e r a l forms o f d a i l y prayers p re -ceding the Arua ceremony, d a i l y prayers at a household a l t a r , annual f e s t i v a l w o r s h i p , and i r r e g u l a r a l though frequent s u p p l i c a t i o n and s a c r i f i c e to the High God' (1965: 1 8 ) . Research, then , has shown tha t the h i g h god i s n e i t h e r 'd'eus o t i o s u s ' nor 'deus i n c e r t u s . ' He i s worshipped r i t u a l l y , at l e a s t by some peop les , and has not withdrawn from the a f f a i r s o f men, even i f he r u l e s and in te rvenes through l e s s e r d i v i n i t i e s . Two Sudanic c u l t u r e s , the Nuer and the D i n k a , p rov ide e x c e l l e n t e thnographic m a t e r i a l fo r the e x p l o r a t i o n o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the one and the many. The Dinka b e l i e v e i n a supreme b e i n g - - N h i a l i c , the C r e a t o r , who i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y i d e n t i c a l to the C h r i s t i a n God and the Moslem A l l a h . N h i a l i c i s one, ye t there are c l a n and free d i v i n i t i e s , w i t h whom the Dinka are concerned i n t h e i r p r a c t i c a l l i f e and o f whom the Dinka may say ee N h i a l i c , ' i t i s d i v i n i t y ' (L ienhard t 1961: 5 6 ) . These d i v i n i t i e s and a n c e s t r a l s p i r i t s may p ro t ec t or i n j u r e people , as t h e i r whims d i c t a t e . D r . L ienha rd t expresses the p e c u l i a r u n i t y of N h i a l i c i n the f o l l o w i n g terms: D i v i n i t y i s mani fo ld as human exper ience i s mani fo ld and of a mani fo ld w o r l d . D i v i n i t y i s one as the s e l f ' s mani fo ld exper ience i s u n i t e d and brought i n t o r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the expe r i enc ing s e l f . The Powers are d i s t i n c t from each o the r , and from D i v i n i t y , as the exper iences they image are d i s t i n c t from each other and from the t o t a l exper ience of the wor ld and the s e l f . In h i s paper on 'The Withdrawal of the High God i n West A f r i c a n R e l i g i o n : an Essay i n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n ' , O ' C o n n e l l argues that po ly the i sm i s not a l a t e c o r r u p t i o n o f monotheism. He says tha t t h i s v iew tends to conf i rm the misapprehension that the gods were once at f o r e f ron t i n an e a r l i e r p e r i o d o f t ime (1962: 6 9 ) . - 10 -D i v i n i t y , t hen , corresponds to exper ience common to a l l men, and to the D i n k a s ' r e c o g n i t i o n tha t a s i n g l e human nature and c o n d i t i o n embraces a l l . D i v i n i t y i s thus everywhere, and every-where the same. The d i f f e r e n t names by which d i f f e r e n t peoples know i t are matters on ly of d i f f e r e n t l a n g u a g e s . . . D i v i n i t y the re fo re transcends the i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n s the Dinka know, as they recogn ize them in.some ways to be t r ans -cended i n a fundamental u n i t y of human nature (1961: 156 -7 ) . No t ing tha t ' t h i s u n i t y and m u l t i p l i c i t y o f D i v i n i t y causes no d i f -f i c u l t y i n the context o f Dinka language and l i f e ' (1961: 56 ) , L i e n -hardt s t a tes that N h i a l i c u n i f i e s the d i v e r s i t i e s o f exper ience t a k i n g p l ace w i t h i n the Dinka s e l f i n c u l t u r e . D i v i n i t y and Macard i t are not opposing or w a r r i n g p r i n c i p l e s for ' M a r c a r d i t i s a l s o D i v i n i t y , though D i v i n i t y i s not M a r c a r d i t ' (1961: 159) . The d i f f e r e n c e between M a r c a r d i t and D i v i n i t y i s not i n t r i n s i c a l l y i n them but i n the human exper iences they image. Thus the f r e e - d i v i n i t i e s Deng, Abuk, and Garang correspond to f i e l d s of exper ience which are s p e c i a l aspects o f the t o t a l to which D i v i n i t y corresponds (1961: 159) . The Nuer idea o f god i s ve ry s i m i l a r to the D i n k a ' s . L i k e the D i n k a , the p o l i t i c a l system i s amorphous and segmental . And l i k e the D i n k a , the Nuer b e l i e v e i n one S p i r i t (Kwoth) as w e l l as a corresponding m u l t i p l e s e r i e s o f s p i r i t ' r e f r a c t i o n s . ' Kwoth i s l i k e n e d to the wind and i s the w i l l f u l c r ea to r and mover of a l l t h i n g s . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d (1953: 201) notes t ha t : ' I t i s ev iden t that Nuer d i s t i n g u i s h between t h e i r d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t s . . . N u e r s a c r i f i c e to one or o ther p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t accord ing to the c i r c u m s t a n c e s . ' He goes on to say that ' i t i s e q u a l l y c l e a r tha t we are d e a l i n g w i t h a s i n g l e concep t i on , fo r a l l the s p i r i t s a r e , as Kwoth, beings of the same nature or essence. Th i s problem o f u n i t y i n d i v e r s i t y confronts not on ly the student o f Nuer r e l i g i o n , but a l so s tudents o f many other p r i m i t i v e r e l i g i o n s , and a l so those of - 11 -Anc ien t Egypt , the e a r l y Semites , Anc ien t C h i n a , and the Greeks and L a t i n s ' (1953: 201) . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d e x p l a i n s the apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n Nuer b e l i e f tha t any p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t i s Kwoth but Kwoth i s not any p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t . He suggests , l i k e L i e n h a r d t , tha t the Nuer a r e n ' t confused, and that ' i f we t h i n k of the p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t s as f igu res or r ep re sen t a t i ons or r e -f r a c t i o n s o f God, or S p i r i t , i n r e l a t i o n to p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s , even t s , persons , and g r o u p s . . . t h i s i s what "they a re" among the Nuer ' (1953: 202) . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d a t t r i b u t e s the ' r e f r a c t i o n s ' o f S p i r i t to segmen-t a r y nature of the Nuer s o c i a l o rde r . ^ In an i l l u m i n a t i n g paragraph i n h i s paper 'The Nuer Concept ion of S p i r i t i n i t s R e l a t i o n to the S o c i a l O r d e r , ' E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d sums up the s t r u c t u r a l dimension o f Kwoth. At one end S p i r i t i s thought of i n r e l a t i o n to man and the wor ld i n g e n e r a l , as omnipresent God. Then i t i s thought of i n r e l a t i o n to a v a r i e t y of s o c i a l groups and a c t i v i t i e s and to persons: to p o l i t i c a l movements connected w i t h prophets , and i n a s p e c i a l r e l a -t i o n to war fa re , as s p i r i t s of the a i r ; to descent groups as c o l w i c and to temic and t o t e m i c - l i k e s p i r i t s . At the other end i t i s con-ce ived of more or l e s s i n r e l a t i o n to i n d i v i d u a l s i n a p r i v a t e c a p a c i t y as nature s p r i t e s and f e t i s h e s . God f i g u r e d as the common fa ther and the c r ea to r i s pa t ron of a l l men; f i g u r e d i n s p i r i t s o f the a i r he i s pa t ron of p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s ; f i g u r e d i n c o l w i c and to temic s p i r i t s he i s pa t ron of l ineages and f a m i l i e s ; and f i gu red i n nature s p r i t e s and f e t i s h e s he i s pa t ron of i n d i v i d u a l s (1953: 211) . Summing up , every l e v e l of Nuer theory fea tures the concept of S p i r i t . At lower l e v e l s the concept i s ' r e f r a c t e d ' by va r ious aspects o f the observable w o r l d , and thereby acqu i res a v a r i e t y of s u b s i d i a r y a t t r i b u t e s I t i s not suggested tha t the Nuer see t h e i r r e l i g i o n i n t h i s s o r t o f way. N e v e r t h e l e s s , though they do not r e l a t e what we c a l l the concep-t i o n o f s p i r i t to what we c a l l the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , the s t r u c t u r a l con-f i g u r a t i o n we abs t r ac t by t h i s process i s of the same des ign as the sym-b o l i c c o n f i g u r a t i o n s i n which they t h i n k of t h e i r v a r i o u s k u t h ' (1953: 212) . - 12 -which the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t can i n t e r p r e t by reference to features of Nuer s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , eco logy , and so on . At the h ighes t l e v e l - - ' u n r e f r a c t e d ' S p i r i t — t h e concept emerges untrammelled by t h i s pure concept . This p rog re s s ive d e m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n towards Pure S p i r i t occurs because success ive l e v e l s of Nuer theory are committed to e x p l a i n i n g more and more i n terms o f l e s s and l e s s (See Hor ton 1962: 216) . When we s h i f t our focus to the West A f r i c a n r e l i g i o u s scene, the concept o f the 'one and the many' does not appear to be as u n i f i e d as tha t of the Nuer and D i n k a , i . e . the concep t ion of S p i r i t i s not s imply broken up by the r e f r a c t i n g surfaces o f na tu re , o f s o c i e t y o f c u l t u r e , and of h i s t o r i c a l expe r i ence . When S p i r i t i n Nuer and Dinka b e l i e f passes i n t o the c u l t u r a l p r i s m , i t i s r e f r a c t e d i n t o i t s component pa r t s w h i l e r e t a i n i n g i t s e s s e n t i a l u n i t y of oneness. In many West A f r i c a n r e l i g i o n s , i t i s as i f we were l o o k i n g at the ' l i g h t ' a f t e r i t had passed through the p r i sm and then making a statement about i t s n a t u r e . Rather than see ing ' o n e ' , we see on ly the 'many. ' As I see i t , West A f r i c a n r e l i g i o u s systems ( p a r t i c u l a r l y the systems of the Fores t Kingdoms) make a conceptua l d i s -t i n c t i o n between God and d i v i n i t y : God i s ,not any p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t , even though d i v i n i t y may r e c e i v e i t s v i t a l i t y from the h i g h god and f u r t h e r , be coord ina ted to segments of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . For example, the Edo of southwest N i g e r i a would not say that Ogun=0sanobua, a l though they would say that Osanobua and Ogun are members o f the same pantheon (Cf . the way the Dinka i d e n t i f y Macard i t w i t h D i v i n i t y ) . Let me t r y to i l l u s t r a t e the na ture of the 'one and the many' i n three West A f r i c a n r e l i g i o u s systems tha t are not segmental , amorphous, n o n - h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r uc tu r ed p o l i t i -c a l l y . - 13 -The A s h a n t i of Ghana are wel l -known through the w r i t i n g s of Ra t t r ay and E . Smith and i n recent y e a r s , K . B u s i a . The A s h a n t i b e l i e v e tha t ' t he re i s the Great S p i r i t , the Supreme B e i n g , who created a l l t h i n g s , and who manifests h i s power through a pantheon o f gods; below these are l e s s e r s p i r i t s which animate t r e e s , an ima l s , or charms; and then there are the ever-present s p i r i t s of the ancestors (nsamanafo) whose contac t w i t h the l i f e of man on the ea r th b r ings the wor ld o f the s p i r i t s so c l o s e to the land o f the l i v i n g ' (Bus ia 1954: 191) . The A s h a n t i b e l i e v e tha t every l i neage i s p ro tec ted by i t s own ances to r s , a l though i t i s the dead r u l e r s , the ancestors o f the r o y a l l i n e a g e , that guard and p ro t ec t the whole t r i b e or chiefdom. As i s we l l -known , the A s h a n t i c h i e f i s the symbol of the i d e n t i t y and c o n t i n u i t y o f the t r i b e , the s t o o l be ing the symbol o f h i s power (See B u s i a 1954: 200-205) . The l e s s e r d i v i n i t i e s do not seem to be ' r e f r a c t i o n s ' , a l though they do d e r i v e t h e i r power from the Supreme Being who was b e l i e v e d to be o r i g i n a l l y nea r . 'A god i s but the mouthpiece of the Supreme B e i n g , a servant a c t i n g as in te rmedia ry between Crea tor and c r e a t u r e ' (1954: 193) . In A s h a n t i the most important d i v i n i t i e s are those tha t are the s p i r i t s of the r i v e r . The gods a l s o r e q u i r e temporary abode and a p r i e s t , the god sometimes speaking through the p r i e s t , sometimes by d i s p l a c i n g h i s p e r s o n a l i t y (1954: 193 -4 ) . The importance o f the ancestors i n A s h a n t i w i l l be examined l a t e r . The Fon concept ion of D i v i n i t y does not lend i t s e l f e a s i l y to s i m p l i c a t i o n . In the Fon cosmology, the androgynous d i v i n i t y , Nana  B u l u k u , i s b e l i e v e d to be the o r i g i n a t o r of ' c r e a t i v e s t u f f . ' The dual c r e a t o r , Mawu-Lisa i s the one who ordered the n a t u r a l wor ld and the w o r l d - 14 -of man. Mawu-Lisa are at the head of the group of sky-gods who are t h e i r o f f s p r i n g , as are a l so the other gods, of e a r t h , and e t c . (1954: 218) . The a c t u a l p r e s e r v a t i o n of the wor ld i s secured by the vodun, the o f f s p r i n g of Mawu-Lisa (1954: 222) . The vodun each r u l e a p a r t i c u l a r domain. For example, Sakpata r u l e d the e a r t h ; Sogbo the atmosphere. There was sub-d i v i s i o n w i t h i n each of the domains o f the vodun (1954: 222) . I have a l ready a l l u d e d to D r . Idowu's study of Olodumare, God i n  Yoruba B e l i e f . The Yoruba , as has been s t a t ed above, b e l i e v e i n the ex i s t ence of Olodumare who i s f i r s t above a l l d i v i n i t i e s (1962: 50 ) . He i s the Disposer Supreme to whom belongs the u l t i m a t e s a n c t i o n o f anyth ing proposed, the acceptance o f any act of wor sh ip , the b l e s s i n g o f any en te r -p r i s e , and the c r e d i t for the success o f any p r i e s t ' s med ia t ion or per-formance (1962: 5 2 ) . Yet the c u l t s or worship of the o r i s h a ( l e s s e r gods) dominate i n the Yoruba r e l i g i o n . Each of these o r i s h a has i t s own sphere o f i n f l u e n c e (Ogun, Orunmi la , Shango, e t c ) and a l l acknowledge Olodumare as the u l t i m a t e a u t h o r i t y . The Nuer and Dinka r e l i g i o u s systems bear the ' impress o f the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e ' ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1953: 211) , that i s , there i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between the s t r u c t u r a l c o n f i g u r a t i o n of d i v i n i t y and the s t r u c t u r a l con-f i g u r a t i o n of the s o c i a l o r d e r . Students of the Fon c u l t u r e o f Dahomey have shown that the i d e n t i t y of the d i v i n e and human pa t te rns of o r g a n i -z a t i o n i s seen aga in i n t h e i r h i e r a r c h i c a l and s p e c i a l i z e d c h a r a c t e r . H e r s k o v i t s has observed: 'Dahomean c u l t u r e s are based on c o n t r o l by an o f f i c i a l d o m , w h i c h , under the monarch was of an e s s e n t i a l l y h i e r a r c h i c a l charac te r s i m i l a r to that a s c r i bed to the gods ' and ' j u s t as each p r i n c i p a l c h i e f who governed a r e g i o n had minor c h i e f s under h i s d i r e c t i o n who were - I r -r e s p o n s i b l e to h im, so each pantheon-head has minor d e i t i e s under h i s c o n t r o l who are r e s p o n s i b l e to h i m ' (1938: 294) . In a paper i n A f r i c a n Wor lds : S tudies i n the Cosmologica l Ideas and S o c i a l Values of A f r i c a n Peoples M e r c i e r has w r i t t e n : There i s a remarkable correspondence between the government of the u n i v e r s e and that o f human s o c i e t y , between the s t r u c t u r e o f the w o r l d of the gods and tha t o f the wor ld of men. These two e s s e n t i a l aspects o f the cosmogony are complementary and comparable: the k i n g , who sus t a ins s o c i e t y , i s n a t u r a l l y compared to the d i v i n i t i e s who s u s t a i n the w o r l d (1954: 233) . Al though Idowu i s not a s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t he does show how the Yoruba concept of Olodumare p a r a l l e l s the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . D r . Idowu says that the Yoruba by not going to Olodumare d i r e c t l y are r e f l e c t i n g t h e i r s o c i a l p a t t e r n . In Yoruba e t i q u e t t e i t i s cons idered a t h i n g "not done", fo r a young person to approach an e l d e r d i r e c t l y when he wants a s p e c i a l f avou r . Even a son may not go d i r e c t l y to h i s fa ther to beg fo r a great favour , or to apo log i ze for an o f f e n c e . . . I t i s an observable f ac t tha t i t i s not the custom of the Yoruba to t r e a t f a m i l i a r l y w i t h t h e i r k i n g . . . For example, the Oni of I l e - I f e i n consequence o f h i s s t a t u s , used to be h e l d i n so much reverence , that i t was u t t e r l y imposs ib le for any except the ve ry few who were h i g h l y p r i v i l e g e d to behold h i s face or the gates o f h i s p a l a c e . . . h i s v o i c e came to them through a g r a d a t i o n of c i v i c o f f i c e r s w i t h whom they were i n c l o s e touch through t h e i r own ward or f a m i l y heads (1962: 141) . In sum, we have seen that the c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of the 'one and the many' v a r i e s accord ing to the nature o f the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e . Al though t h i s does not enable us to s t a t e p r e c i s e l y what the nature of S p i r i t i s , we do see how the idea of S p i r i t takes va r ious forms c o r r e s -ponding to departments of s o c i a l l i f e (See E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1953: 214) . Nor for that matter can the h igh god's wi thdrawal be exp la ined s o l e l y by r e f e r r i n g to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e as Idowu does. The Igbo of southeast N i g e r i a , for example, do not have a h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r uc tu r ed p o l i t i c a l system (See Uchendu 1965: 3 9 f f ) , ye t the h igh god i s as remote from - 16 -t h e i r a f f a i r s as the Yoruba or A s h a n t i h igh god. However, Uchendu does say t ha t : The o r g a n i z a t i o n and power s t r u c t u r e o f these nature gods m i r r o r Igbo s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . L i k e the l a t t e r , the n a t i v e gods are not conceived of as forming a h i e r a r c h i c a l pantheon. There i s no s e n i o r i t y or a u t h o r i t y i m p l i e d i n the concept ion o f these minor d e i t i e s (1965: 9 5 ) . The Fon and Yoruba gods are d e f i n i t e l y p laced i n a pantheon having h igher and lower members. In a t tempt ing to answer the ques t ion of why there i s a c o r r e s -pondence between D i v i n i t y and the s o c i a l o rde r , I t h ink tha t there are at l e a s t three answers. F i r s t , i n some c u l t u r e s the m y t h o l o g i c a l ca te -go r i e s p rov ide a model for o rde r ing ' r e a l i t y ' on the s o c i a l l e v e l . Thus g the s t r u c t u r e of the cosmology m i r r o r s that o f the s o c i a l o r d e r . Secondly , i f L i enha rd t i s r i g h t when he s t a tes that ' the Powers may be understood as images corresponding to complex and va r ious combinations o f Dinka exper ience which are cont ingent upon t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l and p h y s i c a l environment ' (1961: 170) , then man's exper ience i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c -tured s o c i a l order w i l l be mi r ro red (imaged) i n the D i v i n i t y - r e a l m . This might he lp us e x p l a i n the d i f f e r e n c e between the Nuer /Dinka and Fon/Yoruba/ A s h a n t i c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s o f D i v i n i t y . And t h i r d l y , f o l l o w i n g Hor ton , D i v i n i t y i n i t s d i v e r s e man i fe s t a t ions may be coord ina ted to u n i t s w i t h i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e because r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the e x t r a - s o c i a l wor ld of D i v i n i t y p rov ide the oppor tun i ty to a t t a i n p a r t i c u l a r g roup-or ien ted ends that might be u n a t t a i n a b l e through other means. See M . G r i a u l e 1954: 83f f fo r a study of the i n t r i c a t e r e l a t i o n -sh ip between myth and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . - 17 -2 . Cosmologica l Ideas Viewed as an Explana tory System Recent s tud ie s of cosmologies ( M i d d l e t o n . Lugbara R e l i g i o n ; L i e n h a r d t . D i v i n i t y and Expe r i ence ; F o r t e s . Oedipus and Job i n West  A f r i c a n R e l i g i o n and H o r t o n . 'The (Ka lahar i Wor ld-View: an O u t l i n e and I n t e r p r e t a t i o n ' ) show that the gods o f a g iven c u l t u r e do form a scheme which i n t e r p r e t s the va s t d i v e r s i t y o f everyday exper ience i n terms of a r e l a t i v e l y few k inds of f o r c e s . In M i d d l e t o n ' s work (See 1960: 230-70) 'we f i n d a t h e o r e t i c a l model i n which the ances to r s , embodying the forces o f the e s t a b l i s h e d o rde r , are i n balanced o p p o s i t i o n to the adro s p i r i t s which embody the forces o f the e x t r a - s o c i a l ' (Horton 1962: 215 -6 ) . Commenting on L i e n h a r d t ' s work on the D inka , Horton suggests that the Dinka w o r l d - v i e w . . . ' i s a system o f theory which attempts to p rov ide a b a s i s for unders tanding a vas t number of o b s e r v a t i o n s , about r e l a t i o n s between d i f f e r e n t aspects of s o c i e t y , r e l a t i o n s between the e s t a b l i s h e d order and what i s e x t e r n a l to i t , r e l a t i o n s between the i n d i v i d u a l and the group and so on . L ienhard t l ays p a r t i c u l a r emphasis on the way the Dinka gods serve to demonstrate the u n i t y which l i e s behind the apparent d i v e r s i t y o f the observed w o r l d . He shows how they form a t h e o r e t i c a l model which enables the Dinka to see the va r ious e v e n t u a l i t i e s o f the wor ld around them as due to the ope ra t i on o f a sma l l number of u n d e r l y i n g p r i n -c i p l e s : i n a f a i r l y s imple way' (Horton 1962: 215) . The importance o f t h i s argument i s that A f r i c a n cosmolog ica l ideas are seen as r e f l e c t i n g the A f r i c a n ' s quest for meaning: he b u i l d s models that become maps for exper ience i n a p a r t i c u l a r e c o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l environment . - 18 -To say of the t r a d i t i o n a l A f r i c a n t h i n k e r that he i s i n t e r e s t e d i n supe rna tu ra l r a the r than n a t u r a l causes makes l i t t l e more sense, t h e r e f o r e , than to say o f the p h y s i c i s t tha t he i s i n t e r e s t e d i n nuc lea r r a the r than n a t u r a l causes . In f a c t , both are making the same use o f theory to t ranscend the l i m i t e d v i s i o n of n a t u r a l causes provided by common sense (Horton 1967: 5 4 ) . Thus the d i v i n i t i e s are not merely c a p r i c i o u s be ings - - they have t h e i r appointed f u n c t i o n i n the order of observable t h i n g s . The r e l i g i o u s exper t can know what s p i r i t u a l e n t i t i e s are behind observed events (Horton 1967: 5 2 ) . And s ince theory p laces th ings i n a causa l context wider than that provided by common sense, the f a c t that A f r i c a n s go to d i v i n e r s becomes e x p l i c a b l e . For the d i v i n e r r e f e r s to an unseen e n t i t y and a l so r e l a t e s the p a t i e n t ' s c o n d i t i o n to a whole s e r i e s of d i s turbances i n the s o c i a l f i e l d . The d i v i n e r uses ideas about t h i s agency to l i n k d i sease to causes i n the wor ld of v i s i b l e , t a n g i b l e events [ Hor ton c a l l s t h i s the converging-sequence theory (1967: 170) ] . To the ques t ion of why A f r i c a n s draw ana logies between p u z z l i n g phenomena and the f a m i l i a r , Horton argues t h a t , i n con t r a s t to Western s o c i e t y where o r d e r , p r e d i c t a b i l i t y and s i m p l i c i t y are i n t h i n g s , i n t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s o f A f r i c a , we f i n d the s i t u a t i o n r e v e r s e d . The human scene i s the locus par e x c e l l e n c e of o r d e r , p r e d i c t a b i l i t y , regu-l a r i t y . In the wor ld of the inanimate , these q u a l i t i e s are fa r l e s s e v i d e n t . . . A n d he re , the mind i n quest of explana tory ana log ies turns n a t u r a l l y to people and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s (Horton 1967: 6 4 - 5 ) . He i s a r g u i n g , t h e n , that A f r i c a n t r a d i t i o n a l b e l i e f draws on persons as explana tory d e v i c e s , i . e . gods, and i n doing so omits c e r t a i n q u a l i t i e s o f human beings i n the model . With re ference to the K a l a b a r i , Hor ton suggests that the ances to r s , heroes and w a t e r - s p i r i t s are a t r i a n g l e of f o r c e s . The ancestors underpin the l i f e and s t reng th o f the l i n e a g e s , b r i n g i n g - 19 -misfor tune to those who be t ray l i neage va lues and for tune to those who promote them. The heroes are those forces underp inning the l i f e and s t r eng th o f the community and i t s va r i ous i n s t i t u t i o n s . And the water-s p i r i t s are the owners of the creeks and swamps, the guardians of the f i s h h a r v e s t , the forces of n a t u r e . On the other hand, they are the forces underp inning a l l tha t l i e s beyond the conf ines of the e s t a b l i s h e d order (1967: 6 7 ) . Thus the K a l a h a r i are able to e x p l a i n d i v e r s i t y of exper ience as w e l l as c o n f l i c t and coopera t ion w i t h re fe rence to these three f o r c e s . M i d d l e t o n a l s o shows that the con t ra s t and o p p o s i t i o n between adro and the ancestors provides the Lugbara w i t h a t h e o r e t i c a l scheme enab l ing them to comprehend a whole s e r i e s o f o p p o s i t i o n s and c o n f l i c t s manifest i n the wor ld of t h e i r everyday expe r i ence . In Par t I I o f h i s paper ' A f r i c a n T r a d i t i o n a l Thought and Western Sc i ence , ' Hor ton con t ras t s t r a d i t i o n a l thought w i t h Western by sugges t ing tha t the t r a d i t i o n a l A f r i c a n thought i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a c losed system m e n t a l i t y . There i s a l a c k of awareness of a l t e r n a t i v e s , b e l i e f s are sacred w i t h the subsequent anx ie ty over any th rea t s to the system (Horton 1967: 156) . Some of the d i f f e r ences connected w i t h the presence or absence o f a v i s i o n of a l t e r n a t i v e s are i n the magica l a t t i t u d e to words; ideas -bound- to -occas ions versus ideas -bound- to- ideas ; u n r e f l e c t i v e versus r e -f l e c t i v e t h i n k i n g ; p r o t e c t i v e versus d e s t r u c t i v e a t t i t u d e towards es tab-l i s h e d theo ry ; d i v i n a t i o n versus d i a g n o s i s ; absence versus presence of exper imenta l method; the confess ion of ignorance and b e l i e f s about c o i n -c i d e n c e , chance and p r o b a b i l i t y ; p r o t e c t i v e versus d e s t r u c t i v e a t t i t u d e to the ca tegory-sys tem and concepts of t ime (Horton 1967: 158-177) . Horton concludes h i s essay by n o t i n g tha t ' the concept o f the " c l o s e d " - 20 -predicament not on ly provides a key to unders tanding of each one of the above s a l i e n t t r a i t s o f t r a d i t i o n a l thought; i t a l s o he lps us to see why these e leven t r a i t s f l o u r i s h and p e r i s h toge the r . The c lo sed system cracks when presented w i t h a l t e r n a t i v e s ' ( 1 9 6 7 : 180) . We have now added another dimension to our unders tanding of D i v i n i t y i n A f r i c a n b e l i e f . R e l i g i o u s ca t egor i e s have a p h i l o s o p h i c a l and epistemo-l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , p r o v i d i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l A f r i c a n w i t h models to i n t e r p r e t the ' r e a l i t y ' tha t confronts him i n c u l t u r e . 3 . The S i g n i f i c a n c e of the Ances tors i n A f r i c a n R e l i g i o u s Systems The remarks that f o l l o w are p r i m a r i l y based on M . For tes paper 'Some r e f l e c t i o n s on Ances tor Worship i n A f r i c a ' (1965: 122-141) . For a n a l y t i c a l purposes I have chosen to examine the r o l e of the ancestors i n A f r i c a n t r a d i t i o n a l b e l i e f apart from D i v i n i t y , a l though i n my study o f the Edo I do not make any conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n . I t has long been recognized that ancestor i s a conspicuous fea ture of A f r i c a n r e l i g i o u s systems hav ing a remarkably un i form s t r u c t u r a l frame-work. An ancestor i s a named, dead forbear who has l i v i n g descendants of a des ignated g e n e a l o g i c a l c l a s s r ep re sen t ing h i s cont inued s t r u c t u r a l r e l e v a n c e . Ances tor worship i s rooted i n domest ic , k i n s h i p and descent r e l a t i o n s and i n s t i t u t i o n s . For tes s ta tes tha t there i s much more to ancestor worship than i t s u t i l i t y as a means o f mapping out and p r o v i d i n g a cha r t e r for a genea log i -c a l l y ordered s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e (See Bohannan 1953 and E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1956: 162) . For tes d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between ancestor worship and customary - 21 -b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s concerning dea th , the s o u l , ghos t , s p i r i t s and the a f t e r l i f e . R. Bradbury ' s paper 'Fa ther and Senior Son i n Edo Mortuary R i t u a l ' (1965) has shown tha t death alone i s not s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n fo r becoming an ances to r . C i t i n g m a t e r i a l from the Tsonga (Junod 1927: 347f f ) , For tes notes tha t they d i s t i n g u i s h between ghos t ly dead wi thout o f f s p r i n g and ancestors who have o f f s p r i n g . A very important pa r t of For tes ' summary o f ancestor centres around the idea that ancestor worship i s a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n or ex tens ion of the a u t h o r i t y i n the j u r a l r e l a t i o n s o f success ive gene ra t ions ; i t i s not a d u p l i c a t i o n , i n a superna tu ra l i d i o m , o f the t o t a l complex of a f f e c t i v e , e d u c a t i v e , and suppor t ive r e l a t i o n s h i p manifested i n c h i l d - r e a r i n g or i n mar r i age , or i n any other forms o f a s s o c i a t i o n , however l o n g l a s t i n g and i n t i m a t e , between kinsmen, neighbours or f r i e n d s . He i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s p r o p o s i t i o n by c i t i n g m a t e r i a l from the A s h a n t i where even though the f a the r - son r e l a t i o n s h i p i s of h i g h a f f e c t i v i t y , on ly the mother 's b ro the r has a s t o o l dedica ted to him becoming the ancestor for purposes of w o r s h i p . In a m a t r i l i n e a l s o c i e t y i t i s on ly those members of a l i neage who have been inves ted w i t h a u t h o r i t y , that i s , j u r i s d i c t i o n i n the l i n e a g e , as l i neage heads or as ho lde r s of o f f i c e i n the e x t e r n a l p o l i t i c o - j u r a l domain, who become permanently enshr ined i n s t o o l s of w o r s h i p . The ancestors are approached r i t u a l l y by s a c r i f i c e , l i b a t i o n and p r a y e r . In T a l l e n s i c u l t u r e on ly a son can o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s to ances to r s , and he can do so on ly i f h i s r e l e v a n t parent i s dead. Thus i t i s u s u a l l y the s u r v i v i n g sen io r son who i s r e s p o n s i b l e for r i t u a l tendance and s e r v i c e o f the a n c e s t o r s . H i s i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for i n i t i a t i n g , s u p e r v i s i n g and t a k i n g the l e ad ing par t i n the mortuary and fune ra l fo r h i s pa r en t s . To refuse the ancestors i s to i n v i t e d i s a s t e r . Accord ing to For tes the - 22 -behaviour o f ancestors i s s tandard ized r ega rd les s of t h e i r l i f e t i m e behav iour : a l l ancestors exact r i t u a l s e r v i c e and p r o p i t i a t i o n i n accordance w i t h the same r u l e s of u n p r e d i c t a b l e and more commonly per-secutory r a the r than b e n e f i c i e n t i n t e r v e n t i o n (See K r i g e 1943: 232) . When the pe r secu t ing ancestor in te rvenes they are b e l i e v e d to have acted r i g h t f u l l y and not wan ton ly . Thus the ancestors are thought of as an u l t i m a t e judge and mentor whose v i g i l a n c e i s d i r e c t e d towards r e s t o r i n g order and d i s c i p l i n e i n compliance w i t h the norms o f r i g h t and du ty , amity and p i e t y . The ancestors are r e l a t e d to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . E . Colson w r i t i n g on ' A n c e s t r a l S p i r i t s among the P la t eau Tonga' shows how the Mizumu ' r e f l e c t the i d e a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Tonga s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e ' (Colson 1960: 372) . Al though For tes does not regard ancestor worship as exhaus-t i b l y s p e c i f i a b l e as a pu re ly j u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n (See footnote 6, 1965: 137) , he does c o r r e l a t e i t w i t h r u l e s of conduct which serve to entrench the p r i n c i p l e of j u r a l a u t h o r i t y together w i t h i t s c o r r o l a r y , l e g i t i m a t e r i g h t , and i t s r e c i p r o c a l , des ignated a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , as an i n d i s p u t a b l e and sacrosanct v a l u e - p r i n c i p l e o f the s o c i a l system. The ancestors symbol-i z e the c o n t i n u i t y of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , and the proper a l l o c a t i o n , at any g iven t ime , of the a u t h o r i t y and r i g h t they h e l d and t r a n s m i t t e d . For tes notes that the A s h a n t i h e l d to the n o t i o n tha t the S t o o l was the sacred v e h i c l e o f the presence of the ancestors and both the source and symbol o f p o l i t i c o - r i t u a l o f f i c e (See B u s i a 1954), from the k i n g s h i p down to the headship o f a l o c a l l i n e a g e . I t i s the exper ience of f i l i a l dependence as recognized and i n t e r p r e t e d by the c u l t u r e which provides the m a t e r i a l fo r the code o f symbolism and r i t u a l by means of which - 23 -reverence for a u t h o r i t y can be r e g u l a r l y a f f i rmed and enac ted . For i t i s i n t h i s exper ience tha t the b e l i e f s and sentiments o f r e s p e c t , reverence and worship are i n c u l c a t e d . For tes has argued along s i m i l a r l i n e s i n an e a r l i e r essay Oedipus and Job i n West A f r i c a n R e l i g i o n . He s ta tes that ' the worship of the ancestors i s i n essence the r i t u a l i z a t i o n of f i l i a l p i e t y ' (1959: 2 9 ) . The genesis of the T a l l e n s i b e l i e f , t hen , i s ' i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between parents and c h i l d r e n i n s o c i e t i e s w i t h a s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n based on k i n s h i p and descen t 1 (1959: 7 8 ) . 4 . W i t c h c r a f t and Sorcery i n A f r i c a n B e l i e f The f u l l e s t study of w i t c h c r a f t i n A f r i c a i s E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s epochal work W i t c h c r a f t , Orac les and Magic among the Azande. L ienhard t as w e l l as o thers have noted tha t Europeans have had numerous problems unders tanding t h i s phenomenon p a r t i c u l a r l y because i t seems remote from our own modes of thought (Lienhard t 1954: 9 9 ) . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d demonstrated tha t i n order to understand t h i s b e l i e f - s y s t e m we must beg in by making some assumptions which the Azande make ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1962: 98-102) . We have to assume tha t a man's death or misfor tune demands s p e c i f i c e x p l a n a t i o n ; that human beings wi thou t any p h y s i c a l act can i n j u r e each o the r ; that a p o s s i b l e way o f account ing fo r death or s u f f e r i n g i s to say that someone, some human w i t c h , i s r e s p o n s i b l e fo r the death; that i t i s p o s s i b l e that o r ac l e s can r e v e a l t r u t h when other means f a i l . Most a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s today accept E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s c l a s s i c d i s -t i n c t i o n between magic and s o r c e r y . He def ined a w i t c h as one who has b e l i e v e d to be able to harm others m y s t i c a l l y and i l l e g i t i m a t e l y by means - 24 -o f p sych i c emanations from an inherent p h y s i o l o g i c a l c o n d i t i o n tha t was t r ansmi t t ed b i o l o g i c a l l y . A s o r c e r e r , on the o ther hand, was b e l i e v e d to harm others m y s t i c a l l y and i l l e g i t i m a t e l y by p r a c t i c i n g d e s t r u c t i v e magic , tha t i s , by performing r i t e s , u s i n g medicines and making these e f f e c t i v e or p o s s i b l y s e l e c t i v e by u s i n g more or l e s s formal s p e l l s or addresses . The w i t c h seems to be more d e l i b e r a t e and vengeful i n h i s i n t e n t i o n s whereas a w i t c h i s d r i v e n by an u n c o n t r o l l a b l e urge which may even operate aga ins t h i s b e t t e r n a t u r e . In recent years there have been a number o f important works that have g iven more a t t e n t i o n to the s t r u c t u r a l and normative s i g n i f i c a n c e of b e l i e f s i n so rce ry and w i t c h c r a f t i n con t r a s t to E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s study o f the l o g i c a l i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s of b e l i e f s i n magic, w i t c h c r a f t and so rce ry among the Azande. In a paper ' W i t c h c r a f t i n four A f r i c a n s o c i e t i e s , ' Nadel argues that w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s are r e l a t e d to s p e c i f i c a n x i e t i e s and s t resses i n s o c i a l l i f e , even the p r e c i s e nature o f the s o c i a l causes o f which they are symptoms. He i d e n t i f i e s two b a s i c types o f w i t c h c r a f t . The Nupe o f c e n t r a l N i g e r i a i d e n t i f y t h e i r wi tches as openly and s u c c e s s f u l l y s e t t i n g as ide the s o c i a l va lues and thus denying the s t a t e o f s o c i e t y des i r ed and thought gopd. On the other hand, the Mesakin i d e n t i f y a w i t c h as a person who cannot l i v e up to the s o c i a l va lues yet cannot openly r e b e l aga ins t them; the a t t acks upon wi tches are a t t acks upon the v i c t i m s o f the i d e a l s o c i e t y (Nadel 1952: 2 9 ) . N a d e l ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n leans h e a v i l y on the ' scape-goa t ' theory a l so u t i l i z e d by Kluckhohn (1962) and Whi t i ng (1950). He concludes h i s paper by suggest ing tha t w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s are c a u s a l l y as w e l l as consp icuous ly r e l a t e d to s p e c i f i c a n x i e t i e s and s t resses a r i s i n g i n the marriage r e l a t i o n s i n Nupe, - 25 -and the r e l a t i o n s h i p between mother ' s b ro ther and s i s t e r ' s son i n Mesak in . I t should be noted here that w i t c h c r a f t cannot be ' e x p l a i n e d ' s imply by say ing tha t i t i s a k i n d of p r e l o g i c a l m e n t a l i t y , tha t i s , that w i t c h c r a f t i s because there are i n e x p l i c a b l e th ings i n c u l t u r e . One of the most important works on w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery i s the c o l l e c t i o n o f essays e d i t e d by M i d d l e t o n and W i n t e r , W i t c h c r a f t and Sorcery  i n East A f r i c a . The e d i t o r s hypo thes ize tha t between s o c i e t i e s tha t u t i l i z e e i t h e r w i t c h c r a f t or so rcery b e l i e f s i n making accusa t ions but not b o t h , there are c e r t a i n s i g n i f i c a n t s t r u c t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s . They s t a t e tha t ' w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s are thus u t i l i z e d i n s o c i e t i e s i n which u n i l i n e a r k i n s h i p p r i n c i p l e s are employed i n the format ion o f l o c a l r e s i d e n t i a l groups, l a r g e r than the domestic household , w h i l e sorcery b e l i e f s tend to be s i m i l a r l y u t i l i z e d when u n i l i n e a l p r i n c i p l e s are not so used ' (Middle ton 1962: 1 2 ) . V . Turner i n h i s paper ' W i t c h c r a f t and Sorcery : Taxonomy versus Dynamics ' (1967) o f f e r s a number o f sharp c r i t i c i s m s of t h i s work. F i r s t , he advocates an extended case method approach, no t i ng that on ly 49 pages o f 299 are taken up w i t h case m a t e r i a l . For Turner i t i s necessary t o set any g iven accusa t i on i n t o the wides t p o s s i b l e c o n t e x t . Th i s inc ludes know-ing the s t r u c t u r e o f groups and subgroups to which the accuser and accused belong and t h e i r extant d i v i s i o n i n t o t r a n s i e n t a l l i a n c e s and f a c t i o n s on the b a s i s of immediate i n t e r e s t s , ambi t i ons , moral a s p i r a t i o n s . I t "would a l s o i n c l u d e as much o f the h i s t o r y o f these groups as would be considered r e l e v a n t to the unders tanding of the accusa t i on by l e ad ing ac tors w i t h i n the f i e l d s i t u a t i o n . And i t would a l s o i nc lude demographic data about subgroup and f a c t i o n a l f l u c t u a t i o n s over the r e l evan t t ime p e r i o d , together - 26 -w i t h i n fo rma t ion about the b i o l o g i c a l and s o c i o l o g i c a l f ac to r s bea r ing on these such as ep idemics , r i s e and f a l l i n the death and b i r t h r a t e s , labour m i g r a t i o n s , wars and feuds (Turner 1967: 115) . The f ac t tha t A accused B would then be seen as the product of a complex i n t e r p l a y o f processes and f o r c e s , among which the norms governing behaviour between members of a s i n g l e k i n s h i p category c o n s t i t u t e o n l y a s i n g l e and p o s s i b l y minor c l a s s (1967: 115-6 ) . However, the crux of T u r n e r ' s c r i t i q u e i s tha t ' w i t c h b e l i e f s can no l o n g e r - - i f they ever cou ld - -be u s e f u l l y grouped i n t o two c o n t r a s t i n g c a t e g o r i e s , w i t c h c r a f t ( i n i t s narrow sense) and s o r c e r y ' (1967: 118) . Acco rd ing to Turner , when E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d made h i s c l a s s i c ? d i s t i n c t i o n he ' c l e a r l y intended to conf ine i t to Zande c u l t u r e ' [See E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1927: 21] (1967: 118) . W i t c h c r a f t , i n s h o r t , may be unconscious and i n v o l u n t a r y , though i t i s o f ten i n t e n t i o n a l , i n h e r i t e d , and i n h e r e n t . Sorcery i s always conscious and v o l u n t a r y , and i s taught and of ten bought . W i t c h c r a f t operates d i r e c t l y and sorcery i n d i r e c t l y through s p e l l s , r i t e s , and med ic ine s . This dichotomy, v e r b a l i z e d and e x p l i c i t among the Azande, i s not made i n many s o c i e t i e s . Ra ther , these possess a wide range o f b e l i e f s about the types of persons who seek to harm t h e i r f e l l ows by n o n - e m p i r i c a l means (1967: 119) . B a r r i e Reynolds ' well-documented m a t e r i a l from the cour ts o f B a r o t s e l a n d , Zambia shows tha t the s i n g l e term m u l o i was used for a l l e v i l p r a c t i o n e r s (1963: 14 -47 ) . Turner says that t h i s data r a i s e s the whole ques t ion o f what i s meant by " i n h e r i t a n c e . " C i t i n g m a t e r i a l from the Lunda, Turner s t a tes tha t the 'Lunda or L u v a l a w i t c h i s not born a w i t c h but has w i t c h -c r a f t " th rus t upon h e r , " u s u a l l y l a t e i n l i f e ' (1967: 120) . Turning to the m a t e r i a l i n W i t c h c r a f t and Sorcery i n East A f r i c a , he fu r the r demonstrates how d i f f i c u l t i t i s to use E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s d i s -t i n c t i o n . Contrary to W i n t e r ' s argument (1962: 292) that the behaviour o f - 27 -wi tches i t the "exact r e v e r s e " of that of o ther people , Turner s t a tes that ' i t c e r t a i n l y has some " i n v e r t e d " f e a t u r e s , but others are r a the r c a r i -catures of normal behav iou r . The wor ld of w i t c h c r a f t , as i t appears i n t r i b a l b e l i e f s , i s not the " s t r u c t u r a l " w o r l d ups ide down i n i n m i r r o r image. I t i s the wor ld i n decay, where a l l tha t i s normal , h e a l t h y , and ordered i s reduced to chaos and " p r i m o r d i a l s l i m e . " I t i s " a n t i - s t r u c -9 t u r e " - - n o t i nve r t ed s t r u c t u r e ' (1967 : ,125) . Hi s major c r i t i c i s m , then , i s tha t ' the re i s ye t no standard usage o f these terms ' (1967: 125) . He suggests , fo r fu r the r r e s e a r c h e r s , that a ' h o l i s t i c l a b e l l i n g approach to the d e f i n i t i o n a l problems d i scussed i n t h i s a r t i c l e i s l i k e l y to s i d e t r a c k i n v e s t i g a t i o n from the study of a c t u a l behaviour i n the s o c i a l f i e l d context to an obsess ion w i t h the proper p igeonho l ing of b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s as e i t h e r " w i t c h c r a f t " or " s o r c e r y . " In sum, the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s o f w i t c h c r a f t and so rce ry has been a b l e , u s i n g E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s model , to lead us to the p o i n t where we see the d e c l i n i n g adequacy of present t h e o r e t i c a l frames' (1967: 112) . Un-f o r t u n a t e l y I have been unable to exp lo re or t e s t Tu rne r ' s ideas i n my f i e l d work among the Edo. B . RITUAL IN AFRICAN RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS R i t u a l can be viewed at many l e v e l s . One of the most i n f l u e n t i a l works on the s o c i o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f r i t u a l i s that o f Van Gennep's R i t e s de Passage. Hi s problem was that i n t r i b a l s o c i e t y there seemed to My i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n to Edo w i t c h c r a f t was that i t was a n t i - v a l u e and not a n t i - or i nve r t ed s t r u c t u r e . - 28 -be on the whole grea ter r i t u a l i z a t i o n o f t r a n s i t i o n s i n s o c i a l s t a t u s , and g rea te r r i t u a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n g e n e r a l , than there was i n modern s o c i e t y (See Gluckman 1962: 2 ) . Van Gennep c o r r e c t l y noted tha t changes i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g movements between groups, or a l t e r a -t i o n s of s t a t u s , i n s e m i - c i v i l i z e d s o c i e t i e s w i t h t h e i r concept ions of m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s bases fo r groups, d i s t u r b e d both the l i f e of the s o c i e t y and the l i f e o f the i n d i v i d u a l , and the f u n c t i o n o f r i t e s o f passage was to reduce the harmful e f f e c t s of these d i s turbances (See Gluckman 1962: 3 ) . R a d c l i f f e - B r o w n (1952: 136-9) employed the term r i t u a l to cover magico-r e l i g i o u s phenomena i n g e n e r a l . This gets us to the crux o f the problem for r i t u a l i s u s u a l l y g iven a wider s i g n i f i c a n c e than that of i d e n t i f y i n g i t w i t h the m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s . Nadel (1954: 99) uses the category r i t u a l i n c l u s i v e l y and r e l a t e s i t to any type o f e x c e s s i v e l y formal a c t i o n , w h i l e r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l covers acts where the means-end r e l a t i o n s h i p i s deemed inadequate by e m p i r i c a l s tandards . Accord ing to Monica W i l s o n r i t u a l can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from c e r e m o n i a l . A r i t u a l i s a ' p r i m a r i l y r e l i g i o u s a c t i o n . . . d i r e c t e d to s ecu r ing the b l e s s i n g o f some m y s t i c a l power . . .Symbols and concepts are employed i n r i t u a l s but are subordinated to p r a c t i c a l ends ' (1957: 9 ) . And ceremonial i s 'an e l abora t e conven t iona l form for the expres-s i o n o f f e e l i n g , not conf ined to r e l i g i o u s o c c a s i o n s ' (1957: 9 ) . Goody would apply ' r i t u a l ' to a l l ca t egor i e s of a c t i o n which W i l s o n c a l l s ' con-v e n t i o n a l ' , and ' r e l i g i o u s ' would cover a c t i v i t i e s addressed to 'some m y s t i c a l power' (Goody 1961: 159-60) . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d a l s o s a i d that ' r i t u a l ' i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d by the f ac t that i t r e f e r s to some ' m y s t i c a l n o t i o n s , ' which are 'pa t te rns of thought that a t t r i b u t e to phenomena supra-s e n s i b l e q u a l i t i e s w h i c h , or par t of w h i c h , are not de r ived from o b s e r v a t i o n - 29 -or cannot be l o g i c a l l y i n f e r r e d from i t , and which they do not possess ' ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1937: 1 2 ) . Gluckman i n h i s paper 'Les R i t e s de Passage' admits that ' r i t u a l , tha t i s to say, i s a s soc i a t ed w i t h no t ions that i t s performance i n some myster ious way, by processes out o f sensory c o n t r o l , a f f e c t s the w e l l -be ing of the p a r t i c i p a n t s : i t i s b e l i e v e d to p ro t ec t them or i n other ways achieve t h e i r w e l l - b e i n g 1 (1962: 3 0 ) , but h i s i n t e r e s t l i e s e l sewhere . He i s p r i m a r i l y i n t e r e s t e d i n how ' t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s have . . .worked t h e i r r o l e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n t o t h e i r r i t u a l s . ' Gluckman's purpose i s to d i s c o v e r why t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s w i t h a l l t h e i r u n c e r t a i n t i e s about growth become ' i n e x t r i c a b l y i nvo lved i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s themselves; and i t i s t h i s r i t u a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s which i s my problem h e r e 1 (1962: 3 3 ) . H i s t h e s i s i s that ' the g rea te r the s ecu l a r d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of r o l e , the l e s s the r i t u a l ; and the grea ter the secu la r d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n , the l e s s m y s t i c a l i s the ceremonial o f e t i q u e t t e ; the g rea te r the m u l t i p l i c i t y o f u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d and ove r l app ing r o l e s , the more r i t u a l to separate them' (1962: 3 4 ) . Al though t h i s t h e s i s i s i l l u m i n a t i n g , 1 0 w i t h Forde (1958), I express a c e r t a i n d i squ ie tude at the tendency o f some a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s to i n t e r p r e t r i t u a l s i n s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l or p y s c h o l o g i c a l terms a l o n e . Forde argues that b e l i e f s and r i t e s . . . a r e by no means always evoked by concern for a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l p a t t e r n , but may be s t imu la t ed by other c o n d i t i o n s of the human environment through the va lues and hazards a t tached to m a t e r i a l resources and techn iques , the inc idence of d isease and other r i s k s to h e a l t h and l i f e . . . W h i l e b e l i e f s and c u l t s focus on m a t e r i a l needs and p h y s i c a l w e l l - b e i n g may be a s soc i a t ed w i t h or lead to t h e . f u r t h e r development o f pa t te rns of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , such as pr ies thoods Horton says tha t ' those who f o l l o w Gluckman are unable to see such b e l i e f s as hav ing no th ing more than a so r t of a l l - p u r p o s e s o c i a l g l u e ' (1964: 8 7 ) . - 30 -or i n s t i t u t i o n s d e r i v i n g from the p r e s t i g e of a sacred c h i e f s h i p , i t i s important to r ecogn ize that i t i s the e c o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s , stemming from b i o l o g i c a l and p h y s i c a l c o n d i t i o n s , and the cha rac te r of p a r t i c u l a r t echniques , tha t have c a l l e d them i n t o be ing and sus-t a i n t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e (1958: 7 - 8 ) . R i t u a l , as Gluckman has s a i d , has a ' m u l t i p l e x ' meaning, and i n t h i s ,s;tudy o f the Edo I am concerned w i t h r i t u a l i n t e r a c t i o n between man and d i v i n i t y . One ques t ion I t r y to answer i s why i t should be tha t e n t i t i e s w i t h the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c p r o p e r t i e s of the m y s t i c a l are invoked as a l i n k between f l u c t u a t i o n s of the s o c i a l order and f l u c t u a t i o n s of nature (See Horton 1964: 8 7 ) . We have a l ready noted the A f r i c a n tendency to ' d e f i n e ' s o c i a l u n i t s i n r e l i g i o u s terms. P . Bohannan has a convenient summary o f the two fundamental aspects o f A f r i c a n r i t u a l . He suggests that A f r i c a n r e l i g i o n has two fundamental event sequences. One i s the sequence o f r i t u a l that fo l lows the seasons and has d e f i n i t e a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h the economic l i f e o f people , and i n many cases w i t h the p o l i t i c a l l i f e as w e l l ; there i s u s u a l l y an accompanying sequence of r i t u a l tha t f o l l o w s the l i f e c y c l e of matur ing human b e i n g s . The second system centres i n a sequence of r i t u a l tha t i s t r i g g e r e d o f f when misfor tune appears i n the community, e i t h e r i n the form of i l l -ness and death or of drought or ep idemic . The two events may be c l o s e l y i n t e r l i n k e d , because the appearance of mis for tune may be a t t r i b u t e d to f a i l u r e to ca r ry out p r o p e r l y the r i t u a l fo r keeping the forces o f the firmament i n good working order (1963: 3 3 7 ) . The f i r s t c y c l e would f a l l i n t o the category of r i t e s of passage; the second i n t o what Turner has a p t l y c a l l e d ' r i t u a l s o f a f f l i c t i o n ' (1967: 9 - 1 1 ) . He s ta tes that mi s fo r tune , women's r ep roduc t i ve d i so rde r s and va r ious forms o f i l l n e s s are a s soc i a t ed w i t h the a c t i o n o f s p i r i t s . These r i t u a l s are devised to p r o p i t i a t e and to get r i d o f the s p i r i t that i s thought to be caus ing the t r o u b l e . I mention on ly i n pass ing that r i t u a l s o f a f f l i c t i o n are c e n t r a l i n the Edo/ r i t u a l l i f e . - 31 -S a c r i f i c e i s c e n t r a l i n A f r i c a n r i t u a l s of a f f l i c t i o n . In the recent works of E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d (1956), M i d d l e t o n (1960) and L ienhard t (1961) s a c r i f i c e and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to concepts o f d i v i n i t y and human p e r s o n a l i t y , i t s symbol ic force and i t s s o c i o l o g i c a l nature have been demonstrated. In D i v i n i t y and Exper ience (See chapter 6 ) , L ienhard t shows tha t s a c r i f i c e inc ludes a r e c r e a t i o n o f the b a s i s o f the l o c a l corpora te l i f e . He emphasizes that s a c r i f i c i a l r i t e s do not a u t o m a t i c a l l y operate i n order to achieve some s p e c i f i c end. For L ienhard t s a c r i f i c e and prayer are r e l a t e d to the measure o f c o n t r o l that man can a s se r t over expe r i ence . And the s y m b o l i c a l man ipu l a t i on o f s a c r i f i c i a l r i t e s demands the presence of those who share the common va lues which g ive them meaning, e g . the c l a n - d i v i n i t i e s . In an essay ' B e l i e f and Knowledge' he s t a t e s : In Dinka s a c r i f i c e s I have seen, two separate v i c t i m s may be o f f e r e d , one to the to temic s p i r i t s of the c l a n p r o v i d i n g the s a c r i f i c e , and one to the god i n the sky who watches over a l l the human c r e a t i o n . I t i s as though the act o f s a c r i f i c e i t s e l f , t u r n i n g man's a t t e n t i o n to a k i n d o f be ing d i f f e r e n t from and supe r io r to t h e i r own, a l s o suggests , besides l o c a l t i e s and l o y a l t i e s , a widening c i r c l e of common human concerns (1964: 452) . From t h i s po in t of view s a c r i f i c e to a common god i s a s i g n and a s t reng then ing of the common l i f e . From other po in t s of v iew i t has other meanings (1964: 452) . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between c o l l e c t i v e and persona l s a c r i f i c e s . 'The pr imary purpose o f a c o l l e c t i v e s a c r i f i c e i s to c o n f i r m , to e s t a b l i s h , or to add s t r eng th to a change i n s o c i a l s t a t u s . . . ' (1956: 199) . The act o f s a c r i f i c e does not a u t o m a t i c a l l y exp ia t e a f a u l t . L ienhard t s t a tes t ha t : 'Many d i f f e r e n t k inds of s a c r i f i c e have been d i s t i n g u i s h e d - - s a c r i f i c e as a g i f t to the gods; as a s i g n of communion w i t h them and a way of g a i n i n g s t r eng th from them; s a c r i f i c e as atonement, as s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n , as immolat ion or d e s t r u c t i o n for the d i v i n i t y , and so f o r t h ' ( 1 9 6 4 : 451) . - 32 -'Kwoth or. a s p i r i t , i s not cons t r a ined by the s a c r i f i c e to grant the favour asked f o r . An animal s a c r i f i c e d to Kwoth i s h i s animal anyhow and what he g ives the supp l i an t i n r e t u r n i s a free g i f t . Never the less the Nuer f e e l that the r e c i p i e n t of a s a c r i f i c e i s at f a u l t i f he does not f u l f i l i t s par t o f the b a r g a i n ' (1956: 222) . To sum up , we can say tha t the act of s a c r i f i c e , whether p r i v a t e or p u b l i c , i s b e l i e v e d to have e f f i c a c y as par t of an exchange between man and d i v i n i t y . That i s one meaning; the other i s that s a c r i f i c e s trengthens the common l i f e , a f f i r m i n g l i n e a g e , c l a n and c u l t i c l o y a l t i e s . I I I . INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE EDO TRADITIONAL:'" RELIGIOUS SYSTEM Due to the circumstances under which my resea rch was conducted I cannot o f f e r a complete and comprehensive a n a l y s i s o f the Edo t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system. My c o l l e c t i o n o f myths, fo r example, i s i n no way complete . The complex o f r i t u a l s c e n t r i n g i n the Oba and h e r e d i t a r y nobles are ou t s ide the scope of t h i s s tudy , a l though I do touch on the Igwe• Questions such as V . Turner r a i s e s i n h i s paper ' W i t c h c r a f t and Sorcery : Taxonomy versus Dynamics ' are c r u c i a l , but I was unable to get the k i n d of i n fo rma t ion needed fo r a 'process t h e o r y ' a n a l y s i s . So, f o l l o w i n g Hor ton ' s approach to the study of A f r i c a n r e l i g i o n s , I have chosen to look at r e l i g i o n from a l i t e r a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . Th i s i n v o l v e s the f o l l o w i n g assumptions. 1. That the d i v i n i t i e s are p e r s o n i f i e d beings capable of responding to r i t u a l a c t i o n as w e l l as man i f e s t i ng themselves i n c u l t u r e . 2 . That the i n t e r a c t i o n between man and d i v i n i t y w i l l be pat terned - 33 -a f t e r such r e l a t i o n s h i p s and o b l i g a t i o n s tha t c h a r a c t e r i z e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . 3. That i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h d i v i n i t y w i l l be r e l a t e d to the a t t a i n -ment o f goals at d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s o f s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l r e f e r e n c e . 4. That the d i v i n i t y - t o - g r o u p c o o r d i n a t i o n w i l l r e f l e c t the con-f l i c t s and compe t i t i on w i t h i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I have f i r s t o f a l l sought to determine what the Edo b e l i e f s about d i v i n i t y a r e , i . e . what p e r s o n a l i z e d beings are b e l i e v e d to e x i s t i n the ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' or ' e x t r a - s o c i a l ' w o r l d . Th i s has been done through e l i c i t i n g of statements from p r i e s t s and other r ep re sen t a t i ve s o f the d i v i n i t i e s , through an ana ly -s i s o f some myths and songs sung before the shr ines o f Olokun and Ogun. C l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the d i s c o v e r y o f how the Edo represent t h e i r d i v i n i t i e s i s the ques t ion o f how these d i v i n i t i e s are b e l i e v e d to manifes t themselves i n nature and c u l t u r e . For i f they are b e l i e v e d to be ' p e r s o n a l i z e d ' e n t i t i e s , then they w i l l have i n t e l l i g e n c e , p e r s o n a l i t y and speech. When the researcher s tud ies the r i t u a l i n t e r a c t i o n a l process between man and the d i v i n i t i e s , one of h i s i n t e r e s t s w i l l be to see how the man to d i v i n i t y communication process p a r a l l e l s the pa t te rns of i n t e r a c t i o n on the s o c i a l l e v e l . He w i l l a l s o be i n t e r e s t e d i n what r e l a t i o n s h i p s there are between the goals an i n d i v i d u a l i n the c u l t u r e pursues at the d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s o f s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l re fe rence and the d i v i n i t i e s as instruments to the at tainment o f these va lued ends. F i n a l l y , we want to see whether there i s any r e l a t i o n s h i p between the r i t u a l i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the d i v i n i t i e s and the c o n f l i c t s and compe t i t i on > w i t h i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , for we have seen tha t i n some c u l t u r e s such as the K a l a b a r i , the d i v i n i t i e s a s s i s t segments (eg . l i neage or c l an ) o f the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I f s t r u c t u r a l - 34 -a l i g n m e n t s i n t h e s o c i a l o r d e r a r e ' m i r r o r e d ' i n m a n ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o d i v i n i t y i n some A f r i c a n c u l t u r e s , t h e n i t c o u l d b e h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t c h a n g e s w i t h i n t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e w i l l a l s o b e r e f l e c t e d i n c h a n g e d o r n e w r e l a t i o n s t o o l d o r n e w d i v i n i t i e s . T h e ' m u l t i p l e x ' m e a n i n g o f r i t u a l may b e t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d . M a n ' s ' v e r t i c a l ' r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h d i v i n i t y c a n n o t b e i n t e r p r e t e d a s a c u l t u r a l i s o l a t e , f o r b e l i e f a n d r i t u a l i n t e r s e c t t h e s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e a n d a r e r e l a t e d t o t h e e c o l o g i c a l e n v i r o n m e n t , a s F o r d e h a s p o i n t e d o u t i n h i s 1 9 5 8 s t u d y o f Y a k o r e l i g i o n . T h i s s t u d y i s l i m i t e d t o r i t u a l a s i t p e r t a i n s t o d i v i n i t y . F o r e x a m p l e , I h a v e n o t b e e n a b l e t o e x a m i n e r i t e s o f p a s s a g e i n t h e E d o c u l t u r e . I f I h a d I w o u l d h a v e d i s c u s s e d c h a n g e s o f r o l e a s i n v o l v i n g i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o n e w g r o u p s w h i c h u s u a l l y h a v e p e r s o n a l b e i n g s b e h i n d t h e m w h o k e e p t h e g r o u p f l o u r i s h i n g o r w e a k e n i t i n r e s p o n s e t o b r e a c h e s o f g r o u p n o r m s . T h e r e f o r e r i t e s o f p a s s a g e i n v o l v e r i t u a l i n o r d e r t o b r i n g t h e n e w member u n d e r t h e i r c o n t r o l . T h e q u e s t i o n s I b r i n g t o t h e s t u d y o f r i t u a l a r e o f a d i f f e r e n t o r d e r . I h a v e c h o s e n t h r e e b r o a d c a t e g o r i e s a s o r g a n i z i n g d e v i c e s : T h e E d o r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f D i v i n i t y ; T h e E d o m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f D i v i n i t y ; a n d T h e E d o r e s p o n s e t o D i v i n i t y . A f t e r g i v i n g a b r i e f e t h n o g r a p h i c i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e E d o c o s m o l o g y , I e x a m i n e t h e m a i n d i v i n i t i e s i n t h e E d o c o s m o l o g y , a n d c o n c l u d e w i t h a n o v e r v i e w o f t h e E d o r e l i g i o u s s y s t e m . CHAPTER I I ETHNOGRAPHIC OUTLINE OF THE EDO The Edo proper ( B i n i ) of the Benin Kingdom are b road ly coterminous w i t h the present-day Benin D i v i s i o n . The Edo language and d i a l e c t s belong to the Kwa group o f Western Budanic Languages. The present day Benin D i v i s i o n covers 4,000 square mi l e s and has a p o p u l a t i o n of j u s t under 300,000 Edo and non-Edo. The Benin Kingdom c o n s i s t s o f the c a p i t a l , Ben in C i t y , and s e v e r a l hundred v i l l a g e s which may e i t h e r form separate u n i t s v i s - a - v i s the c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y or be co-ord ina ted i n v i l l a g e - g r o u p s of sub-chiefdoms. V i l l a g e s everywhere break down i n t o wards, of which there may be s e v e r a l t i e r s , and these i n t u rn are made up of one of more extended f a m i l i e s w i t h p a t r i l i n e a l n u c l e i . The degree to which l o c a l groups l a r g e r than the extended fami ly are a s s o c i a -ted w i t h l ineages appears to vary c o n s i d e r a b l y . A second c h a r a c t e r i s t i c fea ture of Edo s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i s the s t r a t i f i c a t i o n of the male p o p u l a t i o n i n t o age-grades organized on a v i l l a g e wide b a s i s . In most areas a u t h o r i t y i s ves ted very l a r g e l y i n the sen io r age-grade ( u s u a l l y c a l l e d edion) and, subject to c e r t a i n q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , the o l d e s t man i s the v i l l a g e headman. This pa t t e rn of a u t h o r i t y may be upset by the presence of t i t l e - a s s o c i a t i o n s or o f i n d i v i d u a l t i t l e d o f f i c e s . Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Edo-speaking peoples i s t h e i r marked The f o l l o w i n g m a t e r i a l i s taken from R. Bradbury . The Benin K i n g - dom and the Edo-speaking Peoples o f S.W. N i g e r i a , pp . 18-60. London: I n t e r n a t i o n a l A f r i c a n I n s t i t u t e , 1957. - 36 -p a t r i l i n e a l b i a s i n t h e i r k i n s h i p and l ineage o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h a s t rong emphasis on p r imogen i t u r e . The sen io r s u r v i v i n g son of a dead man i s regarded as the c h i e f h e i r to h i s p roper ty and the sucessor to whatever o f f i c e s , p r i v i l e g e s , and du t i e s he may have had . The Ben in Kingdom i s comparable to the Yoruba and Dahomey kingdoms to the west w h i l e the remainder of the Edo-speaking peoples a re , i n t h e i r p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , more a k i n to the Igbo and Ijaw peoples to the east and to the sou th . In terms of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i -z a t i o n , as w e l l as g e o g r a p h i c a l l y , the Edo-speaking peoples stand i n an in te rmedia te p o s i t i o n between the smal le r s c a l e s o c i e t i e s of eas te rn N i g e r i a and the more h i g h l y organized p o l i t i c a l groups i n the wes t . I . GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE EDO A . LOCATION AND NOMENCLATURE . The Benin Kingdom i s regarded as be ing coterminous w i t h the present-day Benin D i v i s i o n . The a u t h o r i t y of the Oba (k ing) was recognized i n t h i s u n i t i n 1914. The t o t a l area of the Benin D i v i s i o n i s abou(t; 4,000 square mi l e s and the p o p u l a t i o n accord ing to the 1952 census was 292,000. Bradbury s ta tes that there i s no s a t i s f a c t o r y ve rnacu la r term to des ignate the Benin kingdom or i t s peop le . Benin C i t y i s c a l l e d Edo by i t s i n h a b i -tants and i n c e r t a i n contexts i n d i v i d u a l s from a l l par t s of the kingdom w i l l r e f e r to themselves as oviedo ( c h i l d of Edo o f oviOba ( c h i l d of the "0ba). But the same i n d i v i d u a l may speak o f h i m s e l f as ' c h i l d o f h i s v i l l a g e or v i l l a g e - g r o u p or o f the r e g i o n of the kingdom i n which he l i v e s . - 37 -The major reg ions are def ined i n terms o f the main r i v e r s ; for example, i y e k - O v i a , iyek-Orhiomo and iyek-Ogba r e f e r to the groups on the f a r the r s ide o f ( i y e k e - - 'a t the back o f ' ) these r i v e r s from Benin C i t y . The word ' B e n i n ' i s o f doubt fu l o r i g i n , but i s p o p u l a r l y used to desc r ibe the c a p i t a l c i t y , the kingdom. The term ' B i n i ' i s commonly used to desc r ibe the people of the Benin kingdom. However, I w i l l r e f e r to the B i n i as Edo, but w i l l use Benin C i t y to desc r ibe the c a p i t a l c i t y , as t h i s i s w i d e l y accepted by N i g e r i a n s and i s used i n o f f i c i a l p u b l i c a t i o n s . B . PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT The Benin country i s a l o w - l y i n g p l a i n covered w i t h porous Benin sand. The country r i s e s to the nor th around the Ishan p l a t e a u . The area i s d ra ined by a s e r i e s o f deeply-entrenched r i v e r s and sma l l streams f l owing i n a genera l no r th - sou th d i r e c t i o n . Gene ra l l y the Edo v i l l a g e s avoid c l o s e p r o x i m i t y to these streams though the Urhobo-Isoko and Kwale b u i l d on t h e i r banks . The n a t u r a l v e g e t a t i o n of the area i s t r o p i c a l r a i n f o r e s t , w i t h a good dea l o f swamp v e g e t a t i o n i n the south and wes t . There i s an abun-dance of good t imber i n the area and there i s a t h r i v i n g m i l l at Sepe le . Rubber p l a n t a t i o n s have a l so been p lan ted i n the a r e a . C . DEMOGRAPHY Apart from the c a p i t a l , Benin C i t y , which today has a popu la t i on of approximate ly 75,000, the people of the Benin kingdom l i v e i n s eve ra l hun-dred compact v i l l a g e se t t lements ranging i n s i z e from 20-30 to more than - 38 -5,000 i n h a b i t a n t s . Approximate ly one f i f t h o f the people are concentra ted i n Benin C i t y . D. TRADITIONS OF ORIGIN AND HISTORY Accord ing to Edo mythology, the Benin kingdom was founded by the youngest of the c h i l d r e n of Osanobua (the h igh god) . Wi th h i s s en io r b r o t h e r s , who inc luded the f i r s t k ings of I fe and o ther Yoruba kingdoms and the f i r s t k i n g of the Europeans, they were sent to l i v e i n the agbon (the w o r l d ) . Each was a l lowed to take something w i t h h im. Some chose w e a l t h , m a t e r i a l and magica l s k i l l s or Implements b u t , on the i n s t r u c t i o n s of a b i r d , the youngest chose a s n a i l s h e l l . When they a r r i v e d i n the wor ld they found i t covered w i t h wa te r . The youngest son was t o l d by the b i r d to up turn the s n a i l s h e l l and when he d i d so sand f e l l from i t and spread out to form the l a n d . So the f i r s t Oba of Ben in became the owner of the land and h i s s en io r 'b ro thers ' had to come to him and b a r t e r t h e i r posses-s ions i n r e t u r n fo r a p lace to s e t t l e . Hence, though he was the youngest son , he became the w e a l t h i e s t and most powerful r u l e r . The semi -myth ica l r u l e r s o f the f i r s t dynasty are known as og iso  ( o g i e — r u l e r / k i n g ; i s o - - s k y ) . The names o f a number of them, some of them women, are remembered, as are some o f the t i t l e s of c h i e f s of t h e i r c o u r t , the o r i g i n a l s i t e o f which i s s t i l l po in ted out w i t h i n the w a l l s of the present town. The present Oba, Akenzua I I , i s accord ing to t r a d i t i o n , the 35th o f the dynasty whose beg inn ing i s v a r i o u s l y dated from the l a t e t w e l f t h century ; to the beg inn ing o f the four teen th c e n t u r y . The 15th Oba i n the - 39 -g e n e r a l l y accepted l i s t i s s a i d to have been r e i g n i n g when the P o r t u -2 guese f i r s t v i s i t e d Benin i n 1485. The f i f t e e n t h and s i x t e e n t h cen tu r i e s were apparent ly the p e r i o d of g rea tes t expansion and i t was du r ing t h i s time that the great w a r r i o r k i n g s , Ewuare, Ozo lua , E s i g i e , Orhoghua, and Ehegbuda r e i g n e d . C a t h o l i c miss ions were e s t a b l i s h e d by the Portuguese e a r l y i n the s i x t e e n t h cen tu ry . Firearms were in t roduced about the same time and seem to have l ed to an inc rease i n warfare whose purpose was the capture o f s l aves fo r e x p o r t . E s i g i e , i n about 1515, was accompanied by Portuguese m i s s i o n a r i e s i n a campaign which drove the marauders from Idah to the n o r t h back across the N i g e r . Churches were b u i l t by the Portuguese i n Benin C i t y . This r a i s e s the ques t ion of C h r i s t i a n in f luences on the Edo concept ion of Osanobua and the o ther d i v i n i t i e s . The Portuguese remained the most i n f l u e n t i a l power i n the area u n t i l the second h a l f of the seventeenth century though E n g l i s h and Dutch t r aders had begun to v i s i t Ughoton and Benin C i t y long before t h i s . There were m i s s i o n a r i e s i n Benin about 1688, but they were apparent ly based at W a r r i . Benin was ravaged by a c i v i l war i n 1702 and from t h i s time forward w r i t t e n accounts o f Benin desc r ibe per iods o f f l u c t u a t i n g power and p ros -p e r i t y d i s t u r b e d by c i v i l wars which appear to have been caused by d isputes over the success ion o f the k i n g s h i p . Between per iods o f d i s s e n s i o n the kingdom seems to have shown remarkable powers of recovery and i n the l a t e e igh teen th and n ine teen th cen tu r i e s there was renewed expansion which l e d ' A c c o r d i n g to t r a d i t i o n , i t was i n the r e i g n o f the f i f t e e n t h Oba  Ozo lua , that European v i s i t o r s had f i r s t set foot i n Benin C i t y . As t h i s event propably took p lace i n 1485, i t i s u n l i k e l y , that the dynasty was founded l a t e r than the e a r l y four teen th c e n t u r y ' (Bradbury 1967: 1 ) . - 40 -to the reconquest of the Yoruba town Akure and E k i t i c o u n t r y . The h i s t o r y of B e n i n , then , i s one o f a l t e r n a t i n g per iods o f t e r r i t o r i a l expansion and c o n t r a c t i o n i n accordance w i t h the degree of a u t h o r i t y at the c e n t r e . The key date i n the h i s t o r y o f Benin i s 1897. Th i s date has g iven the name ' C i t y of B l o o d 1 to B e n i n . Oba Ovoramwen feared the i n c r e a s i n g i n f l uence of the Europeans i n the D e l t a and thus forbade a l l e x t e r n a l t r a d e . Apparen t ly he d i d s i g n a t r e a t y a l l o w i n g the Europeans to t r ade , send m i s s i o n a r i e s and to accept B r i t i s h p r o t e c t i o n . He d i d n o t , however, adhere to t h i s t r e a t y and a f t e r the massacre of members o f a B r i t i s h t rade m i s s i o n i n 1897 B r i t i s h t roops a t tacked and captured Benin C i t y . Ovoramwen was deported to Calabar where he remained u n t i l h i s death i n 1914. Hi s son was then i n s t a l l e d as Eweka I I and he i n t u r n was succeeded i n 1933 by h i s son, Akenzua I I , the present Oba. The Oba's o f f i c i a l sphere of a u t h o r i t y was l i m i t e d i n 1914 to what had then become the Benin D i v i s i o n . I I . MAIN FEATURES OF THE ECONOMY A . AGRICULTURE The b a s i s of the subs i s tence economy on which the v i l l a g e s depend and the a c t i v i t i e s a s soc i a t ed w i t h i t s c u l t i v a t i o n determine the pa t t e rn of the a g r i c u l t u r a l y e a r . The Edo p r a c t i c e s h i f t i n g a g r i c u l t u r e , and land i s r a r e l y brought back i n t o c u l t i v a t i o n u n t i l i t has been f a l l o w for at l e a s t seven or e igh t years and the pe r iod may be as long as 15-20 y e a r s . C l e a r i n g o f the p l o t s begins i n February or e a r l y March . The c l e a r i n g i s u s u a l l y completed by the end of March and i s fo l lowed by the t i l l i n g of - 41 -the ground. Planting begins i n A p r i l a f t e r the seed-yams have been brought out of storage and often continues into the early part of May. The seed yams are pressed into the sides of the holes from which the earth has been removed and the loose s o i l is pushed back over the top of them. The period following the planting i s r e l a t i v e l y inactive but towards the end of May i t i s necessary to i n s e r t poles to support the growing vines. This corresponds with the beginning of the r a i n s . The Edo recognize three types of yam: white, red and water which mature i n that order over a period stretching from mid-September to Novem-ber. Yam farming is e s s e n t i a l l y men's work though the women usually a s s i s t i n weeding and planting and the whole labour supply i s mobilized for the harvest. The Edo intercrop planting corn, cocoyam, ocra, r i c e , groudnuts, peppers, melons, gourds, beans and other vegetables round the tree stumps l e f t i n the farm, along the boundaries and i n other spaces. These crops are generally owned and always planted, tended and harvested by the women, though some men give t h e i r wives seeds to plant for t h e i r own p r o f i t . When the yam harvest has been reaped the farm i s usually replanted with corn and cassava. These and other crops, such as p l a i n t a i n , which may s t i l l be growing on the old farm, are gathered as they become r i p e and the plot gradually reverts to fallow. B. TREE CROPS The kola and the o i l and coconut palms are the most important trees. Kola and coconut are planted, owned and inherited by i n d i v i d u a l s . A l l men and some women have kola trees which are placed along the main paths. The - 42 -k o l a i s u b i q u i t o u s i n a l l southern N i g e r i a n c u l t u r e s , be ing e s s e n t i a l as a symbol o f h o s p i t a l i t y and an Ind i spensab le i tem i n every r i t u a l o f f e r i n g . O i l palms are h e l d c o l l e c t i v e l y by the v i l l a g e community and any member of the v i l l a g e may reap t h e i r f r u i t or tap them for w i n e . C . CASH CROPS The main sources o f monetary income for the v i l l a g e Edo are rubber and cocoa , which are grown on s m a l l - h o l d i n g s as w e l l as i n p l a n t a t i o n s , palm products from p l a n t a t i o n s and t imber . Most Edo householders own a few hundred rubber t rees which are tapped each morning by adolescent boys and young men and even by women when the market p r i c e i s h i g h . Ex t ens ive p l a n t a t i o n s o f rubber , cocoa , coconuts and o i l - p a l m s : are owned by i n d i v i -duals (mainly weal thy and t i t l e d men i n Benin C i t y ) who employ pa id l abour : a cons ide rab l e p r o p o r t i o n o f whom are Igbo migrant worke r s . The commercial e x t r a c t i o n of t imber i s j m a i n l y i n the hands of European f i r m s , a l though a few l o c a l i n d i v i d u a l and f ami ly concerns can be found. D . HUNTING, GATHERING AND FISHING Most men have dane guns and hunt the b u s h - p i g , and v a r i o u s k inds o f buck such as the dyka . The c o l l e c t i o n of w i l d bush products and of the s n a i l s and t o r t o i s e s which form an important par t o f the p r o t e i n d i e t i s i n the hands of the women. The Edo depend on the Urhobo,. I jaw, and I t s e k i r i fo r the e x p l o i t a t i o n o f the r i v e r s . - 43 -E. LIVESTOCK Goats, sheep, dogs, and fowls are ubiquitous and are a l l important as sacrificial offerings as well as for meat. However, they are rarely killed except for sacrificial purposes. Cows are killed only as sacri-f ic ia l items, particularly during the Igwe Festival held around mid-Decem-ber . F. MARKETS AND TRADE Most villages have markets which belong exclusively to them or are shared with one or more neighbouring villages. Markets are held every four days; the women handling al l kinds of foodstuffs and other native products while both sexes engage in the modern trade in imported goods. G. CRAFTS AND INDUSTRIES Most of the important indigenous crafts of the Benin kingdom were in the hands of special ward-guilds in Benin City. There were guilds of blacksmiths and brass-smiths, wood and ivory carvers (one group), leather workers, weavers of special embroidered cloths, drum-makers, locksmiths. Some of these s t i l l function. Much has been written about the origin of Edo brass casting. Formerly the whole production of the brass-smiths was at the command of the palace, consisting very largely of ritual and cere-monial objects. Today a number of brass workers, under the guidance of the tutelary spirit Ogun work on Igun St. in Igun ward producing - 44 -i m i t a t i o n works main ly for European worker s , v i s i t o r s and t eache r s . Wood-carving i s a t h r i v i n g i ndus t ry i n Benin C i t y . T r a d i t i o n a l l y carved staves (ukhurhe) , which are symbols of the d i v i n i t i e s worshipped by v i l l a g e communities were the most important o b j e c t s . Important t i t l e ho lde r s i n the c a p i t a l and h e r e d i t a r y v i l l a g e c h i e f s cou ld o b t a i n ukhurhe and wooden heads as a l t e r decora t ions and other r i t u a l and ceremonial o b j e c t s . The Oba had c o n t r o l over a l l i v o r y i n the kingdom and n e a r l y a l l i v o r y ca rv ings appear to have been for h i s persona l u s e . Today, however, a number of men working i n t h e i r own shops w i t h appren t ices or i n l a r g e r coopera t ives produce ' a i r p o r t a r t ' fo r the t o u r i s t market . Carpenters (onwina) who produced mor ta r s , door-frames, r o o f i n g beams, drumparts for the Oba's cour t formed a s p e c i a l group loca ted i n a number of s ca t t e r ed v i l l a g e s ou t s ide Ben in C i t y . Po t t e ry fo r both ce re -monia l and u t i l i t a r i a n purposes was former ly produced by only two v i l l a g e s , Use to the west of Benin C i t y and Utekon to the n o r t h . I I I . SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND POLITICAL STRUCTURE A . DOMESTIC AND FAMILY GROUPS 3 Households i n Benin C i t y and the v i l l a g e s vary i n s i z e from a s i n g l e ( u s u a l l y impotent) man to a j o i n t f ami ly o f approximately twenty . The f o l l o w i n g types of f ami ly can be r ecogn ized : Present day f ami ly groupings i n Benin C i t y do not d i f f e r markedly from those i n the v i l l a g e s , a l though i n the past the households of impor-tan t t i t l e - h o l d e r s were cons ide r ab ly l a r g e r . - 45 -1. The nuc lea r or compound f ami ly c o n s i s t i n g o f a man and h i s w i f e or wives and t h e i r c h i l d r e n , who may occupy a house or be loca t ed i n rooms o f the man's fa ther or s en io r b r o t h e r . 2 . The j o i n t f ami ly c o n s i s t i n g of an e l d e r l y man w i t h h i s wives and unmarried c h i l d r e n , together w i t h one or more unmarried sons w i t h t h e i r wives and c h i l d r e n and, i n some cases , younger marr ied b r o t h e r s . Most marr ied men pre fe r to move out of t h e i r f a t h e r ' s house before or soon a f t e r the l a t t e r ' s dea th . Recen t ly marr ied sons may stay u n t i l they have some c h i l d r e n . 3. The extended f a m i l y , occupying s e v e r a l , u s u a l l y ne ighbour ing houses, made up of a man and h i s marr ied bro thers and sons w i t h t h e i r wives and c h i l d r e n , and, p o s s i b l y , the sons and unmarried daughters of h i s deceased e l d e r b r o t h e r ( s ) w i t h the l a t t e r s 1 wives and c h i l d r e n . Residence a f t e r marriage i s v i r i l o c a l . A man w i l l b r i n g h i s f i r s t w i f e to l i v e i n h i s f a t h e r ' s house who w i l l remain there u n t i l the b i r t h of one or more c h i l d r e n . An on ly son, however, may remain w i t h h i s fa ther u n t i l dea th . None of the types o f f ami ly l i s t e d above n e c e s s a r i l y corresponds to an economic u n i t , for e i t h e r p roduc t ion or consumption. The most common farming u n i t c o n s i s t s of a man and h i s w i f e or wives and any c h i l d r e n who are o l d enough to a s s i s t . Each o f the types o f f ami ly l i s t e d above i s a q u a s i - p o l i t i c a l u n i t i n tha t i t s members are under the immediate c o n t r o l , for c e r t a i n purposes, of the o l d e s t male who can apply sanc t ions aga ins t .them. The three k inds of f ami ly form a h i e r a r c h y i n so fa r as the head o f the nuc lea r or compound - 46 -f ami ly may be under the a u t h o r i t y of the head of a j o i n t f ami ly or com-pound f a m i l y may be under the a u t h o r i t y o f the head of a j o i n t f ami ly who may i n t u r n be subject to the head o f h i s extended f a m i l y . The headmen o f the v a r i o u s k inds o f f a m i l i e s s e t t l e d i spu tes between t h e i r dependents and punish them for misdemeanours. The headmen of j o i n t and extended f a m i l i e s , as members of the sen io r age-grade w i t h an e f f e c t i v e v o i c e i n the v i l l a g e c o u n c i l represent t h e i r dependents v i s - a - v i s the v i l l a g e community and can be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e for t h e i r behav iou r . The main support for the a u t h o r i t y of the f ami ly head l i e s i n the r e l a t i o n between the l i v i n g and the deceased p a t r i l i n e a l ancestors o f the f a m i l y head (See the d e s c r i p t i o n of the Eho F e s t i v a l i n Chapter V I I I ) . The we l f a r e of the sen io r son and h i s s i b l i n g s and the wives o f the agna t i c descendants of h i m s e l f and h i s b ro thers i s b e l i e v e d to depend upon the g o o d w i l l o f the deceased fa ther and h i s l i n e a l ancestors who punish wrong-doing w i t h s i c k n e s s , death and other ca t a s t rophes . As the in te rmedia ry w i t h these ancestors the s en io r son thus has access to powerful super-n a t u r a l s a n c t i o n s . The r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s consequent upon common membership of domestic and fami ly groupings are conceived i n terms of a master-servant r e l a t i o n s h i p . In r e l a t i o n to the f ami ly head or the household a l l h i s dependents are s e r v a n t s . C h i l d r e n are thought o f as the servants of t h e i r f a t h e r , wives of t h e i r husbands, j u n i o r b ro the rs of t h e i r s e n i o r s , and younger o f o l d e r women. Thus i n each household or f ami ly there i s a s e r i e s of h i e r a r c h i e s which determines the moral r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s o f the members towards each o t h e r . - 47 -B . AGNATES AND OTHER KIN The r u l e of descent i s p a t r i l i n e a l . C h i l d r e n are a f f i l i a t e d to the l i neage o f the ' p a t e r ' from whom they i n h e r i t and to whose t i t l e , i f any, the e l d e s t s u r v i v i n g son succeeds . The wides t e f f e c t i v e p a t r i l i n e a g e i s u s u a l l y that which corresponds to the extended f ami ly and i s thus , as w i l l be seen from above, on ly three genera t ions i n dep th . Bradbury sug-gests that the poor development o f the l i neage system appears to be c o r -r e l a t e d w i t h a number of economic and p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s . 1. A system of land tenure i n which k i n groups do not l a y c l a i m to t r a c t s of l a n d . Each adu l t male i s dependent upon the v i l l a g e community as a whole , r a the r than upon h i s own k i n group for land on which to farm or b u i l d . 2 . The u n i t a r y charac te r of the v i l l a g e community i n genera l which i s expressed i n the t h r e e - t i e r age-grade system that cuts across k i n groups and makes age, r a the r than l ineage a f f i l i a t i o n , the c r i t e r i o n o f a u t h o r i t y . The u n i t y of the v i l l a g e i s i l l u s -t r a t e d by the f ac t tha t a man who wishes to b u i l d a house c a l l s upon the v i l l a g e as a whole r a the r than h i s own kinsmen to a s s i s t h i m . 3. Low-marriage payments. In order to o b t a i n h i s f i r s t w i f e a man i s dependent on ly upon h i s fa ther and p o s s i b l y h i s p a t e r n a l g randfa ther , w h i l e the a c q u i r i n g of subsequent wives i s h i s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . 4. The r u l e of pr imogeni ture by which a sen io r son i n h e r i t s h i s f a t h e r ' s house and most of h i s p roper ty and, where a p p l i c a b l e , - 48 -h i s t i t l e ; thus the b e n e f i t s o f i n h e r i t a n c e are r e s t r i c t e d w i t h i n the narrowest l i m i t s . The Edo va lue gene ros i ty and a s en io r son who doesn ' t d i s t r i b u t e some of h i s ' w e a l t h ' i s looked down upon. In accordance w i t h t h i s p r i n c i p l e , the system of ancestor worship i s such that there i s a tendency for a new set of sh r ines to be set up i n each genera t ion so that there i s a constant h i v i n g - o f f of ances to r -worsh ipp ing u n i t s , i y e . o f r i t u a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e corpora te l i n e a g e s . 5. A t i t l e - s y s t e m i n which t i t l e s are e i t h e r h e r e d i t a r y by pr imo-gen i tu re or are not h e r e d i t a r y i n any sense. This i s marked con t r a s t w i t h the Yoruba where most t i t l e s are a s soc i a t ed w i t h l ineages and may be obta ined by any male member. A g n a t i o n , then , determines the l i n e o f i n h e r i t a n c e and s u c c e s s i o n , membership o f wider domestic and f ami ly groupings of a v i l l a g e community. In Benin C i t y , and a few v i l l a g e s o u t s i d e , i t determines^membership of the d i spe r sed c lans or q u a s i - c l a n s to one of which every Edo be longs . St rong t i e s o f a f f e c t i o n e x i s t between a person and the maternal k i n . W i t h i n the compound f ami ly s t ronger t i e s u s u a l l y e x i s t between f u l l s i b l i n g s than between those who have d i f f e r e n t mothers . C . VILLAGE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION The v i l l a g e i s the b a s i c p o l i t i c a l u n i t i n the Benin kingdom. Gene ra l l y speaking i t i s the wides t u n i t fo r age-grade o r g a n i z a t i o n , the minimal l a n d - h o l d i n g u n i t , the sma l l e s t group which can have a h e r e d i t a r y - 49 -c h i e f , the sma l l e s t t r i b u t e u n i t , and a l so the coopera t ive u n i t for house-b u i l d i n g . Each v i l l a g e i s a compact se t t lement though most are d i v i d e d i n t o wards (idunmwun) which may be separated from each o ther by sma l l patches o f bush . Each ward c o n s i s t s of one or more extended f a m i l i e s l i v i n g i n c l o s e p r o x i m i t y and r e c o g n i z i n g the a u t h o r i t y of the o l d e s t man, o r , i n e x c e p t i o n a l cases , of a h e r e d i t a r y c h i e f . Wards c o n s i s t i n g o f a s i n g l e extended f ami ly are t y p i c a l . In the Benin v i l l a g e s the male p o p u l a t i o n at any g iven time i s h o r i z o n t a l l y s t r a t i f i e d i n t o three age-grades . The i roghae i s entered by boys i n t h e i r e a r l y teens and they perform v a r i o u s communal tasks such as c l e a r i n g paths to the s treams. The i g h e l e , which i s d i sappea r ing i n modern v i l l a g e s , i s the grade o f adu l t men who perform the heav ie r and more s k i l l e d communal t a s k s . They were former ly the execu t ive arm of p o l i t i c a l and j u d i c i a l a u t h o r i t y w i t h i n the v i l l a g e and the p o t e n t i a l f i g h t i n g f o r c e . The ed ion are the e lde r s who are exempt from communal labour and who form the v i l l a g e c o u n c i l fo r p o l i t i c a l and j u d i c i a l pur-poses . In other contexts the edion r e f e r to the c o l l e c t i v e dead of a v i l l a g e or other corpora te group. D. AUTHORITY IN THE VILLAGE ; < There are two k inds of v i l l a g e headman, h e r e d i t a r y and non-here-d i t a r y . The non-he red i t a ry headman (odionwere) i s found i n a l l v i l l a g e s and age i s the p r i n c i p l e f a c t o r i n h i s appointment. Not a l l v i l l a g e s have an h e r e d i t a r y headman (onogie) and, on the o ther hand, the ho lder o f such - 50 -an o f f i c e may r u l e over a number of v i l l a g e s which thus c o n s t i t u t e a c h i e f -dom; converse ly a ward w i t h i n a v i l l a g e may have i t s own o n i g i e . The o f f i c e i d e a l l y passes from e l d e s t son to e ldes t son l i k e a l l h e r e d i t a r y o f f i c e s i n the Benin kingdom. In v i l l a g e s wi thout enig^ie ( p i . o n i g i e ) meetings of the v i l l a g e c o u n c i l take p l ace e i t h e r at the house of the odionwere or i n a s p e c i a l meeting-house, ogwedion, which conta ins the sh r ine of the c o l l e c t i v e dead (edion) o f the v i l l a g e . Every v i l l a g e has an ogwedion l oca t ed i n a c l ea red space at the entrance to or i n the middle of the v i l l a g e . The v i l l a g e c o u n c i l i s made o f the onogie (where p r e s e n t ) , the odionwere and the mem-bers o f the ed ion age-grade. Apar t from i t s j u d i c i a l func t ions the c o u n c i l d i scusses such t o p i c s as the c o l l e c t i o n o f t r i b u t e ( f o r m e r l y ) , o r , nowa-days , o f t a x ; the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f c o l l e c t i v e tasks and of c u l t f e s t i v a l s ; the performance o f s a c r i f i c e s fo r the good of the community and the d e l e -g a t i o n o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s to consu l t d i v i n e r s on b e h a l f of the community or i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n i t ; r e l a t i o n s w i t h and i n s t r u c t i o n s from the c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y ; c o n t r i b u t i o n s to funds both fo r p u b l i c purposes and to a s s i s t members of the v i l l a g e who are i n d i f f i c u l t i e s ; and, at the present day, the b u i l d i n g and upkeep of s c h o o l s , and d i s p e n s a r i e s . E . CHIEFDOMS AND VILLAGE-GROUPS Pe t ty chiefdoms c o n s i s t i n g of two or more v i l l a g e s owing a l l e g i a n c e to a h e r e d i t a r y c h i e f are found i n most par t s of the kingdom but are most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i t s eas te rn r e g i o n . In the c e n t r e , n o r t h , and west there i s a tendency for v i l l a g e s to be independent of each other and to - 51 -dea l as separate u n i t s w i t h the c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y i n Benin C i t y . At the present day there i s a tendency for h e r e d i t a r y c h i e f s to lose t h e i r a u t h o r i t y i n v i l l a g e s which are t r i b u t a r y to them, and fo r each v i l l a g e to become an autonomous u n i t w i t h i n the kingdom. F . THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF BENIN CITY Though the i n t e r n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of Benin C i t y and the c e n t r a l s t a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n i s very complex, a b r i e f o u t l i n e w i t h be s u f f i c i e n t for our purpose. Benin i t s e l f i s d i v i d e d i n t o two h a l v e s . In one h a l f (Ogbe) l i v e the Oba and h i s cour t and the pa lace c h i e f s and i n the other (Oren ' okhwa) the town c h i e f s . The two ha lves are fu r the r d i v i d e d i n t o more than f o r t y wards . Each of the members has s p e c i a l du t i e s to perform to the Oba. Leadership i n the ward i s a s c r i b e d on a v a r i e t y o f p r i n c i p l e s . Some have odionwere who are chosen i n the same way as those i n the v i l l a g e s , o thers are headed by h e r e d i t a r y or non -he red i t a ry t i t l e - h o l d e r s or by leaders ( ikao) appointed by or w i t h the approval o f the Oba. A . There are three orders of c h i e f s who stand out from the r e s t i n terms of rank and degree of a u t h o r i t y . They a re : 1. The Uzama n ' l h i r o n — t h e seven Uzama—whose t i t l e s , i n order of rank , are O l i h a , Edbhen, Ezomo, E r o , Eholo n ' I r e , O l o t o n , and Eda iken . A l l seven t i t l e s are h e r e d i t a r y ; the f i r s t s i x descend on the death o f the ho lde r to h i s e l d e s t s u r v i v i n g son who must, however, be ce remon ia l ly i n s t a l l e d at the Oba's p a l a c e . The c h i e f duty of the Uzama as a body i s the i n s t a l l a t i o n of the new Oba. - 52 -2 . The Eghaevo n 'Ore are the town c h i e f s as d i s t i n c t from the palace c h i e f s . There are n ine teen Eghaevo n 'Ore t i t l e s . 3 . The Eghaevo n'Ogbe or pa lace c h i e f s are the sen io r o f f i c i a l s of the Oba's household . There are 29 o f these t i t l e s and none i s h e r e d i t a r y . There are three pa lace a s s o c i a t i o n s (o tu-eguae) . Each has s p e c i a l du t i e s which i t s members perform i n the r o y a l househo ld . For example, the members o f Iwebo are i n charge o f the Oba's wardrobe and the s t a t e r e g a l i a , and make r e p a i r o f the c o r a l bead garments and ornaments which v ~ , are the mark o f h igh rank . B . The Palace as a P o l i t i c a l and Ceremonial Centre The Oba's palace (eguae Oba) was the cent re of the p o l i t i c a l and ceremonia l l i f e o f the Benin peop le . I t s i n t e r n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n was com-p l e x and i t s p o p u l a t i o n l a r g e , c o n s i s t i n g as i t d i d of the Oba and h i s many at tendants and h i s numerous wives and c h i l d r e n . C . The Oba The most important aspect o f the Edo p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e was the d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . The m y s t i c a l aspect of the d i v i n e k i n g s h i p provided the i d e o l o g i c a l keystone of the p o l i t i c a l system. The c o n t i n u i t y and i n t e g r i t y of the p o l i t y depended upon two t h i n g s . F i r s t , the commitment of a l l s ec to r s o f the p o p u l a t i o n to the b e l i e f that t h e i r w e l l - b e i n g depended on the proper deployment of the Oba's o w n . ' d i v i n e e n e r g y ' , and o f h i s r i t u a l a u t h o r i t y as the in te rmedia ry w i t h h i s p redecessors ; and secondly; upon t h e i r acceptance of the need for the k i n g , c h i e f s , and people to cooperate i n - 53 -ensur ing that these func t ions were f r u i t f u l l y dep loyed . Every t i t l e had i t s r i t u a l r o l e s and the h ighe r a c h i e f ' s rank , the more ind i spensab le h i s r i t u a l func t ions (Bradbury 1968: 200) . The Oba had to ma in t a in a balance between the competing groups and i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n the p o l i t i c a l e l i t e . P o l i t i c a l r o l e s i n the Benin Kingdom have never been conceived o f i n terms o f the r ep resen ta t ions of descent groups (1968: 195) . What c o n s t i t u t e d the endur ing framework o f government was 'an e l abora te con-f i g u r a t i o n o f u n i t a r y and segmented o r d e r s , graded a s s o c i a t i o n s , and t i e r e d and opposed h i e r a r c h i e s , w i t h the p o l i t i c o - d i v i n e k i n g s h i p at i t s cent re (1968: 197) . T h i s , then , was the arena i n which the p o l i t i c a l game was p l a y e d . This o p p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the Edo p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e was r i t u a l -i z e d . For example, the Uzama or h e r e d i t a r y nobles had t h e i r r o l e sanct ioned i n that they had to worship before the sh r ine of the edion-uzama, the c o l l e c t i v e p redecessors . Bradbury s ta tes that t h i s was e s s e n t i a l for the n a t i o n ' s w e l l - b e i n g (1967: 1 3 ) . Even the o p p o s i t i o n between the Oba and the Uzama was g iven r i t u a l exp res s ion i n the i r o n r i t e which formed par t of the f e s t i v a l of the Oba's fa ther (Ugie -Erha-Oba) . This r i t e takes the form o f a pantomimic b a t t l e i n which the Uzama, a f t e r c h a l l e n g i n g the Oba by showing him h i s a r c h a i c crowns, i s defeated by the Oba's l o y a l w a r r i o r s (1967: 1 5 ) . The Oba's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the town c h i e f s was a l s o played out i n r i t u a l . For example, when the Town C h i e f s , swords i n hand, danced homage to the k i n g they were shadowed by h i s palace r e t a i n e r s , swords upra i sed as i f to s t r i k e them down should they a t t ack h i m . U n l i k e the Uzama, who were the h e r e d i t a r y n o b l e s , the Town Chie f s were commoners who, by t h e i r e n t e r p r i s e and the Oba's favour , had r i s e n to p o s i t i o n s of power. The Town Chie f s a l so had to perform a r i t e known as zematon, - 54 -which was an act o f p u r i f i c a t i o n and a renewal and r e l ea se o f the Oba's m y s t i c a l power. That i t had to be performed by the four Eghaevbo i s one m a n i f e s t a t i o n of a constant m o t i f i n Benin r i t u a l , namely that the Oba and the Edo are i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p of m y s t i c a l interdependence. In many con t ex t s , t h i s mutual dependence i s expres-sed through acts o f r i t u a l communion between the Oba and h i s p re -decessors , on the one hand, the and people and t h e i r dead, on the o t h e r ; but the n o t i o n u n d e r l y i n g the zematon i s that the m y s t i c a l power o f the l i v i n g k i n g has i t s complement i n the l i v i n g community (1968: 2 5 - 6 ) . Thus even though there was a sense i n which the Oba was opposed to the Uzama and Edion-Edo to Edion-Oba. the d i v i n e k i n g u n i t e d these opposing forces i n h i m s e l f . The best i n t e r e s t s of a l l l ay i n the maintenance of a balance of power between the Town Chiefs and the Palace (1967: 2 7 ) . The d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , t h e r e f o r e , p layed a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n u n i f y i n g not on ly the f a c t i o n s and o p p o s i t i o n s w i t h i n the p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e , but a l s o bound the d i v e r s i t y o f d i v i n i t i e s and c u l t s i n t o one system. For the worship o f past k ings was interwoven i n con t rapun ta l f ash ion w i t h the worship o f v a r i o u s ca tegor ies o f the dead, at a l l l eve l s cb f the s o c i a l sys tem. And the l o c a l c u l t s o f nature and free d i v i n i t i e s were i n c o r -porated by o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and m y t h o l o g i c a l techniques i n t o a s t a t e pantheon i n which the Oba as " k i n g of dry l a n d " was i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Olokun as " k i n g o f the wate rs" (1967: 3 2 ) . To sum up, mutual r i t u a l o b l i g a t i o n s , sanc t ioned by the genera l w o r l d - v i e w , served to counter d i s r u p t i v e tendencies i n the p u r s u i t of con-f l i c t i n g p o l i t i c a l i n t e r e s t s . Every p o l i t i c a l r o l e i m p l i e d r i t u a l r o l e s . The d i s t r i b u t i o n of r i g h t s , and p r i v i l e g e s among the complex h i e r a r c h i e s o f o f f i c i a l d o m r e c e i v e d constant exp res s ion i n an endless s e r i e s of palace r i t u a l s . The c o n t i n u i t y of the s t a t e and the s a n c t i t y o f i t s i n s t i t u t i o n s were r e i t e r a t e d i n r i t u a l by l i n k i n g each s i g n i f i c a n t o f f i c e and i n s t i t u t i o n w i t h the k i n g who had crea ted i t or shown i t s p e c i a l f avour , and by g i v i n g - 55 -i t a pa r t to p l ay i n the r i t e s addressed to h i m . In the modern p o l i t i c a l e r a , the Oba and h i s palace do not p l a y as s i g n i f i c a n t a par t i n p o l i t i c s as they used t o . As Bradbury has s a i d : ' A f t e r 1951 the p o l i t i c a l s t r ugg l e l ay between named, enduring l o c a l p a r t i e s a f f i l i a t e d to n a t i o n a l i s t p a r t i e s con t e s t i ng for power at the r e g i o n a l and f e d e r a l l e v e l s ' (1968: 250) . In the modern e r a , then, the Edo p o l i t i c a l system has s h i f t e d to a par ty-based system where power i s determined l a r g e l y by knowledge of modern p o l i t i c a l techniques and s k i l l s pa t te rned a f t e r Western models . Formerly most of the Oba's time was taken up i n s t a t e r i t u a l s , o f which the most important were the annual s a c r i -f i c e s to h i s ancestors and to h i s own head. Hi s head i s equated w i t h h i s good or bad for tune and w i t h the w e l l - b e i n g o f the kingdom, and the s a c r i -f i c e s to i t are fo l lowed by the treatment o f a l l pa r t s of h i s body w i t h medicines designed to s t rengthen him the coming y e a r . The most important s t a t e r i t u a l takes p lace around mid-December at the Oba's pa lace (Igwe F e s t i v a l ) . Apar t from the s t a t e r i t u a l s i n Benin C i t y the Oba mainta ins c o n t r o l over the c u l t s of h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s . These c u l t s are d i r e c t e d to the s p i r i t s of former heroes i n the s t a t e and i n a few cases to p a r t i c u l a r aspects of past k i n g s . The dates of annual f e s t i v a l s i n t h e i r honour must be approved by the Oba, who f r equen t ly provides r e g a l i a and s a c r i f i c i a l o f f e r i n g s and i n the case o f the more important ones sends someone to represent h i m . He f i x e s , t oo , the dates for the performance of the annual r i t e s i n connec t ion w i t h domestic c u l t s at a l l of which the f i n a l prayer i s for the Oba h i m s e l f . Success ion to the k i n g s h i p i s by p r imogen i tu re , the sen io r son v a l i d a t i n g h i s c l a i m by performing h i s f a t h e r ' s mortuary r i t e s and having - 56 -h i m s e l f i n s t a l l e d by the Uzama at the s i t e of the palace o f Eweka I . The Oba's cour t was former ly most e l a b o r a t e , w i t h hundreds of r e t a i n e r s l i v i n g i n the p a l a c e . Economic support fo r the pa lace o r g a n i z a t i o n and s t a t e r i t u a l s came from a v a r i e t y of sources . Regular t r i b u t e o f food-s t u f f s was l e v i e d twice y e a r l y on a l l v i l l a g e s i n the kingdom and i n t r i b u t a r y areas and the Oba cou ld c a l l upon any v i l l a g e to p rov ide labour for such tasks as b u i l d i n g and r e p a i r i n g the p a l a c e . In the l a s t a n a l y s i s the b a s i s o f the Oba's power appears to l i e i n the t r a d i t i o n a l m y s t i c a l va lues a t t a c h i n g to the sacred i n s t i t u t i o n o f k i n g s h i p and to the eguae : (pa l ace ) . I n d i v i d u a l s a l l over the kingdom c l a i m to belong to one or other of the pa lace a s s o c i a t i o n s and the h ighes t p o s i t i o n to which anyone can a s p i r e i s to be 'next to the Oba. 1 D. A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the Oba's T e r r i t o r i e s The whole t e r r i t o r y r u l e d by the Oba both i n s i d e and ou t s ide the Ben in kingdom was former ly d i v i d e d i n t o a l a rge number of t r i b u t e u n i t s . A chiefdom, v i l l a g e - g r o u p , v i l l a g e , ward, and any combinat ion o f these and even c o l l e c t i o n s o f i n d i v i d u a l s d i spersed between the d i f f e r e n t wards of a v i l l a g e might c o n s t i t u t e a s i n g l e u n i t . The t r a d i t i o n a l a d m i n i s t r a t i v e system i s now defunct , though i n the few cases where t r i b u t e u n i t s were a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h e r e d i t a r y t i t l e s some t i e s o f l o y a l t y remain . E . The Sta te C o u n c i l In the past most o f the day- to-day a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the kingdom appears to have been conducted by p r i v a t e c o n s u l t a t i o n and n e g o t i a t i o n between the Oba and the sen io r t i t l e - h o l d e r s . For more important ma t t e r s , - 57 -such as the promulgat ion of new laws , the d e c i s i o n to conduct wars , the f i x i n g of important f e s t i v a l da tes , the c r e a t i o n of new t i t l e s , the r a i s i n g o f s p e c i a l l e v i e s , and the t a k i n g of r i t u a l measures to prevent ep idemics , e t c . a f u l l c o u n c i l was c a l l e d . Today Benin i s adminis te red by a number of M i n i s t r i e s : F inance , L o c a l Government, Community Develop-ment, e t c . The Oba and h i s cour t now f u n c t i o n more as guardians of the s p i r i t u a l order and s p i r i t u a l w e l l - b e i n g of B e n i n , than as admin i s t r a to r s o f the economic and p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s of the kingdom. F . Land Tenure A l l the land of the Ben in kingdom i s s a i d , by the Edo, to belong to the Oba. But such statements r e f e r p r i m a r i l y to h i s p o s i t i o n as the p o l i t i c a l r u l e r o f the t e r r i t o r y r a the r than to h i s a c t u a l c o n t r o l over the use of the l a n d . The land i s ves ted i n him as t r u s t e e for the whole people and h i s ownership of i t i n t h i s sense i s symbol ized at the i n s t a l -l a t i o n of each new Oba when a f t e r a mock b a t t l e to capture the c i t y C h i e f Ogiamwen put o i l i n t o h i s palm. Today as the p res iden t o f the Na t ive A u t h o r i t y , he e x e r c i s e s c o n t r o l over the occupa t ion and use of land and resources i n Benin D i v i s i o n by s t r a n g e r s . Outs ide Ben in C i t y the v i l l a g e i s the t y p i c a l l a n d - h o l d i n g u n i t , though i n many cases no boundaries between the t e r r i t o r i e s of d i f f e r e n t v i l l a g e s are r e c o g n i z e d . No r i g h t s i n f a l l o w land are r e c o g n i z e d . I t r e v e r t s to the community once a man has c l e a r ed l a n d , p lan ted i t over two or three y e a r s . An Edo who wishes to farm on land of a v i l l a g e other than h i s own must seek the pe rmiss ion of the o n i g i e or odionwere to do s o . In p r a c t i c e , farms seem to have been e s t a b l i s h e d i n two main ways. F i r s t , - 58 -they could make an arrangement w i t h the headman o f an e x i s t i n g v i l l a g e to s t a t i o n t h e i r farm-workers there and to farm on the v i l l a g e l a n d . A l t e r -n a t i v e l y a weal thy c h i e f w i t h many s laves might c l e a r v i r g i n fo re s t out-s i d e the c o n t r o l of any v i l l a g e and e s t a b l i s h a camp there to house h i s s l aves and other dependents. They too were a l lowed to c u l t i v a t e on t h e i r own and the s laves or t h e i r c h i l d r e n would e v e n t u a l l y purchase t h e i r emancipat ion and the camp would develop i n t o a v i l l a g e w i t h the u s u a l type o f v i l l a g e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . The c u l t i v a t i o n of permanent crops has brought about some changes i n the t r a d i t i o n a l pa t t e rn of land r i g h t s though, t h e o r e t i c a l l y , i t has not r e s u l t e d i n i n d i v i d u a l ownership o f the l a n d . Wealthy men have l a rge rubber and o i l - p a l m p l a n t a t i o n s and v i l l a g e s have been encouraged by the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n to e s t a b l i s h communal labour p l a n t a t i o n s but these were e v e n t u a l l y converted to i n d i v i d u a l ownership . T r a d i t i o n a l l y the a l l o c a t i o n o f house s i t e s i n Ben in C i t y was i n the hands of the Oba, who would , however, u s u a l l y consu l t the c h i e f s or e l de r s o f the ward i n which the proposed b u i l d i n g was to take p l a c e . To-day an Edo who wishes to acqu i re a s i t e must seek the recommendation o f the e lde r s of the ward i n which i t i s l oca t ed a f t e r hav ing i t surveyed and a p l a n made by the N a t i v e A u t h o r i t y Surveyor . I V . THE LIFE CYCLE A . BIRTH For the b i r t h o f her f i r s t c h i l d a woman of ten r e tu rns to her mother - 59 -and she may do so fo r subsequent ones. When she i s known to have conceived her husband may o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s to her f a t h e r ' s and h i s own ancestors and to other s p i r i t s or d i v i n i t i e s under whose protection(th?e c h i l d i s b e l i e v e d to be . The woman i s t r e a t ed w i t h c e r t a i n med ic ines , wears s p e c i a l amulets and dresses her h a i r i n appropr i a t e p a t t e r n s . The c h i l d i s washed w i t h sand and p a l m - o i l to ensure that i t w i l l not sme l l when i t grows up , and w i t h wa te r , and the mother h e r s e l f i s washed i n the backya rd . The um-b i l i c a l cord i s p lan ted i n the ground w i t h the seed of the k o l a or cocoa-nut t r ee i n the hope that the c h i l d w i l l grow l i k e the t r e e . The p l acen ta i s b u r i e d i n s i d e or ou t s ide the house and great care i s taken to make the h o l e b i g enough for i t to spread out e v e n l y . About three months a f t e r the b i r t h and woman washes, puts f i n e c lo thes on h e r s e l f and the baby, and takes i t to the market where she makes o f f e r i n g to the ed ion of the market . S h o r t l y afterwards she takes the c h i l d to the r i v e r and makes o f f e r i n g s to the d i v i n i t y a s soc i a t ed w i t h i t . B . NAMING CEREMONIES The r i t e s accompanying the naming of a c h i l d (izomo) vary ' cons ide r -a b l y , but normal ly take p lace on the seventh day a f t e r the b i r t h . In the morning the fa ther or h i s fa ther or s en io r b ro ther presents the c h i l d to h i s ance s to r s , making o f f e r i n g s and p r ay ing that i t w i l l grow up s a f e l y . The baby i s u s u a l l y lowered a number o f times over the a l t a r of the ances-t o r . In some cases a s p e c i a l medicine i s prepared some o f which i s rubbed on the c h i l d and the r e s t i nc luded i n an amulet which i t w i l l wear throughout - 60 -i t s l i f e . In many f a m i l i e s the women o f the household c a l l i n t h e i r neighbours to h o l d a dance the same even ing . The sen io r woman present prays to the c o l l e c t i v e ancestor s p i r i t s fo r the c h i l d ' s w e l l - b e i n g and i t s head i s touched to the ground seven times i n token o f i t s submiss ion to them. Names are g iven by the fa ther and by anyone e l s e who cares to do s o . Yams which were p laced by the c h i l d ' s head on the bed on the day of b i r t h are d i v i d e d between the women presen t , the head of one of them be ing rese rved to the woman who f i r s t washed i t . C . INFANCY TO ADOLESCENCE Up to the age o f s i x or seven boys and g i r l s p l ay toge the r . At seven or e igh t the boys beg in to accompany t h e i r fa thers r e g u l a r l y to the farm and g r a d u a l l y l e a r n male s k i l l s . G i r l s go w i t h t h e i r mothers and e l d e r s i s t e r s to the farm to f e t c h water and wood and to market; they q u i c k l y l e a r n to c a r r y s m a l l loads on t h e i r heads . The c i r c u m c i s i o n of boys takes p lace i n in fancy or e a r l y c h i l d h o o d . This i s s t i l l p r a c t i s e d by a l l Edos . C l i t o r i d e c t o m y of g i r l s a l so took p lace at i n f a n c y , but i t s p r a c t i c e i s f a l l i n g i n t o abeyance. There are no puberty r i t e s for e i t h e r sex . D. MARRIAGE The t r a d i t i o n a l process of marriage was as f o l l o w s . 1. . Imwu-omo: the ' a s k i n g for the c h i l d . ' When a baby g i r l i s born s u i t o r s may beg in to approach her parents for her hand, sending - 61 -to them a l og o f wood and a bundle of yams. When the fa ther of the g i r l , w i t h the approval o f h i s own fa ther or s en io r b r o t h e r , has chosen a s u i t a b l e mate, he informs him o f the date o f the formal b e t r o t h a l . The s u i t o r them prepares g i f t s which i n some v i l l a g e s c o n s i s t of a j a r of palm-wine, two t r ays of s l i c e d coconut w i t h two k o l a nuts on each and 2s. These are taken to the a l t a r of the g i r l ' s p a t r i l i n e a l ancestors to n o t i f y them of the b e t r o t h a l . 2. A f t e r t h i s has been done, the s u i t o r must g ive s e r v i c e (uganmwen) to h i s p ro spec t i ve p a r e n t s - i n - l a w , g i v i n g presents of yams to the fa ther and mother each y e a r , h e l p i n g the former on h i s farm, p r o v i d i n g the mother w i t h f i r ewood . Today these ' s e r v i c e s ' o f ten take the form o f p e r i o d i c g i f t s of money and c l o t h . 3. The anyo-imiomo: the 'wine o f r e c e i v i n g the c h i l d . ' When a date has been f i x e d the s u i t o r prepares more g i f t s o f wine , k o l a , and coconut as fu r the r o f f e r i n g s to the ancestors of the g i r l to n o t i f y them that the marriage i s about to take p lace and to ask for t h e i r he lp i n making i t a f r u i t f u l and prosperous one. At t h i s stage the groom w i l l make the marriage-payment to the g i r l ' s f a t h e r , together w i t h g i f t s for the mother and for the 'people i n the h o u s e . ' The marriage i s sea led by the payment of 2s. which i s c a l l e d anyo-imiomo. 4. I r h i o h a r i e : ' t a k i n g the b r i d e to her husband . ' The l a t t e r ' s r e l a t i v e s and f r i ends gather at h i s house to dance and s i n g . Meanwhile the g i r l i s conducted by her b r o t h e r s , s i s t e r , and f r i e n d s , c a r r y i n g her p r o p e r t y , to the husband's house. On - 62 -a r r i v a l the b r i d e , f e i g n i n g shyness, i s p laced i n her husband's lap by her b r o t h e r . The husband's s en io r w i f e , i f he has any, of some other woman i n the house b r ings a bowl of water i n which money or cowries have been p laced and washes the b r i d e ' s hands. Th i s r i t e symbolizes the acceptance o f her i n to the household and the money expresses the hope that the marriage w i l l be a f r u i t f u l one. She i s then l e d away to be bathed and to eat a s o l i t a r y mea l . The husband then e n t e r t a i n s the b r i d e ' s pa r ty and makes g i f t s to them, some for themselves and some to take back to h i s p a r e n t ' s - i n - l a w . The b r i d a l pa r ty leaves and the husband cont inues to e n t e r t a i n h i s own people w i t h f e a s t i n g and danc ing . Two days l a t e r the husband goes to thank the parents of h i s b r i d e and i s en t e r t a ined by them. On the seventh day a f t e r the b r i d e ' s a r r i v a l her mother comes to see h e r , and to demand the c l o t h on which the p a i r s l e p t on the f i r s t n i g h t . I f the g i r l proved to be a v i r g i n the c l o t h i s g iven to the mother and she r ece ives presents i n cash and i s en t e r t a ined by the husband. The same day the b r i d e c leans the w a l l s of the husband's ancestor s h r i n e and prayers are s a i d fo r h e r . I t i s on t h i s day too tha t she enters the k i t c h e n and cooks for the f i r s t t i m e . Today, Ben in c h i l d b e t r o t h a l i s dy ing or has d ied o u t . The genera l p a t t e r n of the marriage ceremony remains , w i t h a l t e r a t i o n s depending on one 's a l l e g i a n c e to one of the many C h r i s t i a n denominations i n Benin C i t y . A woman can d i v o r c e her husband s imply by repaying the marriage-payment i n the Na t ive cour t or by f i n d i n g a l o v e r who i s w i l l i n g to pay i t for h e r . - 63 -The husband w i l l u s u a l l y make a c l a i m for refund of the a d d i t i o n a l money tha t he has spent on h e r . E . DEATH AND MORTUARY R I T E S 4 Mortuary r i t e s d i f f e r accord ing to c l a n , l o c a l i t y , and the s ta tus and rank of the deceased. For the Edo the i d e a l i s that the parents should predecease t h e i r c h i l d r e n and sen io r s i b l i n g s t h e i r j u n i o r s . C h i l d r e n of the deceased should perform the mortuary r i t e s , w i t h the sen io r son p l a y i n g the l e a d i n g r o l e , and no person p lays an a c t i v e par t i n the r i t e s for some-one j u n i o r to h i m s e l f . In Ben in C i t y , at the present day, most b u r i a l s take p lace i n the p u b l i c cemeteries and on ly very prominent people may be b u r i e d , w i t h the Oba's p e r m i s s i o n , i n t h e i r houses . No person other than the Oba may be b u r i e d i n the Ogbe s e c t i o n of the town. When f u l l mortuary r i t e s are accorded they take seven days i n the case o f o r d i n a r y people and four teen for the Oba and some important c h i e f s . They may be performed immediately a f t e r the decease o r , i f the sen io r son i s too young or cannot a f f o r d the necessary expense, be delayed i n d e f i n i t e l y . Some mortuary r i t e s may take p lace twenty years a f t e r in te rment . The f o l l o w i n g i s a d e s c r i p t i o n of the main stages o f the mortuary r i t e s for an o r d i n a r y adu l t man w i t h sons . 1. When a death i s confirmed the people i n the house and other r e l a t i v e s and f r i ends beg in to weep and w a i l . The body i s taken ou t s ide For a d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s o f Edo mortuary r i t e s see ' F a t h e r s , E l d e r s , and Ghosts i n Edo R e l i g i o n , " i n A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l Approaches to the Study o f  R e l i g i o n (ed . by M . Banton) , pp. 127-153. A . S . A . Monograph No. 3 , New Y o r k : F r e d e r i c k A . Praeger . - 64 -and washed, then l a i d on a bed i n s i d e the house. The h a i r and n a i l s are cut and i f the mortuary r i t e s are not to take p l ace immedia te ly , are preserved by the s e n i o r son , u s u a l l y i n a b l o c k of ' c h a l k . ' A goat i s s a c r i f i c e d and the body annointed w i t h b l o o d . The corpse i s then adorned w i t h b r a c e l e t s o f cowries and a whi te c l o t h and a feather i s s tuck i n t o the h a i r . I f the grave i s i n the cemetery the c h i l d r e n of the deceased go there i n p roces s ion w i t h the corpse , s i n g i n g seven s p e c i a l b u r i a l songs and s c a t t e r i n g c h a l k , s a l t , and cowries on the way. A hen i s k i l l e d and i t s b lood used to wash from the feet of the mourners those i m p u r i t i e s and r i t u a l dangers a s soc i a t ed w i t h the g rave . I f the f u l l mortuary r i t e s are to be performed immediately these r i t e s c o n s t i t u t e the f i r s t day. Otherwise the seven-day mortuary begins w i t h on ly members of the deceased l ineage per-forming the iwaorinmwin (the l a y i n g out of the c o r p s e ) . The n a i l s and h a i r which have been preserved from the dead man are t i e d , w i t h c h a l k , s a l t , and c o w r i e s , i n a wh i t e c l o t h i n t o which a whi te fea ther i s i n s e r t e d . Over t h i s bund le , which represents the corpse , a goat i s s l a u g h t e r e d . The seven b u r i a l songs are sung and the body i n t e r r e d . 2. Izakhwe: the ceremonia l p roces s ion around the town. The sen io r son s laugh te r s a cow or goat on the th re sho ld of the house fo r the erha s p i r i t s o f the f ami ly on the t h i r d day. Then he and each o f h i s bro thers and b r o t h e r s - i n - l a w and, sometimes, h i s adu l t sons and daughters of t h e i r husbands, p lace themselves - 65 -at the head of groups of dependents and f r i ends which march around the town i n order of s e n i o r i t y o f t h e i r l e a d e r s , to the accompaniment of b u r i a l and other songs i n honour o f the dead. 3 . I so ton : On the f i f t h day there i s another p r o c e s s i o n . This time the leader o f each group has a box (okun) decorated w i t h a red c l o t h and bradd adornments which represents the p ros -p e r i t y o f the deceased and the respect accorded h im. The leader takes w i t h him o f f e r i n g s (oton) the main components of which are a goat , a ca labash o f . o i l , basket o f cocoanuts , seven k o l a n u t s , a mat, and a whi te c l o t h . On r e t u r n to the house each mourner presents h i s oton to the assembled e lde r s of the l i n e a g e , who inspec t them to see i f they are complete; i f not a sum of money i s o f fe red i n as a s u b s t i t u t e . 4 . Ikpowia: A. dance begins on the evening of the f o l l o w i n g day which w i l l cont inue u n t i l daybreak. A person , chosen by d i v i n a -t i o n , i s dressed up i n f i n e c lo thes to represent the deceased. Dur ing the n i g h t he s i t s on a bench i n the house w h i l e a l l h i s descendants come, and, through a spokesman assures them that the deceased w i l l cont inue to look a f t e r them from erimwin (the s p i r i t wor ld ) as he has done on e a r t h . This done ' the f a t h e r ' dances w i t h h i s c h i l d r e n fo r the l a s t t i m e . 5 . At dawn the peop le , l e d by the f a t h e r , go i n p roces s ion to a nearby area o f bush where a framework of s t i c k s , covered w i t h a c l o t h , has been e r e c t e d . When the s t r u c t u r e c o l l a p s e s , i t s components are thrown away. This r i t e , known as the isuerhanfua - 66 -( throwing away the s t i c k s ) , symbolizes the f i n a l d i s p o s a l o f the remains o f the deceased and the c a s t i n g o f f of r i t u a l im-p u r i t i e s a s soc i a t ed w i t h death from the mourners. The subse-quent s t a t e o f r i t u a l p u r i t y i s expressed i n the song ' I t i s c o o l l i k e the bush near the r i v e r ' which accompanies the home-ward p r o c e s s i o n . As the mourners reach the house a mortar i s f i r e d to induce the ' f a t h e r ' s ' s p i r i t to. come home and h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t races a l i n e w i t h powdered cha lk to the s h r i n e where he w i l l be worsh ipped . 6 . A few hours 1 l a t e r the ("senior son and h i s f a t h e r ' s s en io r sur-v i v i n g b ro ther perform the r i t e known as ukonmwen ( p l a n t i n g ) • * i n which carved s t i c k s (ukhurhe) are p laced u p r i g h t on the a l t e r of the deceased. A goat i s s a c r i f i c e d and other o f f e r i n g s made and the ' f a t h e r ' i s asked to cont inue to come there and eat w i t h h i s ' c h i l d r e n ' who come i n t h e i r t u rn to pray for themselves , t h e i r spouses, and t h e i r dependents. Apar t from these mortuary r i t e s which are the concern of the deceased's s i b l i n g s and descendants h i s membership of o ther k inds o f groups i s a l so s i g n i f i e d a f t e r h i s dea th . Thus a goat must be presented by the sen io r son to the people of the v i l l a g e for s a c r i f i c e fo r the ed ion s p i r i t s and to the members o f any c u l t - g r o u p or t i t l e - a s s o c i a t i o n or order o f which he was a member. The mortuary r i t e s o f the Oba f o l l o w the same genera l p a t t e r n but are much more e l a b o r a t e . CHAPTER I I I THE STRUCTURE OF THE EDO COSMOLOGY I . INTRODUCTION As we have seen i n Chapter I , w r i t e r s such as E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d (Nuer  R e l i g i o n ) and L ienhard t ( D i v i n i t y and Exper ience) have analyzed the cos-mologies of the N i l o t i c Nuer and Dinka r e s p e c t i v e l y . Both peoples b e l i e v e i n a supreme D i v i n i t y as w e l l as other d i v i n i t i e s . ' ' " These d i v i n i t i e s , however, are not seen as beings hav ing a separate e x i s t e n c e , but as r e -f r a c t i o n s of the one s p i r i t who i s pe rvas ive i n the w o r l d . The v a r i o u s d i v i n i t i e s i n the Edo cosmology are not s imply r e f r a c -t i o n s of the a t t r i b u t e s o f a u n i v e r s a l s p i r i t . They are ca t egor i e s of be ing hav ing a separate ex i s t ence who can be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from each o t h e r . The Edo wor ld i s b i p a r t i t e . Osanobua i s b e l i e v e d to be the founder of the d i v i n i t y - o r d e r (erimwin) and the c r ea to r of the wor ld of man and nature (agbon). A l l o f the d i v i n i t i e s l i v e i n er imwin and communicate w i t h man who l i v e s i n agbon. The Edo cosmology i s h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c -t u r e d . The s ta tus and r o l e of the d i v i n i t i e s i s b e l i e v e d to have been set by Osanobua who has c rea ted a l l t h i n g s . He has delegated v a r y i n g degrees I w i l l use the term d i v i n i t y throughout t h i s work. Many w r i t e r s use o ther te rminology such as gods, s p i r i t s , d e i t i e s and super-human b e i n g s . By d i v i n i t y I w i l l mean any of the Edo e n t i t i e s b e l i e v e d to d w e l l i n e r imwin . - 68 -of power to the d i v i n i t i e s , g i v i n g them p a r t i c u l a r spheres o f i n f luence i n agbon. In the provided char t (Diagram 1 ) , i t can be seen that some d i v i n i t i e s are a t tached to a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l u n i t , def ined by membership i n a l i neage or v i l l a g e - u n i t . Other d i v i n i t i e s are f r e e . The usage o f the term free does not mean that they are not served by a c u l t ; i t i s j u s t tha t the c u l t i s not coterminous w i t h a predetermined s o c i a l u n i t . Esu and and azen are a l so f r e e , but are not served by any c u l t . Each of. tfhe d i v i n i t i e s has h i s a l l o t t e d p lace i n the cosmology. Accord ing to Bradbury (1957: 52) there are four ca t egor i e s of be ing i n the 2 Edo cosmology. 1. D i v i n i t i e s who have never been incarna ted as human b e i n g s . 2 . S p i r i t s of the depar ted . 3 . H e r o - d i v i n i t i e s a s soc i a t ed w i t h n a t u r a l features of the e n v i r o n -ment . 4 . Pe rsona l s p i r i t s and powers. Category 1 Osanobua, Olokun, Ogun, Ogiuwu, Obiemwen, Osun and E s u . Al though none of these d i v i n i t i e s has ever been incarna ted as human be ings , we need a fu r the r means o f d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g them. Olokun and Ogun are two of the most important d i v i n i t i e s i n the Edo r e l i g i o n . Both of these beings cou ld be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from the others by v i r t u e of t h e i r a b i l i t y to possess the p r i e s t (ohen). Osanobua has never been known to possess any man. I would accept t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t o r y scheme w i t h r e s e r v a t i o n s . B rad -b u r y ' s cho ice of ' i n c a r n a t i o n ' may be somewhat m i s l e a d i n g . For i n c a r n a t i o n i m p l i e s that a s p i r i t u a l be ing becomes man. No d i v i n i t y i n the Edo cos-mology has ever done t h a t ; the h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s were once men, l a t e r becoming s p i r i t . - 69 -THE EDO COSMOLOGY NAME OF DIVINITY MEANING OF NAME Osanobua Creator of ATTRIBUTES OF DIVINITY Omnisc ien t , omni-potent r u l e r of the cosmos SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION SPHERE OF INFLUENCE In the past Osanobua Upholder of was represented by Oba-f igures and a sma l l heap o f sand w i t h a s t i c k i n i t s midst t i e d w i t h a s t r i p of c l o t h s o c i a l and moral order i n Edo k i n g -dom ASSOCIATION WITH FEATURES OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT None ASSOCIATION WITH UNITS OF THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE None CULTIC FOLLOWING Yes RELIGIOUS FUNCTIONARY (OHEN) Yes DIVINITY AS THE OBJECT OF SACRIFICE AND OFFERINGS Yes on ly food o f f e r i n g s Olokun D i v i n i t y o f the sea Favoured son of Osanobua. Peac-a b l e , gen t l e and good An Oba-f igure sur-rounded by servants the co lou r whi te G ive r of h e a l t h , wea l th and c h i l d r e n The sea None Yes Yes Yes Ogun D i v i n i t y o f metal F u r i o u s , tem-permental and capable o f des-t r u c t i v e acts Anyth ing m e t a l ; the c o l o u r red A r b i t e r o f j u s t i c e . t u t e l a r y d i v -i n i t y fo r i r o n workers None None None None Yes Esu D i v i n i t y who does e v i l D i r t y , b l a c k and u g l y . Capable of d e s t r u c t i v e ac ts Thorn s t i c k or a sma l l wooden d o l l ; the co lou r b l a c k Di s rup t s i n d i -v i d u a l and s o c i e t a l ha r -mony None None None None Yes Hero-d i v i n i -t i e s Names of h e r o - d i v i -n i t i e s are synonymous w i t h a f ea -ture of the n a t u r a l en-vironment A t t r i b u t e s va ry from d i v i n i t y to d i v i n i t y Var i e s from d i v i -n i t y to d i v i n i t y Welfare o f p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e s P a r t i c u l a r features of environment p a r t i c u l a r l y r i v e r s Served e x c l u s i -v e l y by v i l l a g e u n i t s None Yes Yes Ogauwu K i n g of death Formerly a fu r ious be ing None Presents the souls of Edo to Osanobua None None None None None Ob iemwen Osun D i v i n i t y o f Medic ine None None (?) A s s i s t s Olokun None Empowers None Medic ines None None None U s u a l l y l i m i t e d to domestic spheres None Some V i l -lages have recogn ized ohenOsun None Object of s a c r i f i c e dur ing annual r i t e (ihuan-Osun) Edion Erha Azen E h i C o l l e c t i v e S i m i l a r i n a t t r i -predecessors butes to the l i v -o f a group ing ed ion Named departed fa ther S i m i l a r i n a t t r i b u t e s to the l i v i n g erha A n t i - s o c i a l , D e s t r u c t i v e and e v i l Be ing who has the ab-i l i t y to de-tach essence (o r ion ) from body S p i r i t u a l S i m i l a r i n a t t r i -counterpar t bute to counter-who l i v e s i n par t i n agbon er imwin Ukhurhe s t a f f s and brass heads Ukhurhe s t a f f s and brass heads Items a s soc i a t ed w i t h the l e f t None Welfare of the c o l l e c t i v i t y e g . v i l l a g e -u n i t Welfare of the p a t r i l i n e a g e D i s rup t h e a l t h and harmony of Edo Welfare of e a r t h l y counterpar t None None Meet i n the i r o k o t r ee None Served ex-c l u s i v e l y by c o l l e c -t i v i t i e s Served ex-c l u s i v e l y by p a t r i -l i neage None Served ex-c l u s i v e l y by e a r t h l y counterpar t None None L i v i n g odionwere performs p r i e s t l y f u n c t i o n None None L i v i n g erha performs p r i e s t l y f u n c t i o n None None Obonoyada R a v e ' s p e c i a l knowledge None None Yes Yes Yes Yes Diagram 1 - 70 -Osanobua, 01okun, Ogun and Osun are a l l served by ohen. Esu i s n o t . Yet o f the four d i v i n i t i e s j u s t mentioned, on ly Osun i s l i m i t e d to a domestic sphere . Osun has not become the cent re of c u l t s appea l ing to a wide audience . Osanobua and 01okun are a s soc i a t ed w i t h eve ry th ing that promotes harmony i n the Edo c u l t u r e . In con t r a s t to the nature of Osanobua and 01okun, Ogun i s temperamental and d e s t r u c t i v e . Oloktin i s never l i n k e d w i t h anyth ing a s soc i a t ed w i t h e v i l or dea th . And Esu i s never l i n k e d w i t h anyth ing good. Thus, though a l l the d i v i n i t i e s i n category 1 have i n common the f ac t tha t they were never human, t h e i r natures and a t t r i b u t e s d i f f e r c o n s i d e r a b l y . Category 2 S p i r i t s o f the depar ted . Th i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s u s e f u l and Bradbury makes the d i s t i n c t i o n between the c o l l e c t i v e ancestors (edion) and the i n d i v i d u a l ancestors ( e rha ) . Bradbury (1957: 56) d i s t i n g u i s h e s s i x c o l -l e c t i v i t i e s : the c o l l e c t i v e ancestors o f a group, a ward, an extended f a m i l y , past worshippers o f a d i v i n i t y , a pa lace a s s o c i a t i o n and the edion o f a l l Edo. Category 3 H e r o - d i v i n i t i e s . By h e r o i c i s meant the demonstrat ion o f super-n a t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s du r ing l i f e l i v e d i n agbon (the wor ld of man and n a t u r e ) . The h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s were recognized by the Edo but were not a cc l a imed . They were incarna ted (transformed i s probably more accura te) because of t h e i r superna tu ra l powers. O v i a , Okhauhe, Ake , O d i g g i are a few of such transformed s p i r i t s . - 71 -Category 4 Persona l s p i r i t s and powers. This category provides the most d i f f i c u l t y i n any a n a l y s i s o f the Edo r e l i g i o u s system. The concept of a s p i r i t u a l counter pa r t (Ehi ) i s common to a number of c u l t u r e s i n West A f r i c a . V . Uchendu i n h i s enthnography The Igbo of Southeast N i g e r i a (1965: 16) mentions the concept o f E h i . M . For tes has a l s o w r i t t e n at l eng th on t h i s subjec t i n Oedipus and Job i n West A f r i c a n R e l i g i o n (1959: 19 -24 ) . The Edo b e l i e f i n E h i can only be understood i n the l i g h t o f o ther data on the Edo concepts o f the p e r s o n a l i t y . E s s e n t i a l l y every i n d i v i d u a l i s thought of as hav ing two p a r t s : the l i v i n g person i n agbon 3 and the s p i r i t u a l counterpar t E h i who i s i n e r i m w i n . An E h i i s b e l i e v e d • • 4 by the Edo to in te rcede on t h e i r b e h a l f before Osanobua. S a c r i f i c e s are o f f e r ed to an E h i as the Edo t r y to i n f l uence the d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r l i f e . The Edo a l s o o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s to t h e i r head (uhumwun). The head i s r ecogn ized by the Edo to be the seat of judgment. A man i s spoken of as having a 'good head ' or a 'bad head ' accord ing to h i s fa te or for tune i n l i f e . The Edo a l s o have another unusual s a c r i f i c e . The arm (obo) i s b e l i e v e d to be the seat of the power of accompl i sh ing th ings ( e t i n ) . Brad-bury s t a tes tha t i t s 'worship i s p a r t i c u l a r l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of w a r r i o r s The i n d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e i s used to i n d i c a t e tha t E h i i s not a u n i t a r y be ing l i k e 01okun or Ogun. There are many E h i . 'Thus the expres-s i o n ' E h i d i d ' could on ly be used by an i n d i v i d u a l Edo r e f e r r i n g to h i s own E h i . 4 I w i l l i n c lude non-blood o f f e r i n g s i n the r u b i c s a c r i f i c e . There are a number of d i f f e r e n t types of s a c r i f i c e : meal or d r i n k o f f e r i n g s , g i f t s , v o t i v e , p r o p i t i a t o r y , s u b s t i t u t i o n a r y and p reven t ive (See Idowu 1962: 118-124 fo r a d i s c u s s i o n of Yoruba s a c r i f i c e s ) . - 72 -but i s a l s o p r a c t i c e d by other weal thy and h i g h - r a n k i n g persons ' (1957: 3 8 ) . In p r a c t i c e the Edo seem to be s a c r i f i c i n g to t h e i r uhumwun, but when I quest ioned informants I found that there i s an a c t u a l e n t i t y i n er imwin who i s the r e c i p i e n t of the s a c r i f i c e . Of a l l the s a c r i f i c e s made to the va r ious d i v i n i t i e s , those of fe red to an uhumwun and an obo are the most ambiguous. Bradbury does not inc lude the wi tches (azen) i n any o f these four ca t egor i e s . For my purposes I have found i t u s e f u l to i nc lude them i n the Edo cosmology. Al though human by day, the azen p a r t i c i p a t e i n erimwin dur ing the n i g h t . They move from one l e v e l of ex i s t ence to another wi thout be ing permanently f i x e d i n e i t h e r . Th i s i s not the case w i t h the erha ( s p i r i t s o f the departed f a the r ) who now r e s i d e permanently i n e r imwin . The azen ' s a b i l i t y to move from one l e v e l and back again w i l l be seen as important when we examine the Edo i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the azen . C l a s s i f y i n g by Bradbury ' s scheme, then , omits the azen and does not adequately d i f f e r e n t i a t e the d i v i n i t i e s inc luded w i t h i n category 1. Nor does Bradbury inc lude Esu i n any of the c a t e g o r i e s . I I . CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF THE EDO DIVINITIES A . OSANOBUA: THE SUPREME KING AND CREATOR OF ALL THINGS 1. Meaning of Name There are many names for the supreme d i v i n i t y . The minimal l i n -g u i s t i c u n i t used by the Edo i s Osa. When t h i s i s combined w i t h d e s c r i p t i v e - 73 -words, the Edo are able to c h a r a c t e r i z e facets o f h i s n a t u r e . The word Osanobua i s now most commonly used for the supreme d i v i n i t y and conveys the idea of one who i s the u l t i m a t e source of a l l th ings i n erimwin and agbon. 2. A t t r i b u t e s of the D i v i n i t y Osanobua i s the source of a l l l i f e , the one who determines the u l t i m a t e de s t i ny o f the Edo, omnisc ient and omnipotent . He i s i n no way a s soc i a t ed w i t h anyth ing e v i l . 3. Symbolic Represen ta t ion In the past Osanobua was represented by Oba f i gu re s and by a smal l heap of sand w i t h a s t i c k i n the midst of i t . In present day B e n i n , the ou t s i de of the Holy Aruosa ( shr ine of Osa) has the f l u t e d p a t t e r n o f a r c h i t e c t u r e used only by the Oba. Above the entrance to the sh r ine are the ada and eben (ceremonial swords) , a l so symbols of r o y a l t y . In one Olokun sh r ine (aruOlokun) 01okun was represented as a k i n g surrounded by numerous at tendants and images of o ther d i v i n i t i e s . One o f the represen-t a t i o n s , carved out of wood and p laced near Olokun was that o f Osanobua. Now a l l Edo b e l i e v e that Osanobua i s not subserv ien t to Olokun . The p l a c i n g o f Osanobua i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to Olokun i n d i c a t e s who the Edo t h i n k i s most important and most approachable i n the s o l v i n g of t h e i r problems. A number o f p r o v e r b i a l statements are used to r a t i o n a l i z e t h i s f a c t . That Olokun seems to have superseded Osanobua i n r i t u a l focus i s exp la ined - 74 -by c i t i n g the Edo proverb : 'Happy i s he whose c h i l d has been able to, improve ' or 'Happy i s the c h i l d who has been able to surpass h i s f a t h e r . ' The statement Omosorhae-erihen sums up the Edo b e l i e f . 'Olokun assumes the power of g o d . ' 4. Sphere of Inf luence In the mythology Osanobua i s p i c t u r e d as a k i n g , l i v i n g i n splendour w i t h many wives and c h i l d r e n : among h i s c h i l d r e n are other d i v i n i t i e s and the f i r s t k ings of I f e , other Yoruba towns and B e n i n . Osanobua's c h i l d r e n , the d i v i n i t i e s , execute h i s purposes i n agbon. Osanobua seems p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h the we l fa re of the e n t i r e Edo kingdom. I t i s inaccura te to t h i n k , t h e r e f o r e , that Osanobua i s 'deus o t i o s u s . ' The Edo b e l i e v e tha t Osanobua manifes ts h i m s e l f not on ly through the c r e a t i o n o f l i f e , but a l s o through h i s m i n i s t e r s : the l e s s e r d i v i n i t i e s . 5 . C u l t i c F o l l o w i n g H i s t o r i c a l l y there was no c u l t a t tached to Osanobua. But i n recent years Osanobua has been served at the Holy Aruosa Church i n Benin C i t y . 6 . R e l i g i o u s F u n c t i o n a r i e s In contemporary Edo c u l t u r e there are two ohen who o f f i c i a t e at the weekly s e r v i c e s h e l d at the A r u o s a . They have been s p e c i a l l y chosen for t h i s t a s k . - 75 -7. O s a n o b u a a s t h e O b j e c t o f S a c r i f i c e I n t h e p a s t b l o o d s a c r i f i c e s w e r e m a d e , b u t i n c o n t e m p o r a r y E d o c u l t u r e O s a n o b u a r e c e i v e s o n l y t h a n k o f f e r i n g s i n t h e f o r m o f v a r i o u s f o o d s t u f f s a n d m o n e t a r y d o n a t i o n s . O s a n o b u a i s n o t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a n y p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e o f t h e n a t u r a l e n v i r o n m e n t , n o r i s h e i d e n t i f i e d e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h a n y u n i t s o f t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . B . O L O K U N : T H E POWERFUL SON OF OSANOBUA 1. M e a n i n g o f Name O l o k u n i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e s e a ( o k u n ) , t h a t i s w i t h t h e g r e a t w a t e r s o f t h e e a r t h , w h i c h a r e s a i d t o h a v e t h e i r s o u r c e i n t h e E t h i o p e ( O l o k u n ) R i v e r n e a r t h e t o w n o f U r h o n i g b e . 2. A t t r i b u t e s o f t h e D i v i n i t y O l o k u n i s t h e f a v o u r e d s o n o f O s a n o b u a a n d i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d a s p e a c e f u l , g e n t l e a n d g o o d . 3. S y m b o l i c R e p r e s e n t a t i o n ' W h e r e O l o k u n i s r e p r e s e n t e d b y mud o r w o o d e n i m a g e s , h e i s r e p r e -s e n t e d a s a n O b a w i t h h i s r e t i n u e a n d w i v e s . T h e c o l o u r w h i t e i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h O l o k u n : t h e o h e n O l o k u n m u s t w e a r w h i t e a n d p i e c e s o f w h i t e c h a l k ( t a k e n - 76 -from the r i v e r s ) adorn the a l t e r s of Olokun s h r i n e s . 4 . Sphere o f Inf luence Olokun i s the b r i n g e r of c h i l d r e n . C h i l d r e n (omo) are h i g h l y va lued i n the Edo c u l t u r e . This can be i l l u s t r a t e d by c i t i n g one of the names g iven to a Edo c h i l d : Emokpae=Emokpogbe. T rans l a t ed t h i s means: ' I t i s c h i l d r e n who r a i s e the p r e s t i g e o f the f a m i l y . ' Without c h i l d r e n monetary wea l th means no th ing i n the Edo c u l t u r e . Olokun i s a l so b e l i e v e d to be the b r i n g e r o f w e a l t h . Bradbury suggests (1957: 53) that the a s s o c i a t i o n of Olokun w i t h wea l th undoubtedly owes something to the coming o f the European t r a d i n g sh ips across the s ea . Olokun i s a l so b e l i e v e d to be concerned w i t h the h e a l t h o f the Edo, one of the main concerns r e f l e c t e d , fo r example, i n a name such as Egberanmwen=Egberanmwen o s e r e . 'Hea l th i s supreme. ' O lokun ' s sphere o f i n f luence i s to purvey b l e s s i n g to the Edo: h e a l t h , wea l th and c h i l d r e n . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Features of the N a t u r a l Environment Olokun i s s a i d to d w e l l i n the sea , that i s , i n the great waters of the ea r th which are s a i d to have t h e i r source i n the Ethiqpe (Olokun) R i v e r . Into t h i s r i v e r , which r i s e s near the town of Urhonigbe i n the southeast corner of the kingdom, a l l the r i v e r s of the wor ld are b e l i e v e d to f l o w ; i t s immediate t r i b u t a r i e s are i d e n t i f i e d as Olokun ' s wives (Brad-bury 1957: 5 3 ) . - 77 -6 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h U n i t s o f the S o c i a l S t ruc tu re There are on ly two or three v i l l a g e s who worship Olokun c o r p o r a t e l y . The town o f Urhonigbe, the main cent re of the c u l t , and Ughoton, the o l d por t o f B e n i n , have an annual f e s t i v a l i n honour o f Olokun . Otherwise , Olokun i s worshipped by i n d i v i d u a l s before t h e i r own domestic a l t a r s or by a c u l t c e n t e r i n g around an i n f l u e n t i a l p r i e s t e s s or p r i e s t . 7 . C u i t i c F o l l o w i n g Bradbury s t a tes (1957: 53) that every woman i n a house has her own s m a l l a l t a r . In a sense every woman who has her own a l t a r i n s t a l l e d i s a p r i e s t e s s o f Olokun . Some, however, are recognized to have more i n f l uence w i t h the d i v i n i t y than others and become the focus of a c u l t , which meets r e g u l a r l y to honour the d i v i n i t y . 8. R e l i g i o u s F u n c t i o n a r i e s The head p r i e s t e s s (ohen) o f Olokun l i v e s at Urhonigbe . Al though i t i s t rue tha t many women have t h e i r own domestic a l t a r s , there are some women who come to be s p e c i a l l y recognized as p r i e s t e s s e s having in f luence w i t h the d i v i n i t y . T h e i r a l t a r s w i l l c o n t a i n some i tem/s obta ined from the main sh r ine at Urhonigbe and people w i l l come to them for the ugiOlokun as w e l l as for a s s i s t ance i n t h e i r a f f a i r s . 9 . Olokun as the Object of S a c r i f i c e Olokun i s the objec t of s a c r i f i c i a l o f f e r i n g s of a b lood l e s s and - 78 -blood type. C. OGUN: THE ARBITER OF JUSTICE 1. Meaning of Name One who c o n t r o l s or r u l e s metal (the god of i r o n ) . 2. A t t r i b u t e s of the D i v i n i t y Ogun i s of a f u r i o u s , temperamental chara c t e r . He i s b e l i e v e d to be capable of d e s t r u c t i v e a c t s . 3. Symbolic Representation Ogun i s symbolized by anything associated w i t h metal. For example, the aruOgun i s covered w i t h pieces of scrap metal. In some cases an aru w i l l be demarcated by a s i n g l e i r o n stake d r i v e n i n t o the ground. 4. Sphere of Influence The name 'pioneer d i v i n i t y ' has been given to Ogun. The Edo b e l i e v e that i t i s Ogun who feeds the other d i v i n i t i e s and makes the way c l e a r f o r i n d i v i d u a l Edo to l i v e harmoniously and s u c c e s s f u l l y . A l l Edo know the power of Ogun who vents h i s fury on people g u i l t y of unjust a c t s . - 79 -5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h U n i t s o f the S o c i a l S t ruc tu re Since Ogun i s i d e n t i f i e d w i t h anything m e t a l , he has become the t u t e l a r y s p i r i t o f anyone i n any way a s soc i a t ed w i t h metal work. The metal g u i l d s i n the o l d days worked under h i s gu idance . And the present day smiths working on Igun S t ree t i n Benin C i t y cons ider Ogun to be t h e i r t u t e l a r y d i v i n i t y . They have an aruOgun i n t h e i r fo rges ; the aru be ing demarcated by a c o l l e c t i o n of scrap p ieces of metal heaped together on top o f an approximate ly 3 ' by 3 ' mud s h r i n e . Informants have t o l d me that anyone working w i t h b r a s s , bronze or i r o n does not need to s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h the he lp of a p r i e s t which i s the u s u a l p a t t e r n for the commoner. Truck d r i v e r s are qu i t e o f ten devotees of Ogun s ince t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d i s dependent upon metal ( t h e i r t r u c k s ) , a l l o f which Ogun i s s a i d to own. 6 . C u i t i c F o l l o w i n g Ogun i s not merely served by s p e c i a l ca t egor i e s o f people w i t h i n the c u l t u r e . There are many Ogun shr ines throughout Benin C i t y . L i k e Olokun, va r i ous people w i l l a t t ach themselves to a p a r t i c u l a r ohen thus forming a c u l t . Most Edo n o n - C h r i s t i a n s w i l l have t h e i r own domestic sh r ine before which they w i l l o f f e r prayers to Ogun. The s imples t aruO- gun i s an i r o n stake d r i v e n i n t o the ground. However, most c u l t s w i l l have a sh r ine house. 7 . R e l i g i o u s F u n c t i o n a r i e s Ogun i s served by ohen who are b e l i e v e d by the Edo to be chosen - 80 -by Ogun. Once chosen they undergo some t r a i n i n g and then beg in s e r v i n g Ogun by performing s a c r i f i c e s and the ugiOgun every f i v e days . 8. Ogun as an Object of S a c r i f i c e Ogun i s the objec t of s a c r i f i c e s , both of a b l o o d l e s s and b lood t y p e . D. ESU: THE ENEMY OF OSANOBUA AND MAN 1. Meaning of the Name I am not c l e a r on the etymology o f E s u . G e n e r a l l y , we can say that Esu means one who i s a s soc ia t ed w i t h e v i l . 2 . A t t r i b u t e s o f the D i v i n i t y Esu i s d i r t y , b l a c k and u g l y . He i s b e l i e v e d by the Edo to be a c a p r i c i o u s d i v i n i t y who, u n l i k e Ogun, enjoys de s t roy ing and ha ra s s ing man. 3 . Symbolic Represen ta t ion Esu i s represented by a thorn s t i c k , or a sma l l carved d o l l , and i s a s soc ia t ed w i t h the co lou r b l a c k . The aruEsu i s pa in ted b l a c k and many of the s a c r i f i c i a l items of fe red to Esu are b l a c k . - 81 -4 . Sphere o f Inf luence As the enemy of Osanobua and the Edo, Esu i s opposed to the harmonious f u n c t i o n i n g of the Edo c u l t u r e . The Edo t r y to keep him at a d i s t ance and would never t h i n k of s i n g i n g h i s p r a i s e s . S a c r i f i c e s are o f fe red to Esu i n order to appease h im, or to persuade him to work e v i l aga ins t an enemy. A l l n o n - C h r i s t i a n Edo w i l l have an a l t a r fo r Esu at the f ron t of t h e i r house. The Edo say that the aruEsu i s p laced ou t s ide so tha t Esu w i l l come to the aru,-partake of the o f f e r i n g and go away l e a v i n g those i n s i d e the house unharmed. 5 . Esu as the Object of S a c r i f i c e I have a l ready mentioned that Esu i s the ob jec t of s a c r i f i c e . Un-l i k e the o ther d i v i n i t i e s , Esu i s seldom thanked for anyth ing he might happen to do . Esu i s not a s soc i a t ed w i t h any fea ture o f the n a t u r a l environment, nor i s he a s soc i a t ed w i t h u n i t s o f the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . There are no c u l t s f o l l o w i n g Esu and there are no t r a i n e d r e l i g i o u s f u n c t i o n a r i e s to serve h i m . E . THE HERO-DIVINITIES: TRANSFORMED HUMANS 1. Meaning o f the Name/s The h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s are m y t h i c a l or semi -myth ica l f i gu res o f the past who are b e l i e v e d to have turned in to n a t u r a l features of the environment - 82 -( u s u a l l y r i v e r s ) . The name of the d i v i n i t y i s u s u a l l y synonymous w i t h the name g iven to the p a r t i c u l a r fea ture of the environment. 2 . A t t r i b u t e s o f the D i v i n i t y / i e s F u l l data i s l a c k i n g here ; Okhauhe,~* fo r example, has s i m i l a r a t t r i b u t e s to Olokun a l though Okhauhe i s b e l i e v e d to have a more fu r ious n a t u r e . 3 . Symbolic Represen ta t ion The d i f f e r e n t d i v i n i t i e s are represented s y m b o l i c a l l y . Us ing Okhauhe as an example, he i s represented s y m b o l i c a l l y w i t h rocks taken from the Okhauhe R i v e r . 4 . Sphere o f Inf luence The h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s act as guardians o f the v i l l a g e . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Features of the N a t u r a l Environment A l l h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s are a s soc i a t ed w i t h some fea ture of the n a t u r a l environment . O v i a , Okhauhe, Ake are a s soc i a t ed w i t h r i v e r s . I was i n the process of s tudy ing the h e r o - d i v i n i t y Okhauhe but due to the c i v i l war I was unable to conclude my r e s e a r c h . - 83 -6 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h U n i t s o f the S o c i a l S t ruc tu re The most important f ac t about the h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s i s that they are served almost e x c l u s i v e l y by a v i l l a g e or a group of v i l l a g e s s i t u a t e d near the h e r o - d i v i n i t y ' s p lace of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . O c c a s i o n a l l y there i s some coopera t ion between v i l l a g e s i n the sense that the p r i e s t or t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from one v i l l a g e w i l l v i s i t another v i l l a g e s e r v i n g the same h e r o - d i v i n i t y when a f e s t i v a l (ugie) i s i n p rog res s . Bradbury g ives a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f O v i a , one of the best known h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s i n Edo land . Ovia i s s a i d to be the m y t h i c a l w i f e of a k i n g who melted i n t o a r i v e r out o f g r i e f at be ing accused by her co-wives of b r i n g i n g i l l upon her husband. Ovia i s the name o f the l a r g e s t r i v e r i n the Ben in kingdom though many v i l l a g e s p r a c t i c i n g the c u l t have no p a r t i c u l a r connec t ion w i t h i t . I t i s p o p u l a r l y known as ' O v i a j u j u . 1 One of the best known ceremonies a s soc i a t ed w i t h Ovia i s the Ovia masquerade. Once a year most of the men i n the v i l l a g e go i n t o s e c l u s i o n i n the groves around the s h r i n e for per iods up to two months. They emerge p e r i o d i c a l l y complete ly masked except for t h e i r f e e t . These marked f igu res are known as e r imwin-Ovia and are thought to represent the s p i r i t s of the past worshippers of O v i a . Each masquerader impersonates h i s most r e c e n t l y deceased p a t r i l i n e a l ances to r . The f i r s t dance i s h e l d before the sh r ine o f O v i a , the second and t h i r d i n f ront of the houses of the two Ovia p r i e s t s and the r e s t fo r the v i l l a g e as a whole or i n other v i l l a g e s to which they have been i n v i t e d . The male worshippers are graded a long l i n e s s i m i l a r to those of the v i l l a g e age grades though the personnel o f the corresponding secu la r and r i t u a l grades i s not n e c e s s a r i l y i d e n t i c a l . Women are barred from the Ovia groves except on two o c c a s i o n s . T h e i r duty i s to keep the men w e l l fed and to s i n g at n i g h t and i n the morning for t h e i r s a f e t y , fo r they are b e l i e v e d to be on the t h r e sho ld between agbon and erimwin and the re fo re i n great danger. I t i s the women who f i n a l l y k i l l o f f the e r imwin-Ovia by throwing c l o t h s over t h e i r heads, thus ensur ing the r e t u r n o f the men to the r e a l w o r l d . 7 . C u i t i c F o l l o w i n g The s e r v i c e o f the h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s i s r e s t r i c t e d to p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e s or continguous v i l l a g e s near the p lace of the d i v i n i t y ' s t r ans -f o r m a t i o n . For example, there are no c u l t s of Ovia or Okhauhe i n Benin C i t y . I f an Edo wanted to i n t e r a c t w i t h Ovia he would have to t r a v e l to the aruOvia l o c a t e d i n the v i l l a g e s e rv ing that d i v i n i t y . Ov ia -wor sh ip , l i k e the worship of Olokun and Ogun, i s not conf ined to the y e a r l y u g i e . Every f i f t h day the p r i e s t s go to the sh r ine to make o f f e r i n g s . I n d i v i -duals go to them w i t h requests that they make s p e c i a l prayers and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , women who d e s i r e c h i l d r e n seek t h e i r a i d i n making o f f e r i n g s to Ovia w i t h promises to p rov ide fu r the r s a c r i f i c e s i f t h e i r prayers are answered. 8. R e l i g i o u s F u n c t i o n a r i e s Each h e r o - d i v i n i t y i s served by an ohen. - 85 -F. THE ANCESTORS: SPIRITS OF THE DEPARTED S p i r i t s of the departed f a l l i n t o two c l a s s e s . F i r s t , there i s the domestic ancestor c u l t . Here i t i s the i n d i v i d u a l g e n e a l o g i c a l l y defined ancestor (erha/iye) who i s the object of r i t u a l a c t i o n . Secondly, there are the c o l l e c t i v e ancestors or predecessors of a group (edion). I . The Erha 1. Meaning of Name Erha i s Edo f o r father and r e f e r s to the named departed f a t h e r who now dwells i n erimwin; i y e i s Edo f o r mother. Of the two the departed erha i s by f a r the most important. 2. A t t r i b u t e s of the D i v i n i t y The departed erha i s conceived as standing i n much the same r e l a t i o n to h i s descendants as does the head of the extended f a m i l y i n agbon. 3. Symbolic Representation The a l t a r of the erha (aruerha) i s decorated w i t h Ukhurhe s t a f f s and wooden or brass heads which represent the departed f a t h e r . I f a man dies who was a l s o a senior son, an a d d i t i o n a l ukhurhe w i l l be added to the e x i s t i n g a l t a r , otherwise the l i v i n g senior son w i l l begin h i s own a l t a r . - 86 -4 . Sphere of Inf luence The erha acts as the guardian o f the l ineage which i nvo lves pun i sh ing such offenses as i n c e s t , a d u l t e r y , s t e a l i n g and q u a r r e l l i n g . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h U n i t s of the S o c i a l S t ruc tu re The erha are a s soc i a t ed e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h the p a t r i l i n e a g e . Bradbury notes (1957: 54) that i n accordance w i t h the r u l e of p r imogen i tu re , and s ince i d e a l l y every man should have a s en io r son , there i s a l i k e l i h o o d o f f i s s i o n of the ances to r -worsh ipp ing u n i t . The e f f e c t i v e ances to r -worsh ipp ing u n i t inc ludes the youngest c h i l d r e n and the s u r v i v i n g bro thers and s i s t e r s o f the e rha- -approx imate ly two to four genera t ions i n dep th . 6 . R e l i g i o u s Func t ionary The sen io r son o.fythe departed erha i s the one who performs the f u n c t i o n of media t ing the departed e r h a . 7. The Erha as the Object of S a c r i f i c e The erha are the objec t of b lood s a c r i f i c e s and food o f f e r i n g s . I I . The Edion 1. Meaning of Name The c o l l e c t i v e ancestors or predecessors of a group are known as - 87 -e d i o n . There are d i f f e r e n t k inds of edion but i n t h i s study we are p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h those ed ion who are thought to be the o r i g i n a l « occup ie r s o f the v i l l a g e . The departed ed ion are those i n d i v i d u a l s who have achieved the t i t l e of odionwere. U n l i k e the e rha , the edion are • • • not named. 2 . A t t r i b u t e s o f the D i v i n i t y / i e s L i k e the e rha , the edion are b e l i e v e d to stand i n the same r e l a t i o n -sh ip to the descendants as the odionwere d i d to the v i l l a g e u n i t . 3 . Symbolic Represen ta t ion The edion are represented by ukhurhe s t a f f s and brass heads which are p laced on the a l t a r of the departed e d i o n . 4. Sphere of In f luence The ed ion ac t as the guardian o f the p h y s i c a l and moral w e l l - b e i n g of members o f the v i l l a g e . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h U n i t of the S o c i a l S t ruc tu re The edion are served e x c l u s i v e l y by the v i l l a g e u n i t . A l l v i l l a g e s have edion sh r ines (ogwedion). These shr ines may a l s o serve as community meeting p l a c e s . - 88 -6 . R e l i g i o u s Func t ionary The odionwere i s the one who mediates the departed edion j u s t as • • • the erha mediates the departed f a t h e r . 7 . The Edion as the Object o f S a c r i f i c e The edion are the ob jec t o f p e r i o d i c s a c r i f i c e s o f a b lood and b l o o d l e s s nature and a y e a r l y t hanksg iv ing s a c r i f i c e . G. THE AZEN: BRIDGE BETWEEN ERIMWIN AND AGBON 1. Meaning o f Name The meaning of azen i s one who has the a b i l i t y to detach h i s / h e r essence (o r ion ) from the body i n order to p a r t i c i p a t e i n e r imwin . 2. A t t r i b u t e s of the D i v i n i t y / i e s The azen has the a t t r i b u t e s o f a h i g h l y a n t i - s o c i a l be ing who i s the a n t i t h e s i s o f the Edo modal p e r s o n a l i t y . 3 . Symbolic Represen ta t ion The azen are not represented s y m b o l i c a l l y . However, th ings o f the l e f t are a s soc i a t ed w i t h them (eg. the l e f t foot o f a g o a t ) . And they are - 8 9 -i d e n t i f i e d w i t h th ings tha t are repugnant to the other d i v i n i t i e s and the Edo themselves . 4. Sphere of Inf luence The azen d i s r u p t the harmonious f u n c t i o n i n g of the Edo s o c i e t y . They a t t ack the Edo at the va lue po in t s i n t h e i r c u l t u r e (wea l th , h e a l t h and f e r t i l i t y ) . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Features of the N a t u r a l Environment The azen do not r e s i d e permanently i n any p a r t i c u l a r a rea , but every v i l l a g e has i t s group of azen who are b e l i e v e d to meet i n a p a r t i c u -l a r t r ee d u r i n g the n i g h t . 6 . R e l i g i o u s Func t ionary The obo noyada (One who goes to the j u n c t i o n ) i s b e l i e v e d to have • • • s p e c i a l knowledge of the azen . Hi s a i d i s sought i n making s a c r i f i c e s to the azen to persuade them to d e s i s t i n t h e i r e v i l d o i n g . The obo noyada • . . . cou ld not be cons idered as a p r o f e s s i o n a l ohen. 7 . The Azen as Objects of S a c r i f i c e The azen are the r e c i p i e n t s of s a c r i f i c e and o f f e r i n g s which are u s u a l l y p laced at road j u n c t i o n s (ada) on the o u t s k i r t s of the town. - 90 -There i s no c u l t i c f o l l o w i n g o f the azen; they are not i d e n t i f i e d w i t h any p a r t i c u l a r u n i t of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e and there i s no aru a s soc i a t ed w i t h them. H . EHI: DESTINY IN THE EDO TRADITIONAL RELIGION I . Meaning of Name The idea conveyed i n the word E h i . i s that o f s p i r i t u a l coun te rpa r t . Every l i v i n g Edo has an E h i l i v i n g i n e r i m w i n . 2 . A t t r i b u t e s of the D i v i n i t y The E h i has s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to' h i s counterpar t i n agbon. 3 . Symbolic Represen ta t ion An E h i i s not s y m b o l i c a l l y represented by the Edo commoner. How-eve r , Bradbury notes (1957: 58) that on s t a t e occas ions the Oba wears an image o f h i s E h i i n the form o f a d o l l . 4. Sphere of Inf luence An E h i stands behind h i s counterpar t i n agbon, p a r t i c u l a r l y when the l a t t e r i s making h i s request to the c r e a t o r . In t h i s case , an E h i ensures that h i s counterpar t does not forget a n y t h i n g . H i s e s s e n t i a l f u n c t i o n , then , i s to in te rcede on b e h a l f of h i s counterpar t i n agbon and to ensure tha t he f u l f i l l s h i s predetermined d e s t i n y . 5 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Features of the N a t u r a l Environment An E h i i s not a s soc i a t ed w i t h any features of the n a t u r a l e n v i r o n -ment. 6 . A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h U n i t s of the S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e An E h i ' s concern i s t o t a l l y o r i e n t e d to h i s e a r t h l y coun te rpa r t . An E h i i s the r i t u a l focus of i n d i v i d u a l s and never c u l t s o f c o l l e c t i v i -t i e s . 7 . R e l i g i o u s Func t ionary The i n d i v i d u a l mediates h i s own E h i . There i s no s h r i n e a s soc i a t ed w i t h an E h i . 8 . E h i as the Object of S a c r i f i c e An E h i i s the ob jec t o f both s a c r i f i c e s and o f f e r i n g s . I . THE WORSHIP OF OBIEMWEN AND OGIUWU The worship of two d i v i n i t i e s - - O b i e m w e n and Ogiuwu--has f a l l e n i n t o - 92 -abeyance. Formerly Obiemwen was a s soc i a t ed w i t h f e r t i l i t y . My informant s a i d that today Ob iemwen works w i t h Olokun as an a s s i s t a n t . No s a c r i f i c e s are made to h i m . Ogiuwu (King of death) was served at a s p e c i a l sh r ine i n the cen t re of Ben in C i t y by members o f the Oba's r e t i n u e known as Ukebo. S a c r i f i c e s were made to Ogiuwu mainly by the Oba to induce him to ' d e l a y . ' Though Ogiuwu no longer communicates w i t h the Edo, he s t i l l r e t a i n s a p o s i t i o n and f u n c t i o n i n the Edo cosmology. Ogiuwu i s the recorder of a l l deaths and the p r e c i s e circumstances r e l a t i n g to dea th , d w e l l i n g i n a p lace ve ry dark and t e r r i b l e to look a t . H i s f u n c t i o n i s an important one- - tha t of the p r e s e n t a t i o n of a person ' s p r i o n (the s o u l u a l pa r t o f the i n d i v i d u a l ) before the supreme k i n g , Osanobua. Ogiuwu has no th ing to do w i t h the a c t u a l event o f death and would never be thought of as the cause of a pe r son ' s dea th . The Edo Cyc le o f Death Osanobua Erimwin B i r t h Ego 's o r i o n Agbon Diagram 2 When ego d i e s , the cause o f h i s death w i l l be d i scove red by d i v i n a -t i o n . At death ego 's o r i o n w i l l be taken by Ogiuwu who has recorded the nature o f ego 's death and presented to Osanobua. Osanobua w i l l judge ego and w i l l then send him on another m i s s i o n i n t o the w o r l d . The Edo b e l i e v e i n r e i n c a r n a t i o n : a person must complete four teen cyc l e s before he f i n a l l y r e s i d e s i n er imwin permanent ly . Some Edo b e l i e v e that ego 's E h i and - 93 -o r i o n in terchange at death and the b i r t h of a c h i l d . I I I . CLASSIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION OF SOME RELIGIOUS AND MAGICAL PRACTITIONERS A . THE OHEN We have a l ready seen tha t p r o f e s s i o n a l p r i e s t s (ohen) mediate Osanobua, Olokun, Ogun and the h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s . In con t ra s t to the erha and edion r e s p e c t i v e l y , the ohen are chosen by t h e i r d i v i n i t y . The p r i e s t -hood may be i n h e r i t e d , but u n l i k e the p r i e s t l y f u n c t i o n performed by the l i v i n g erha and odionwere t h i s i s not a p r e r e q u i s i t e . Consanguin i ty to a dead ohen i s not enough; one must be ' chosen ' by the d i v i n i t y . Another d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g f a c t o r may be t h a t , w i t h the excep t ion of the ohenOsanobua, the ohen are s e r v i n g d i v i n i t i e s who possess and c o n t r o l them at g iven r i t u a l o c c a s i o n s . The departed s p i r i t s never possess those i n d i v i d u a l s media t ing them. B . THE 0B0 NOYADA • • Reference has been made to the obo noyada. He i s b e l i e v e d to be i n s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to the azen and, t h e r e f o r e , capable o f i n f l u e n c i n g them. He a l s o has a knowledge o f he rbs . C . THE OBODIN The c u r i n g doctor (obodin) must be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the ohen. An - 94 -ohen may have some knowledge of the use o f herbs and medicines but t h i s does not always f o l l o w . An obo ( p l u r a l : ebo) or ' n a t i v e d o c t o r 1 may s p e c i a l i z e i n c u r i n g , d i v i n i n g and combating azen . His primary f u n c t i o n , though, i s to prepare medicines which are g iven to the p a t i e n t to d r i n k , rubbed on the body or i n s e r t e d as t a l i sman and c a r r i e d about on the per -son . Some obo c l a i m to be able to set bones. They a l so c l a i m to have power to dea l w i t h l e p r o s y , impotency, love a f f a i r s , eye s i g h t t r o u b l e and success i n t r a d e . D. THE DIVINER The d i v i n e r i s the a x i s f i g u r e i n the Edo r e l i g i o u s system. Brad -bury subsumes the d i v i n e r under the r u b r i c magic (Bradbury 1957: 5 9 ) . There are ' m a g i c a l ' elements i n d i v i n a t i o n , but I t h i n k that the d i v i n e r must be viewed as an i n t e g r a l par t of the Edo r e l i g i o u s system. The d i v i n e r i s approached fo r three b a s i c reasons: 1. To d i s c o v e r what d i v i n i t y should be i n t e r a c t e d w i t h i n order to achieve a p a r t i c u l a r end. The d i v i n e r w i l l not on ly suggest an a v a i l a b l e d i v i n i t y , but he w i l l a l s o t e l l the s u p p l i c a n t what items should be used i n the s a c r i f i c e . 2 . To d i s c o v e r what the cause of an unfor tuna te event i s . 3 . To d i s c o v e r the meaning of dream expe r i ences . I t i s the d i v i n e r who sets the Edo r e l i g i o u s system i n mot ion . Out of concern and anx i e ty to a l l e v i a t e a d i s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n , the Edo w i l l approach the d i v i n e r i n order to d i s cove r which channel of communication i s open to them, i . e ^ which d i v i n i t y would be most open to hear ing t h e i r - 95 -case and most capable o f doing something about the problem. An unfor tunate event such as the death of a c h i l d w i l l cause the Edo to seek the d i v i n e r ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . What d i v i n i t y i s a s soc i a t ed w i t h the death (probably e i t h e r Ogun, Esu or the azen) ; what i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the death and what must be done to r e g a i n the favour of the angered d i v i n i t y . The meaning of dreams Cj-s: a l s o i n t e r p r e t e d by the d i v i n e r . For i n the Edo c u l t u r e dreams are b e l i e v e d to be one of the means whereby d i v i n i t y breaks i n t o t h e i r consc iousness . The d i v i n e r ' s f u n c t i o n i s to i n t e r p r e t the content o f the dream: what d i v i n i t y i s s y m b o l i c a l l y represen ted , what he i s say ing and what response i s demanded. The most common type of d i v i n e r i s the ogwega. He i s t r a i n e d to i n t e r p r e t pa t te rns produced by the throwing of a neck lace c o n t a i n i n g 16 s h e l l s ; w i t h a concave and convex s i d e . The p o s s i b l e c o n f i g u r a t i o n s are numerous and each c o n f i g u r a t i o n i s r e l a t e d to a p a r t i c u l a r problem and d i v i n i t y , a s o l u t i o n be ing of fe red on the b a s i s of the p a t t e r n i n g of the d i v i n a t o r y appara tus . In the average v i l l a g e or town there w i l l be many i n d i v i d u a l s who c l a i m to d i v i n e , but on ly a few w i l l ga in a r e p u t a t i o n as p a r t i c u l a r l y s k i l f u l l d i v i n e r s . . Others , the Edo f e e l , are c h a r l a t a n s . The;ewawa d i v i n e r works by c a s t i n g a number of s m a l l f i gu re s of human b e i n g s , animals and inanimate ob jec t s on to a p l a t t e r , i n t e r p r e t i n g the answer accord ing to the p a t t e r n i n which they f a l l (Bradbury 1957: 59). I have not observed t h i s method, but Bradbury s t a tes that i t was p r a c t i c e d by the ewaise who i nhab i t ed a number of wards i n Benin C i t y . They were among the Oba's o f f i c i a l ' d o c t o r s ' and were s k i l f u l : i n p repa r ing medicines and i n making charms D i v i n e r s are u s u a l l y s k i l l e d i n the p repara t ions of med i c ine s . - 96 -Olokun ohen have t h e i r own system of d i v i n a t i o n (akpele) u s i n g • • • cowrie s h e l l s . And k o l a - d i v i n a t i o n i s p r a c t i c e d by the p r i e s t s o f Olokun and Ogun. Th i s p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of d i v i n a t i o n i s l i m i t e d to the s a c r i f i c e performed before the s h r i n e . The f o u r - s i d e d k o l a i s used and accord ing to i t s p a t t e r n i n g , the p r i e s t w i l l be able to t e l l i f the d i v i n i t y has heard the message and i f anyth ing has been omit ted from the s a c r i f i c i a l g i f t . Yoruba systems of d i v i n a t i o n have made some inroads i n t o Edo land . I f a d i v i n a t i o n , c o n s i s t i n g o f d i v i n a t i o n w i t h pa lm-ke rne l s , i s a s soc i a t ed w i t h the worship of the d i v i n i t y Orunmi la . However, by f a r the most common type of d i v i n a t i o n i n Edoland i s the ogwega. Wi th t h i s summary statement o f the Edo cosmology i n mind, I t u rn to the d e t a i l of Edo d i v i n i t i e s . CHAPTER IV OSANOBUA: SUPREME KING AND CREATOR OF ALL THINGS I). THE EDO REPRESENTATION OF OSANOBUA There are a number of ways of deducing what a people b e l i e v e about a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y . Through an a n a l y s i s o f the mythology the researcher i s ab le to d i g beneath the c o m p l e x i t i e s and even a b s u r d i t i e s of myth i n order to pe rce ive what i s the ' t r u t h 1 ' ' ' about a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y . F o r -t u n a t e l y there are a number of p r i n t e d documents connected w i t h the foun-d ing o f the Holy Aruosa Church (See Oba o f Benin 1946a; 1946b; 1946-8) . These w r i t i n g s c o n t a i n a number o f Edo myths about Osanobua. I w i l l attempt to analyze them as one means o f a r r i v i n g at the Edo r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of Osanobua. Another important means o f a s c e r t a i n i n g what the Edo t h i n k about the High God i s through an a n a l y s i s of the names the Edo g ive to t h e i r c h i l d r e n . M . Omij ie w r i t i n g i n N i g e r i a Magazine ' s L i t e r a r y Supplement (1968: 40) s t a t e s : B i n i names r e f l e c t the B i n i t h o u g h t — e s p e c i a l l y s ince they express i n most cases very many ideas , b e l i e f s and maxims. B i n i names a re , t h e r e f o r e , expressed p r o v e r b i a l l y , and I choose to c a l l them so for want of a b e t t e r term: Proverb-Names. Myths are man's attempt to get at the 'meaning of t h i n g s ' ; to grasp the t o t a l i t y of expe r i ence . They are not t r i v i a l or absurd . Myth r e l a t e s to that which i s ' e t e r n a l l y t r u e . ' Paul T i l l i c h (1957: 49) has w r i t t e n that myth ' i s the combinat ion of symbols o f our u l t i m a t e c o n c e r n . . . There i s no s u b s t i t u t e for the use of symbols and myths: they are the language o f f a i t h . ' - 98 -U n l i k e North American names, A f r i c a n names have profound meaning and s i g n i f i c a n c e . K . Cragg, w r i t i n g on ' C h r i s t i a n symbolism and the A f r i c a n m i n d , ' has noted that 'names, i n the whi te w o r l d , are no more than what men "are c a l l e d . " Not so i n A f r i c a where they are what men a r e ' (1968: 150) . For our purposes the name func t ions as a r ecorder o f an i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n of the a c t i v i t y of d i v i n i t y . A name w i l l be g iven not on ly as a t r i b u t e to a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y but a l so as an i n d i c a t o r that the d i v i n i t y has spoken or in te rvened i n Edo a f f a i r s . The name can be g i v e n to r e f l e c t an Edo ' s predicament at a p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l t ime (eg . f a m i l i a l c o n f l i c t ) or c e r t a i n problems r e l a t e d to the a c t u a l b i r t h of the c h i l d . An a n a l y s i s of Osa-names po in t s to what the Edo b e l i e v e i s the nature o f Osanobua as w e l l as how the Edo i n t e r p r e t c e r t a i n events as a 2 m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Osanobua. A . OSANOBUA AS HE IS PRESENTED IN THE MYTHOLOGY 3 1. The Story of Erhamwoisa There l i v e d a powerful D i v i n i t y c a l l e d Erhamoisa . His w i f e was c a l l e d Obiemwen. They had many c h i l d r e n namely, Olokun, Ogiuwu, Esu , E h i P . Berger (1969: 75) suggests that w i t h i n exper ienced r e a l i t y there are ' s i g n a l s of t ranscendence ' which po in t beyond man's "na tu re . " In the context of t h i s study p a r t i c u l a r events are i n t e r p r e t e d by the Edo as ' s i g n a l s ' o f a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y ' s p resence . 3 I w i l l t r y to f o l l o w the t ex t g iven by the Oba i n The Addresses  o f the Oba o f Benin i n connexion w i t h the ARUOSA as c l o s e l y as p o s s i b l e , but w i l l paraphrase where necessary i n order to have a grammatical t e x t . - 99 -and so on . Olokun was very w i t t y , good and k i n d ; Oriuwu was very h a r s h , 4 dreadfu l and i r a s c i b l e . E h i was s i m p l e , good-natured and o b l i g i n g : Esu was wicked and t roublesome. The thunderous no i s e du r ing a storm was b e l i e v e d to be the u t te rances of Ogiuwu. E h i was Olokun ' s f a v o u r i t e and he , Olokun and Ogiuwu always moved and played w i t h bows and arrows t o -ge the r . One day Olokun, Ogiuwu and E h i began to shoot at a t a rge t (etee) ; e x c i t e d by the number of scores he made Olokun e j a c u l a t e d 'Menmwen Or i r en fo  N'Ovb ierhamwo i s a ' meaning ' I have an i n t ima te knowledge o f God' or ' I am known by God as h i s S o n . 1 When Ogiuwu made a score he , t o o , e j a c u l a t e d 'Menmwen O r i z e r e n N'Ovbierhamwoisa ' meaning ' I am o n l y known a l i t t l e by Father God. ' E h i made a score but he dec la red h i m s e l f to be ' Imarenhiehie  N'Ovb ierhamwo i s a meaning ' I am known not as a son of the Father G o d . ' A t t ha t t ime Erhamwoisa sat down at Egun and He overheard them. The next day He c a l l e d the three c h i l d r e n and ordered them to go to the r i v e r to f e t ch water for Him. He gave to each a basket i n which to b r i n g water home. Before the c h i l d r e n l e f t fo r the r i v e r Olokun q u i c k l y made abanur i (a k i n d o f p i c t u r e ) i n the sand on the ground. He requested Erhamwoisa to remove the p i c t u r e and keep i t safe i f i t r a i n e d i n h i s absence. Erhamwoisa always kept the r a i n s i n a b i g tank under l ock and k e y . When there was a drought He opened the tank and i t would r a i n . I f i t was too wet He locked up the r a i n s i n the t ank . A f t e r the depar ture of the c h i l d r e n to the r i v e r Esu went s e c r e t l y to open the tank i n which the r a i n s were kept and i t In t h i s myth E h i i s concep tua l i zed as a s i n g l e d i v i n i t y . This appears to c o n t r a d i c t ' w h a t most Edo b e l i e v e about t h e i r E h i . P o s s i b l y t h i s myth r e f e r s to a pe r iod of time before the c r e a t i o n " o f the Edo. Or something has been l o s t i n t r a n s l a t i o n . At any r a t e , fu r the r research i s needed in to the Edo b e l i e f i n E h i . - 100 -r a ined very h e a v i l y . The p i c t u r e made by Olokun i n the sand on the ground was des t royed . Meanwhile the c h i l d r e n re tu rned from the r i v e r . Erhamwoisa then asked Olokun to produce the water he brought from the r i v e r . Instead o f producing the water Olokun asked Erhamwoisa to g ive him the p i c t u r e He asked Him to remove and keep safe i f i t r a i n e d . Erhamwoisa smi led and s a i d , ' D i d n ' t you know tha t the p i c t u r e i n the sand could not be removed?' ' D i d n ' t you know, ' r e i t e r a t e d Olokun, ' t ha t a basket cou ld not h o l d w a t e r ? ' Erhamwoisa smi led again and s a i d , 'O lokun , r e a l l y you are a k n o w - i t - a l l . ' Erhamwoisa then asked Ogiuwu to produce the water he brought from the r i v e r . Ogiuwu produced the basket but on ly a few drops o f water remained on the leaves which he put i n the basket to prevent l eakage . Erhamwoisa again smi led and s a i d , 'Ogiuwu, r e a l l y you don ' t know very much. ' E h i t o l d Erhamwoisa that he dipped the basket i n t o the r i v e r but i t d i d not h o l d wa te r . Erhamwoisa smi led and s a i d , ' E h i , r e a l l y you are very i g n o r a n t . 1 Erhamwoisa now decided to make g i f t s to the c h i l d r e n ; to Olokun he gave ukurhe and uwenrhiontan w i t h a pa r ro t t a i l fea ther on one end and s a i d , 'O lokun , you must merely say your w i shes , stamp and whip the ground w i t h the ukurhe and uwenrhiontan and your wishes w i l l be f u l -f i l l e d i n s t a n t l y . ' Olokun thanked Erhamwoisa and depar ted . The ukurhe and uwenrhiontan were the sea l s w i t h which Erhamwoisa used to s e a l h i s orders and decrees . Esu was annoyed because Erhamwoisa gave the sea l s to Olokun . He went away a n g r i l y . Whenever Erhamwoisa c a l l e d a meeting of h i s c h i l d r e n Esu would not enter Erhamwoisa's house. Instead he would s tay at the ga t e . Ever s ince men always put Esu a t t h e i r ga t e s . Olokun became weal thy and b u i l t a palace for h i m s e l f . He was acknowledged to be g rea te r than Erhamwoisa H i m s e l f . Of him i t used to be s a i d , 'Abiomo No - 101 -Somwan R'Erhamwoisa N a b i o l o k u n ' meaning ' I t i s n a t u r a l to beget a c h i l d who may be g rea te r than one, hence Father God begets O l o k u n . ' Olokun was made the keeper of the sun . He commanded i t to r i s e and set d a i l y . Hence the say ing 'Owen N O ' r i o k u n . Owen No Ko Kunde , ' meaning 'Thou sun who proceeds to and from O l o k u n . ' Erhamwoisa would not do anyth ing wi thou t c o n s u l t i n g Olokun . Both d i v i n i t i e s were regarded as one and the same d i v i n i t y and were always r e f e r r e d to as Osavbolokun. The good naturedness and o b l i g i n g h a b i t o f E h i earned fo r him the post of a sponsor , defender , gu ide , mediator and advocate fo r a l l d i v i n i -t i e s and human beings at Eguasa and Egua'Olokun (Olokun 's p a l a c e ) . Erhamwoisa, Ob iemwen, Olokun and Ogiuwu were known as Ikadale enen no  der inmwinyi (The four c a r d i n a l po in t s that h e l d or r u l e d the s p i r i t w o r l d ) . Esu was known as oka ighe l e erinmwin (The head of the work ing c lass" ' s p i r i t s ) . 2 . . Osanobua as He i s Represented i n some T r a d i t i o n a l S t o r i e s i n  The Book of Holy Aruosa In Book I , page 7 we l e a r n tha t Osanobua r e c e i v e d prayers and s a c r i -f i c e s . 'The k i n g went to Aruosa at once w i t h four k o l a nuts and made a s a c r i f i c e to Osanobua. He prayed i n t h i s manner. 'Osanobua, grant that I should have the upperhand over the r e b e l . ' He broke the k o l a nuts and p laced one p iece on the a l t a r . In the s t o r y of Ogbeide (Book I , p . 8-11) we read of one Ogbeide who had e x c e p t i o n a l knowledge of med ic ines . One day he went to the K i n g ' s By 'working c l a s s ' i s meant those s p i r i t s who are i n f e r i o r i n p res -t i g e to the 'good ' s p i r i t s . - 102 -palace and spoke to the K i n g i n t h i s manner. ' 0 k i n g , l i v e f o r eve r ! Osanobua has asked me to g ive you and your people the f o l l o w i n g command-ments. This i s a t y p i c a l example o f the Edo b e l i e f that some i n d i v i d u a l s have s p e c i a l knowledge o f Osanobua. Included i n Book I i s a s t o ry of the c r e a t i o n of man and woman. The s t o ry seems to f o l l o w the C h r i s t i a n account o f c r e a t i o n excep t ing tha t Osanobua consu l t s h i s c o u n c i l o f s p i r i t s (Obiemwen and Olokun) before c r e a t i n g man. Man i s to be crea ted to g l o r i f y and adore Osanobua even as the s p i r i t s . Al though i t i s d i f f i c u l t to separate the C h r i s t i a n i n f luences from the s t o ry there i s a d i s t i n c t l y Edo b e l i e f i n the myth. A f t e r c r e a t i n g the c r e a t u r e s , a l l the s p i r i t s beseech Osanobua: 'They and t h e i r c h i l d r e n ' s c h i l d r e n must r e v i s i t and r e - i n h a b i t the ea r th aga in and again four teen t i m e s . At the end of the so journ they must r e t u r n to the abode of the s p i r i t s and s tay forever i n peace and happiness among the s p i r i t s . Then they s h a l l become immortal and take t h e i r p o s i t i o n among the s p i r i t s g l o r i f y i n g me f o r e v e r . I s h a l l a s s i gn a p lace for them i n the abode of the s p i r i t s accord ing to t h e i r good works and degree o f p u r i t y , h o l i n e s s , e x c e l l e n c e and love fo r me and for one another w h i l e they l i v e d on the e a r t h . Each genera t ion s h a l l b r i n g f o r t h c h i l d r e n , who have never v i s i t e d the ea r th b e f o r e , so that the wor ld s h a l l remain populated f o r e v e r . ' The Edo b e l i e f i n r e i n c a r n a t i o n i s found i n t h i s myth. In Book I I , page 5 we f i n d a s t o ry about Ese who was ve ry ha r sh , unkind and u n g r a t e f u l . In t h i s myth the f o l l o w i n g l i n e s are found. ' I n those days mor ta l s used to v i s i t Father God i n the abode o f S p i r i t s i n the Great Beyond for c o n s u l t a t i o n concerning t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s . I t happened tha t these two men went to the abode of S p i r i t s i n the Great - 103 -Beyond one day fo r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h Osanobua and when they got to the spot where mor ta l s used to w a i t on Osanobua, b e h o l d , there were s ca t t e r ed here and there e x c r e m e n t s . . . ' ^ T h i s nuisance was a t t r i b u t e d to E s u . This corresponds w i t h the Edo c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of Esu today. I t i s a l s o to be noted tha t the Edo once b e l i e v e d tha t c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s had the a b i l i t y to go i n t o the presence of Osanobua. Al though there are none w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r a b i l i t y i n contemporary Edo c u l t u r e , the ' p r o p h e t i c ' t r a d i t i o n i s s t i l l ve ry s t r o n g . I t i s w i d e l y b e l i e v e d i n Edoland that there are men w i t h s p e c i a l ' s p i r i t u a l ' i n s i g h t . These men w i l l be ' chosen ' by the v a r i o u s d i v i n i t i e s . 3 . Osanobua as He i s Represented i n the Okhauhe Myth In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r ' h i s t o r y ' o f Okhauhe, Osanobua i s p i c t u r e d as a great k i n g w i t h h i s a ids (ukeken): Olokun, Ogiuwu and Obiemwen. Osanobua i s dep ic t ed as hav ing a harem, j u s t as past and present Obas have many wives s i g n i f y i n g t h e i r p r e s t i g e , power and p o s i t i o n i n the p o l i t i c a l system. Okhauhe i s the one who has supranormal powers and ascends i n t o Osanobua's presence a number of t i m e s . Osanobua descends twice i n t h i s myth: once to E r i e S t ree t and once to the spot now c la imed as the s i t e of the present A r u o s a . Summary o f Some Themes i n the Edo Mythology Osanobua i s the c r ea to r o f the d i v i n i t i e s , who are conceived of as h i s c h i l d r e n ; animals and mor ta l man. Both man and the d i v i n i t i e s have - 104 -r e c e i v e d t h e i r l i f e from Osanobua. In the Erhamwoisa-myth the present p o s i t i o n s of Olokun, Ogiuwu and Esu i n the cosmology are r a t i o n a l i z e d . Olokun has the s p e c i a l p o s i t i o n as the powerful and i n f l u e n t i a l son of Osanobua, i . e . he i s one who knows Osanobua's ways and nature b e t t e r than any other category of b e i n g . Esu ' s c a p r i c i o u s and un ru ly nature i s a l s o r a t i o n a l i z e d . We saw, for example, that Esu d i d not want to a s s o c i a t e w i t h Osanobua and that he was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h excrement. Th i s i s i n l i n e w i t h our b r i e f c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Esu as ' d i r t y , b l a c k and u g l y . ' In the mythology Osanobua i s i n no way the withdrawn God. He was beseeched at the s t a t e a l t a r where s a c r i f i c e s and prayers were o f f e r e d . At one time he appeared to the Edo k i n g Ewaure and from.time to time i n d i v i -duals emerged who had s p e c i a l a b i l i t i e s of prophesying or ascending i n t o er imwin fo r s p e c i a l meetings w i t h Osanobua. We might i n f e r from these myths tha t s i nce Osanobua descended to ea r th and man ascended to Osanobua i n former t imes , tha t i n the present e ra he i s not as approachable or as easy to communicate w i t h as he once was. Osanobua i s a l so r e l a t e d to the Edo s o c i a l order i n another way. In the s t o ry o f Ogbeide, we d i scovered tha t Osanobua gave a number of commands to the Edo. These commands are p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h sexua l taboos but there are a l s o r e g u l a t i o n s r e l a t e d to proper ty r i g h t s , attendance at naming ceremonies and acceptable behaviour of youth toward a d u l t s . Osanobua i s the upholder o f the s o c i a l o r d e r . B . OSANOBUA AS HE IS REPRESENTED IN THE OSA-NAMES 1. The Omniscience of Osanobua (a) Osareren . Osanobua knows my f e e l i n g s - 105 -(b) Osarenghoe. Osanobua alone knows our inner minds . (c) Osarenvbagharu. Osanobua alone knows what we w i l l do. The C r e a t i v e Power of Osanobua (a) Osag ie . Osanobua has sent t h i s c h i l d to me. The name Osareme a l s o conveys the same i d e a . (b) Edosa . L i t e r a l l y : I t i s Osanobua's day. The reference to ' day ' i s to the s p e c i a l day of c r e a t i o n . (c) Osayinmwese. Osanobua has created me w e l l . (d) O s a y i . Osanobua creates ( p a r t i c u l a r l y c h i l d r e n ) . (e) Osaguona. Osanobua i s the great a r c h i t e c t . 'Osanobua i s wonderful inasmuch as he i s able to c rea te something that i s ab le to c r y . ' ( f ) Osagiede. Osanobua governs or chooses the day of b i r t h . The Omnipotence o f Osanobua (a) Osa rod ion . Osanobua i s supreme i n power. (b) Osakpolor . Osanobua i s g r ea t ; above a l l o thers i n bestowing a b i l i t i e s . (c) Osaroghiagbon. Osanobua i s the k i n g above a l l the w o r l d . (d) O s a r e t i n . Osanobua rs s t r eng th surpasses a l l s t r e n g t h . (e) O s a u y i . Osanobua commands honour . ( f ) Osayogie . Osanobua crea tes k i n g s , i . e . Osanobua i s above a l l e a r t h l y k i n g s . - 106 -(g) Osagioduwa. Osanobua i s the foundat ion fo r a l l increases i n w e a l t h . (h) Osazuwa. Osanobua i s worthy o f honour and p r a i s e . ( i ) Osawaru. Osanobua must be obeyed. The I n t e r v e n t i o n o f Osanobua i n the Edo C u l t u r e (a) I g b i n o s a . Osanobua i s my re fuge . He defends the defenceless and p ro t ec t s the l i f e of anyone who i s threatened by such as the azen . * (b) Osazee. Osanobua has r e c o n c i l e d u s . (c) Osaigbovo. Osanobua judges i m p a r t i a l l y . (d) Osayomobo. Osanobua has helped me g a i n t h i s c h i l d . (e) Osamudiamwen. Osanobua stands by my s i d e . (f) Osayemwere. Osanobua has remembered me. (g) Osarenoma. Osanobua i s i m p a r t i a l . He alone choses to whom and what to g i v e . (h) Osazemwide. Osanobua decides the end of t h i n g s . He i s the f i n a l a r b i t e r . ( i ) Osahon. Osanobua hears my p r a y e r . ( j ) Osawemwegie. Osanobua has made me to laugh (at what he has done on my beha l f ) . The Sovere ignty o f Osanobua (a) Osabuohien. Osanobua i s the f i n a l judge o f t h i n g s . (b) Nosakhare. Osanobua' s d e c i s i o n i s f i n a l . - 107 -(c) Idahosa. I 'm w a i t i n g fo r Osanobua's d e c i s i o n . (d) Orobosa. My p l i g h t i s i n Osanobua's hands. (e) Osazenaye. I t i s Osanobua who places me i n a respected p o s i -t i o n . ( f ) Osayanmwo. Osanobua owns the c h i l d (acknowledgement of Hi s ownership o f a l l t h i n g s ) . (g) E fosa se re . Osanobua 's wea l th surpasses a l l w e a l t h . (h) Osaghae. Osanobua i s the f i n a l a r b i t e r i n our d i s p u t e . ( i ) Osakue. Osanobua has g iven consent so that I might have an i s s u e . I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF OSANOBUA The Edo i n t e r p r e t v a r i o u s events w i t h i n t h e i r c u l t u r e as the mani-f e s t a t i o n of Osanobua. Since Osanobua i s b e l i e v e d to be the k i n g o f the u n i v e r s e and the upholder o f the Edo s o c i a l o rde r , when harmony 7 and h e a l t h p r e v a i l i n the n a t i o n ; the Edo va lue system i s p rese rved ; and i n d i v i d u a l s g a i n he lp i n desperate s i t u a t i o n s , Osanobua i s b e l i e v e d to have manifested h i m s e l f to the Edo. An i n depth examinat ion of Osa-names r evea l s something o f the Edo exper ience of the presence and m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Osanobua i n t h e i r d a i l y a f f a i r s . A . PRESERVATION OF THE EDO VALUE SYSTEM E x c l u d i n g the Edo concern w i t h c h i l d r e n which I w i l l cons ider i n another s e c t i o n , b a s i c Edo va lues are centred i n the f a m i l y . The Edo p l ace a s t rong emphasis on the p a t r i l i n e a g e . Edo f a m i l i e s tend to be - 108 -l a r g e , and a r i go rous r u l e of pr imogeni ture crea tes c o n f l i c t i n the f a m i l y . This c o n f l i c t breeds an in tense long ing fo r u n i t y . This s t r e s s on u n i t y and s t r eng th i s seen i n the ogbe ( u n i t y ) and omo ( c h i l d ) names which g e n e r a l l y emphasize f ami ly honour and p r e s t i g e . Other themes per -meating the whole s t r u c t u r e o f Edo names are honour (uy i ) and p r o s p e r i t y (uwa). The name Osadolor means 'Osanobua has s e t t l e d my d i s p u t e . ' The parents who gave t h e i r c h i l d t h i s name must have been q u a r r e l i n g which i s a th rea t to ogbe w i t h i n the f a m i l y . But Osanobua gave them a c h i l d and i n t h i s g i v i n g cemented the disharmonious r e l a t i o n s h i p . Al though the name Osareren means 'Osanobua knows my f e e l i n g s , ' the name can be g iven i n a s i t u a t i o n i n which the u y i of an i n d i v i d u a l i s at s t a k e . I t appears tha t the pa ter had been accused o f some p a r t i c u l a r d i shonourab le a c t , but was l a t e r a b s o l v e d . And s ince a c h i l d was -born dur ing that p e r i o d , t h i s name was g iven to i n d i c a t e that Osanobua i s the u l t i m a t e p r o t e c t o r of one 's honour ( u y i ) . The name Osaghae i s another name which i s r e l a t e d to the theme o f c o n f l i c t i n the f a m i l y . My informant suggested tha t there might have been a se r ious c o n f l i c t ove r , fo r example, matters of dowry, which r e s u l t e d i n se r ious q u a r r e l i n g . The name i s g iven i n t r i b u t e to Osanobua who i s b e l i e v e d to have u n i t e d the d i v i d e d p a r t i e s by g i v i n g them the coveted g i f t o f a c h i l d . A number of the names i n d i c a t e that a man and woman's f a i l u r e to have c h i l d r e n brought them cons ide rab l e r ep roach . The name Osawemwegie, (Osanobua has made me to laugh) r evea l s that when a l l hope had been l o s t Osanobua granted a c h i l d and now h i s accusers are weeping and he i s l a u g h i n g . The po in t here i s that a l ack o f c h i l d r e n i s the - 109 -a n t i t h e s i s of what the Edo b e l i e v e i s one very important aspect of a f u l l and p r e s t i g e f u l l i f e . B . DESPERATE CIRCUMSTANCES PARTICULARLY RELATED TO THE BIRTH PROCESS Osanobua manifes ts H i m s e l f to the Edo p r i m a r i l y i n the b i r t h p roces s . Without unders tanding the Edo idea concerning b i r t h , i t i s imposs ib le to understand how the Edo can r e l a t e the b i r t h process to Osanobua. The Edo b e l i e v e that no b i r t h can take p lace wi thou t Osanobua' s consent . Th i s i s why there i s a p l e t h o r a o f names w i t h the theme o f 'Osanobua's day; e t c . A t i n t e r c o u r s e the ' b l o o d ' (esagien)^ comes from the man i n t o the woman who i s the ' c o n t a i n e r ' fo r s t o r i n g the ' b l o o d ' for fu ture development. The woman i s the care taker for the ' b l o o d ' u n t i l i t develops i n t o a human b e i n g . Accord ing to the Edo, a d u l t e r y i s immoral because the mix ing of ' b l o o d ' may r e s u l t i n deformed c h i l d r e n . Man i s o n l y the middle person: the one who conveys the 'b lood of b l e s s i n g ' (esagienerhumwun) i n t o the woman. Without Osanobua's consent one cannot get tha t pure ' b l o o d ' p l an ted i n the woman's womb. I t can on ly come about at the f u l l consent of Osanobua as the r e s u l t of p r a y e r . This idea i s important f o r obvious reasons . The a c t u a l c r e a t i v e p rocess , then , i s Osanobua's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . I t i s important tha t an Edo woman avoid i l l i c i t sex r e l a t i o n s . My informant t r a n s l a t e d esagien as ' b l o o d . ' This i s not to say tha t he has i d e n t i f i e d semen w i t h ' b l o o d . ' Impl ied i n the n o t i o n of ' b l o o d ' i s l i f e - g i v i n g force c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the pe rpe tua t ion of the l i n e a g e . - 110 -Menus t ra t ing women must t r y and behave r e s p o n s i b l y i n the house and i f there has been any q u a r r e l i n g i n the house i t must s u b s i d e . I t i s on ly a f t e r menus t ra t ion that the 'b lood o f b l e s s i n g ' can pass . In order to make c e r t a i n the the 'good b lood i s coming , ' the Edo must not q u a r r e l f o r the e v i l s p i r i t s are always watching ( p a r t i c u l a r l y the azen) . The Edo b e l i e v e that i t i s an offense for a man not to s leep w i t h h i s w i f e a f t e r the comple t ion of her menus t r a t ion . The l a c k of c h i l d r e n i s o f ten a t t r i b u t e d to a d u l t e r y . The accused woman w i l l be subjec t to i n t e r r o g a t i o n at a f ami ly f a t h e r i n g . And a d i v i n e r may be c o n s u l t e d . Other causes fo r barrenness are n a t u r a l causes, or the a c t i v i t y o f ' e v i l f o r c e s . C r i p p l e d c h i l d r e n are apparent ly ' caused ' by the mix ture o f the esagien w i t h another man's semen. A number of the Edo names acknowledge t h i s c r e a t i v e power of Osanobua: Osayamwen. Osay i and Osareme. The Edo b e l i e v e that Osanobua i s c o n t i n u a l l y at work i n agbon as the c r e a t i v e f o r c e . But now I want to look at how Osanobua i s b e l i e v e d to manifest h i m s e l f i n a more s p e c i f i c way to Edo who f i n d themselves i n a desperate p l i g h t . The name Osayaede i s g i v e n as p r a i s e to Osanobua for His g i f t o f a c h i l d . L i t e r a l l y the name means ' I t i s Osanobua who c o n t r o l s the day o f b i r t h . ' In the Ogiamwen household I quest ioned one mother who had g iven the name of Godwin Osayaede to one of her c h i l d r e n . I d i scovered that when she was pregnant she had had cons ide rab le d i f f i c u l t y . At that time she had prayed i n despe ra t ion to Osanobua not to l e t her d i e as she feared tha t her d e l i v e r y would be a very d i f f i c u l t one. When she f i n a l l y d i d d e l i v e r the c h i l d , she knew tha t Osanobua had he lped i n her j p l i g h t . - I l l -Osanobua spoke to the woman by d e l i v e r i n g her from her fear and d i f f i c u l t y . Many other names have the same theme: a person had used up a l l known resources and i n despera t ion sought Osanobua.^ The name Osarobo means 'Osanobua i s a doctor above a l l d o c t o r s . ' One woman I in t e rv iewed named her c h i l d Olokunrobo. This woman d i d n ' t go before any of the o ther d e i t i e s for h e l p . She went to Olokun alone; fo r h e l p . Thus when her c h i l d was born she gave the name Olokunrobo to i n d i c a t e that Olokun had heard her p r a y e r s ; that she had r e l i e d on Olokun alone fo r the success of her d e l i v e r y . L i k e w i s e when the name Osarobo i s g iven i t i s g iven to i n d i c a t e , not the mere fac t o f prayer to Osanobua for a c h i l d , but the i n t e n s i t y and degree of prayer before the h igh god. In another case recorded i n Ch ie f Ogiamwen's compound, one woman named her c h i l d Susanna O s a r e t i n . This name (Osanobua's s t reng th sur-passes a l l s t reng th) was g iven to the c h i l d because by the time the mother d e l i v e r e d the c h i l d , no th ing had'happened to h e r . There were no sicknesses of d i f f i c u l t i e s from any of the forces that d i s r u p t a succes s fu l d e l i v e r y . This somewhat unusual event was i n t e r p r e t e d as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Osanobua: 'Osanobua has helped me o b t a i n a safe d e l i v e r y and has demonstrated h i s care for me. ' There are other names f a l l i n g i n t o t h i s genera l ca t egory . Osayinm-wese (Osanobua has crea ted me w e l l ) could be g iven i n a s i t u a t i o n where a cha l lenge had been made to one who seemed impotent . But now he/she has a I t may seem ' n a t u r a l ' to p lead to Osanobua at a b i r t h . A l l Edo women pray to Osanobua for c h i l d r e n . However, they a l s o pray to the other d i v i n i t i e s . The po in t i s that the l e s s e r d i v i n i t i e s w i l l be approached w i t h s a c r i f i c e s and grea ter i n t e n s i t y than Osanobua. But i f they f a i l , then Osanobua i s approached as the f i n a l cour t of appea l . - 112 -c h i l d and- i s p r a i s i n g Osanobua who has ' c rea ted him/her w e l l . ' The b i r t h o f the c h i l d i s i n t e r p r e t e d s y m b o l i c a l l y : D i v i n i t y has manifes-ted i t s presence i n r e s o l v i n g a personal predicament . Aga in a p a r t i c u -l a r event r e l a t e d to c h i l d - b i r t h i s i n t e r p r e t e d as a message from Osanobua. The name Osaigbovo (Osanobua does not envy)could have been g iven i n a s i t u a t i o n i n which a man f e l t very unworthy to r e c e i v e anyth ing from Osanobua. But he r ece ived a c h i l d i n h i s unwor th iness . Two contiguous even t s - - the man's inner s t a t e and the b i r t h o f the c h i l d - - a r e i n t e r p r e t e d as a s i g n that Osanobua has manifested h i m s e l f and cons idered him even though he was not f i t to r e c e i v e a n y t h i n g . The name Osamudiamwen (Osano-bua stands by me) a l s o r evea l s the same b e l i e f that Osanobua i s able to ' speak ' to a man's forsakenness . Th i s name i s g iven when a person i s conscious of a great dea l o f o p p o s i t i o n from the human and superhuman l e v e l s . The name i s g iven to p r a i s e Osanobua for s tanding by h im, for i f Osanobua had not stood by h im, he would f e e l forsaken by men and the d i v i n i t i e s . The o p p o s i t i o n from h i s f e l l o w Edo and harassment by the azen i s i n t e r p r e t e d s y m b o l i c a l l y . Osanobua had remembered: t h i s i s the message he has r e c e i v e d . A g a i n , one of my in fo rmant ' s f r i ends had been p ray ing for years for a c h i l d , but on ly r e c e n t l y d i d he r e c e i v e a c h i l d . Th i s long awaited concept ion was a t t r i b u t e d to Osanobua who ' spoke ' to him i n h i s d e s p e r a t i o n . Hence he s e l ec t ed the name Osarenvbagharu (Osanobua alone knows our f u t u r e ) . In the Ogiamwen compound one woman gave her c h i l d the name Anthony Nosakhare. She was pregnant , but for some months the c h i l d would not - 113 -appear. This happened three t imes . She had prayed to Osanobua: ' I f you g ive me a c h i l d I w i l l not add any med ica t i on , i . e . I w i l l t r u s t s o l e l y i n y o u . ' This ba rga in r e l i e v e d her from any blame i f the c h i l d was ' s p o i l e d . ' She conceived s h o r t l y a f t e r and the name Nosakhare (Osanobua' s d e c i s i o n i s f i n a l ) was g iven as a response to the a c t i v i t y and presence o f Osanobua i n the unexpectedness of the event . C . HEALTH AND HARMONY "-IN THE EDO NATION When there i s genera l h e a l t h and harmony i n the Edo kingdom t h i s i s 9 a t t r i b u t e d to the goodness o f Osanobua. There i s o b v i o u s l y no way of p rov ing or d i s p r o v i n g t h i s Edo a s s e r t i o n . Every year a t hanksg iv ing s a c r i f i c e was g iven to Osanobua for the genera l p r o t e c t i o n of the Edo n a t i o n . I t seems from h i s t o r i c a l examples that when the genera l we l fa re of the kingdom was threatened s a c r i f i c e s were o f fe red to Osanobua. In times o f se r ious ep idemics , fo r example, va r i ous items were o f fe red to Osanobua. Threat of a t t ack of an enemy could a l s o have i n i t i a t e d a s a c r i -f i c e at the order o f the Oba. Thus, i f the c o n d i t i o n of the kingdom improved, t h i s event was i n t e r p r e t e d s y m b o l i c a l l y to mean that Osanobua had heard man's r i t u a l l y The Edo b e l i e v e that some e v i l forces can ' h o l d ' the woman's c h i l d i n the womb for per iods up to three y e a r s . 9 In t h i s respect i t was i n keeping w i t h the Edo b e l i e f i n Osanobua's i n t e r e s t i n the we l fa re of the Edo n a t i o n for the Oba to cance l the y e a r l y t h a n k s g i v i n g ceremony (Igwe) w h i l e N i g e r i a was engaged i n a c i v i l war . For one of the purposes of the Igwe i s to seek Osanobua's genera l b l e s s i n g . - 114 -communicated message and answered by i n t e r v e n i n g i n t h e i r a f f a i r s . C h i l d r e n are an index o f s o c i a l s ta tus i n the Edo c u l t u r e . They are the honour and g l o r y of an Edo and the f i r s t need of any man. An Edo ' s importance at death i s judged by how l a rge the crowd i s du r ing the second b u r i a l ceremonies . Osanobua, the supreme k i n g , i s b e l i e v e d to manifes t h i m s e l f to the Edo i n the mystery of the b i r t h - p r o c e s s . As we have seen from our a n a l y s i s of some Osa-names, Osanobua i s r e s p o n s i b l e for the g i v i n g and t a k i n g o f l i f e . Man i s on ly a par tner i n the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . I suggest , then , that i t i s p r i m a r i l y i n t h i s process (concep-t i on /p regnancy / sa fe d e l i v e r y ) that the Edo exper ience the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Osanobua. Thus every c h i l d tha t i s born i s a 'message ' ; a ' s y m b o l ' ; a ' s i g n ' that Osanobua i s i n v o l v e d i n Edo a f f a i r s i n agbon, i . e . he i s not 'deus o t i o s u s . ' I I I . THE EDO RESPONSE TO OSANOBUA As the upholder of the Edo s o c i a l o rde r , Osanobua i s the d i v i n e p r o t e c t o r of the Edo n a t i o n . He i s a l so the c r e a t i v e or v i t a l force per-v a s i v e i n the u n i v e r s e ; a l l b i r t h s are a t t r i b u t e d to h i s a c t i v i t y . B e l i e v e d to have the most power of a l l the d i v i n i t i e s , Osanobua i s at l e a s t poten-t i a l l y able to he lp i n c r i s i s s i t u a t i o n s . A l l i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h Osanobua tends to remain at a very genera l l e v e l ; to ma in t a in the we l fa re of the Edo n a t i o n . I t seems that i n d i v i d u a l Edo pray as a matter of course to Osanobua for genera l b l e s s i n g . 1 0 This appeal recognizes Osanobua as the 1 0 T h i s i s an example of a t y p i c a l prayer to Osanobua. Osanobua no miowianfan, erhavban norer imwin u y i orwue, imuet in  yanruen, giemwin nagbon mavben, ghe g i e su k e v b i n dan yo mwen khoe, gun  mwento, ne v b i n n i r o b o y i h i a gha dinode men. I s e . - 115 -ground of a l l t h i n g s . For wi thout Osanobua's s anc t i on the l e s s e r d i v i n i -t i e s cou ld not f u l f i l l t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r f u n c t i o n s . I t i s on ly when the o ther d i v i n i t i e s seem to have f a i l e d that the Edo w i l l appeal to Osanobua w i t h a h ighe r degree of i n t e n s i t y . The Holy Aruosa as Response to Osanobua The Edo have always had an a l t a r (aru) to Osanobua. I t was p laced i n a c e n t r a l p lace i n the c i t y and cons i s t ed of cha lk and c o w r i e s . Every-t h i n g was done i n w h i t e . A l l tha t was r e q u i r e d to represent Him were the ukhure , uwenrhiontan w i t h a pa r ro t t a i l feather on one end, a sma l l pot c o n t a i n i n g wa te r , c h a l k , ada, eben, and some p ieces of wh i t e and red c l o t h (ododo) . I t was at t h i s aru that Osanobua was b e l i e v e d to have descended i n times p a s t . The ohensa made s a c r i f i c e s under the i n s t r u c t i o n of the Oba at the a ruosa . The Oba was the so l e cus tod ian of the aruosa appo in t ing the ohensa and see ing about the s a c r i f i c e s . The purpose of s a c r i f i c e was for the genera l p r o t e c t i o n of the Edo n a t i o n . Every year v i a the s a c r i f i c e - m e d i a the ohensa on b e h a l f of the Edo peop le , communicated the Edo thankfulness for the b l e s s i n g s of the past y e a r . But the s a c r i f i c e had a dual, meaning as the Edo a l so sought for . T r a n s l a t i o n of Edo prayer i n footnote 10, on the previous page. Osanobua the s a v i o u r , our fa ther who r e igns i n e r imwin . Honour be to thy name. I t i s on ly thee i n whom I put my t r u s t . Let me prosper i n a l l w o r l d l y t h i n g s , Do not a l l o w Esu to p l an t e v i l i n my mind. Let me l i v e l o n g . Let a l l that I hope for be f r u i t f u l fo r me. Amen. - 116 -p r o t e c t i o n i n the coming y e a r . In times of se r ious epidemic the ohensa would t r y and communicate w i t h Osanobua i n order to aver t the coming epidemic which might have been f o r e t o l d by one o f the Oba's cour t d i v i n e r s . Whi le i n Benin C i t y from September, 1966 to August , 1967, there were a number of occas ions when d i r e c t i v e s came from the pa lace that an epidemic was coming. This l e d to the s a c r i f i c e of a number o f items at the Ikpoba R i v e r . The Oba Akenzua I I (Akenzua 1946a: 1) s ta tes that the order o f s e r v i c e at the aruosa was s i m p l e . p r i e s t p rayed , broke k o l a , and s laughtered an ima l s , fowls and so on . He smeared the ukhurhe ( s t a f f r ep re sen t ing the Oba's departed ances tors ) w i t h b lood o f the animals and then prepared a feas t c o n s i s t i n g o f b o i l e d meat, soup and pounded yam (eman). Smal l b i t s o f these foods were p laced on the a l t a r and worshippers fed h a p p i l y on the remainder . The Oba s ta tes tha t everyone had an a l t a r i n h i s or her house where s a c r i f i c e s were made, but the a r t i c l e fo r s a c r i f i c e depended l a r g e l y on the s o c i a l s tanding of the i n d i v i d u a l concerned. The a r t i c l e s r e q u i r e d at the State A l t a r cou ld be anything from k o l a nuts to b u l l o c k s , a l though Osanobua d i d not accept a l c o h o l i c d r i n k s . The name Osaidayon (Osanobua does not d r i n k ) i n d i c a t e s tha t d r i n k s were not used very o f t en as s a c r i -f i c i a l i t ems . The symbols r ep re sen t ing the Supreme d i v i n i t y , Obiemwen and Olokun were u s u a l l y p laced near each other on the same a l t a r i n p r i v a t e houses but separate a l t a r s were b u i l t fo r each d i v i n i t y and separate p r i e s t s appointed to perform ceremonies for each. Few Edo have an a l t a r (aruosa) to Osanobua i n t h e i r homes any l o n g e r . For the ma jo r i t y of Edo, Aruosa i s synonymous w i t h the Holy Aruosa Church loca t ed on Akpavkpava S t r e e t . - 117 -In 1945 the Oba Akenzua I I and the t i t l e d c h i e f s met to r e - e s t a b l i s h t h e i r f o r e f a t h e r ' s s imple way of worsh ipp ing the Supreme d i v i n i t y . They c la imed tha t Osanobua heard and spoke to the anc ien t Edos; that the C h r i s t i a n way of worsh ipp ing 'God ' does not r e a l l y b r i n g any new i n f o r -mation to the Edo. They a l s o c la imed that the anc ien t Edos a c t u a l l y worshipped 'God ' before the whi t e man came i n the manner which has been s t a t ed above. The t r a d i t i o n a l leaders o f Ben in c la imed i n 1945 tha t the Holy Aruosa or Edo n a t i o n a l Church of God began i n the r e i g n o f Oba E s i g i e i n the e a r l y 1 5 0 0 ' s . I t i s s a i d that the Portuguese C a t h o l i c s came to Ben in i n the r e i g n of the w a r r i o r Oba, Ozolua i n 1481. He refused to a l l o w them to s t a y . But i n the r e i g n of E s i g i e , the C a t h o l i c s were permi t ted to e s t a b l i s h a ' chu rch , ' t r a d i t i o n a l l y b e l i e v e d to have been at the present s i t e of the Aruosa Church on Akpavkpava S t r e e t . The churches were l e f t i n the hands o f the n a t i v e reverend fa thers who, as t r a d i t i o n has i t , in t roduced some indigenous p r a c t i c e s i n t o the s e r v i c e s . Roman C a t h o l i c i s m was thus c o r r u p t e d , e v e n t u a l l y be ing r ep laced by a s t a t e a l t a r at the l o c a t i o n o f the o l d chu rch . On December 11, 1945 Oba Akenzua I I of Benin decided to r e - r e s t a b l i s h the Aruosa . In the s m a l l book le t e n t i t l e d The  Addresses of the Oba o f Benin i n connexion w i t h the A r u o s a , the Oba s ta tes the ob jec t of r e - e s t a b l i s h i n g the f o r e f a t h e r ' s s imple way o f worsh ipping Osanobua. Accord ing to Akenzua I I , the Edo have always worshipped Osanobua (who i's> i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the C h r i s t i a n God) long before the coming o f the whi t e man. He s t a tes tha t the f o r e f a t h e r ' s way of approaching Osanobua was i n need of m o d e r n i z a t i o n . Accord ing to Akenzua I I , i t was not the content o f t h e i r b e l i e f i n Osanobua tha t needed changing, but the r i t u a l approach - 118 -to Him. He s a i d that there was now no need to s a c r i f i c e animals to the supreme D i v i n i t y , nor to represent Osanobua s y m b o l i c a l l y . Formerly Osanobua had been represented by the images o f a k i n g w i t h a t t endan t s . My informant t o l d me that the o l d r i t u a l means o f approaching Osanobua by s a c r i f i c e was c h i l d i s h ; the Edo now having a ' l a r g e r ' v iew of Osanobua. Osanobua was b e l i e v e d to be above s a c r i f i c e . The genera l purposes for the r e - e s t ab l i shmen t of the Holy Aruosa are t h r e e f o l d . F i r s t , to worship Osanobua i n a s i m p l e , p r a c t i c a l and undogmatic'''''' way. Secondly , to make known to the wor ld the meaning and s i g n i f i c a n c e of Edo n a t i o n a l f e s t i v a l s ; and l a s t l y , to preserve Edo customs, t r a d i t i o n s and t r i b a l i d e n t i t y . The p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s leaders o b v i o u s l y f e l t that the ex i s t ence of t h e i r own c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e was be ing th rea tened . The Oba concludes one of h i s addresses by emphasizing tha t 'he who f inds no g l o r y i n the past achievements o f h i s ances to r s , may never leave anyth ing i n which h i s c h i l d r e n may f i n d g l o r y . ' The Holy Aruosa founders use the C h r i s t i a n churches as models for i t s r i t u a l frame-work, but r e j e c t the C h r i s t i a n con ten t . They have a church , an h i e r a r c h i c a l p r i e s t h o o d , t h e i r own c reed , a ca tech ism, s c r i p t u r e s , hymns and a c h o i r . But the founders have emptied the C h r i s t i a n ' c h u r c h ' of i t s content and s u b s t i t u t e d content taken from t h e i r own r e l i g i o u s system. The Holy Aruosa Church i s r e a l l y on ly a modern iza t ion o f the r i t u a l approach to Osanobua. The founders were not o r g a n i z i n g a d i s s i d e n t c u l t u s , but were on ly modern-i z i n g the r i t u a l approach to Osanobua: they d i d not ask for a r a d i c a l break By u s i n g the word 'undogmatic ' I t h i n k the Oba has i n mind the 'dogmat ic ' denominations who c l a i m that o n l y t h e i r way i s r i g h t . - 119 -w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system. Thus worship at the Aruosa sh r ine (church) f a l l s w i t h i n the Edo t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system. The church i s o rganized w i t h the present Oba as the p r o p r i e t o r and s p i r i t u a l head. Needless to say , the impact of the movement de r ives from the Oba's p o s i t i o n as the p o l i t i c a l and s p i r i t u a l leader of the Edo, a l though h i s t r a d i t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l power has been cons ide r ab ly eroded. The Oba's e l d e s t son i s second i n command, fo l lowed by the h i g h p r i e s t and h i s a s s i s t i n g p r i e s t . The congregat ion c o n s i s t s of a c h o i r w i t h conductor , and members, i n c l u d i n g some c h i l d r e n from one of the Holy Aruosa ' s f i v e pr imary s c h o o l s . The c h o i r uses the t r a d i t i o n a l n a t i v e beaded ca labash and chant-response p a t t e r n i n t h e i r hymn s e l e c t i o n s which have been drawn from the o r a l l i t e r a t u r e and t r a d i t i o n a l hymnology of the Edo. The con-g rega t ion c o n s i s t s o f a number o f s o c i e t i e s : aruosa nokhon, osa gbevborue, ohe no lobuse , osa ikede , each of which has i t s own f u n c t i o n at d i f f e r e n t occas ions p a r t i c u l a r l y at the y e a r l y Harvest Thanksgiv ing S e r v i c e . Consec ra t ion i s necessary to become an ohen i n the Edo N a t i o n a l Church of God. This i s done i n the presence o f four t r a d i t i o n a l c h i e f s as w e l l as the High p r i e s t . On the day of o r d i n a t i o n , the n o v i t i a t e w i l l dress i n o r d i n a r y c l o t h e s . He w i l l be seated i n the congrega t ion . Then the h i g h p r i e s t w i l l c a l l him four t imes . He comes to the a l t a r . The h igh p r i e s t d i r e c t s him to knee l down; t h i s he does i n a chalked c i r c l e , f a c i n g a t r a d i t i o n a l n a t i v e lamp. Four t i t l e d c h i e f s are then c a l l e d to stand at the c a r d i n a l po in t s around the cand ida t e . A f t e r he i s consecrated by each c h i e f (they move t h e i r hands around the n o v i t i a t e i n a c i r c u l a r manner w h i l e p r a y i n g ) , the h i g h p r i e s t takes the new ohen and garbs him i n h i s new ceremonial garments. I t i s s a id tha t the anc ien t ohen dressed - 120 -i n t h i s f a s h i o n . The p r i e s t i s next g iven h i s charge: 'You are made a p r i e s t to serve the l i v i n g God (Osanobua) f a i t h f u l l y . ' The new p r i e s t then u t t e r s a few words i n p r a y e r . A f t e r t h i s i s completed the congrega-t i o n leads the p r i e s t home, s i n g i n g songs of p r a i s e to Osanobua. On the f o l l o w i n g Sunday, the new p r i e s t must make a f e a s t , where the Oba and c h i e f s w i l l r e c e i v e t h e i r s t a t u s - a l l o t e d p o r t i o n . There w i l l be a great dance, and drumming; the c e l e b r a t i o n f i n a l l y c l o s i n g i n prayer a f t e r a meal o f r i c e , soup and bee f . The p r i e s t i s now r i t u a l l y set apar t to o f f i c i a t e i n the Sunday morning s e r v i c e s . The Holy Aruosa i s an impres s ive , c a t h e d r a l - l i k e s t r u c t u r e , bea r ing the f l u t i d p a t t e r n o f the Oba's p a l a c e . Above the main entrance are the symbols of the Oba, the eben and ada. The s e r v i c e i s opened w i t h the c h o i r s i n g i n g as the h i g h p r i e s t p u r i f i e s the congregat ion by w a l k i n g down the a i s l e w h i l e waving h i s hand s l o w l y i n f ron t of h i m . A f t e r the song i s f i n i s h e d the ohen says , 'When a wicked man turns from h i s wicked way, he saves a s o u l from d e a t h . ' This i s the c a l l to w o r s h i p . A f t e r r i n g i n g a s m a l l b e l l , the c h o i r s ings a song taken from The Book o f Holy Aruosa , Book I I . I w i l l g ive a number o f examples of songs sung before the Aruosa . 1. No t ree i s supe r io r to Ikhimmwin, Osanobua i s supreme, Of a l l the s p i r i t s , land and wate r , Osanobua i s supreme. 2. Enter thy s h r i n e , my Osanobua, Accept our o f f e r i n g , For a k i n g dwel l s always i n h i s p a l a c e . - 121 -3 . Let us pray that Osanobua may b l e s s t h i s day, 0 Osanobua, b l e s s t h i s day, A day to worship Osanobua and serve the K ing now dawns, 0 Osanobua b l e s s t h i s day. - ; . 4 . Of a l l s p i r i t s , Osanobua i s supreme, Osanobua, my F a t h e r , t h i s i s my t h a n k - o f f e r i n g . 5 . 0 Osanobua, g i v e r o f l i f e ' s n e c e s s i t i e s , Forget me n o t , 0 Osanobua. 6 . Osanobua, b l e s s me w i t h c h i l d r e n , For young ones igrow p l e n t i f u l l y Always around an o l d p l a n t a i n t r e e . 7. To g l o r i f y Thee, Osanobua, A day I set apa r t , Grant me long l i f e , 0 Osanobua. As the hymn ends, the p r i e s t goes to the a l t a r , decorated w i t h a whi t e c l o t h bea r ing the t r a d i t i o n a l Edo symbols, and prays for the whole n a t i o n w i t h p a r t i c u l a r re ference to the Oba and c h i e f s . The p r i e s t then comes down from the a l t a r and r i n g s the b e l l a g a i n . The c h o i r s i n g s , 'Le t us worship Osanobua who d i s c r i m i n a t e s aga ins t none, but p rovides for a l l . 1 Another b e l l r i n g s and the f i r s t l e s son i s read from The Book of Holy  A r u o s a . I have a l ready made reference to the c o l l e c t i o n of s t o r i e s i n these two b o o k l e t s . I noted that i n one sermon ohen A i s i e n compared Jesus C h r i s t to Ogbeide. Comparing Jesus w i t h Ogbeide (See Mark 8:22) he quoted, 'And there was a man c a l l e d Ehien who had a son c a l l e d Ogbeide. When a - 122 -c h i l d , Ogbeide became very versed i n the knowledge of the m e d i c i n a l q u a l i t i e s of he rbs , and roo ts and leaves and barks of t rees on t h i s e a r t h . H i s knowledge and wisdom was profound; he went about h e a l i n g s i c k persons and h i s fame spread fa r and w i d e . . . ' I t i s c l e a r that the compi lers want the Edo to draw lessons from t h e i r own o r a l t r a d i t i o n . A f t e r the second l e s s o n , which i s preceded by a song, the creed i s r e c i t e d by a l l the members o f the congrega t ion . The substance o f the creed i s conta ined i n a s m a l l book, pub l i shed by Olowu P re s s , Ben in C i t y i n 1946, e n t i t l e d The Catechism o f A r u o s a . The creed i s pa t terned a f t e r the A p o s t l e s ' Creed, but the content i s Edo. I b e l i e v e i n Osanobua who made Heaven and ea r th and a l l th ings t h e r e i n . I b e l i e v e i n the s a n c t i t y of Hi s Holy Coex i s t en t s (Olokun, Ogiuwu and Obiemwen). I b e l i e v e i n the p u r i t y of H i s Holy Messengers who are the guides of human b e i n g s . I b e l i e v e Osanobua made mor ta l s and im-mor ta l s to serve Him, worship Him, love Him, p r a i s e Him, adore Him i n heaven and on e a r t h . I b e l i e v e I was born h o l y and pure and tha t the p ious p r i e s t has made me h o l y and pure i n the h o l y name of Osanobua. I b e l i e v e I cannot stand before the Holy Throne o f Osanobua, or become a member o f the Holy Assembly of Osanobua i n the l a s t day, i f I do not love my f e l l o w c rea tures as myse l f , or do unto them as I would they do unto me. I b e l i e v e that a l l d i v e r s e ways of s e r v i n g Osanobua are acceptab le to Him. I b e l i e v e that prophets e x i s t e d and w i l l always e x i s t i n t h i s wor ld through whom Osanobua has r evea l ed and w i l l always r e v e a l H i s majes ty . I b e l i e v e s ins are punishable i n t h i s l i f e and the h e r e a f t e r . The. creed emphasizes a number of Edo concep t ions . F i r s t , Osanobua i s head o f the Edo pantheon, j u s t as the Oba i s the r u l e r of the s ecu l a r kingdom. The Holy Coex i s t en t s are Ob iemwen, Olokun and Og iuwu. What we have, i n f a c t , i s an attempt to o rgan ize the Edo d i v i n i t i e s i n t o a k i n d of t r i n i t y or pa r t ne r sh ip o f the gods. A l s o note the c l a i m tha t Osanobua has revea led Himse l f to the Edo d i r e c t l y . This i s i n l i n e w i t h Par t I , Sec t i on A : Osanobua as he i s represented i n the mythology. An e l a b o r a t i o n of the creed i s conta ined i n par t i i o f the book le t - 123 -The ca techism o f A r u o s a . P s e u d o - C h r i s t i a n language i s used to c rea te ca tegor ies of the superna tu ra l w o r l d . The s p i r i t s are c l a s s i f i e d i n t o f i v e c a t e g o r i e s : h o l y guard ian a n g e l , h o l y messengers of Osanobua, h o l y a t tendants of Osanobua, h o l y angels and the e v i l s p i r i t s . These ca tegor i e s are i n t e r e s t i n g i n tha t the Aruosa founders have sought to g ive a C h r i s t i a n aura to what i s fundamentally Edo and t r a d i t i o n a l . The h o l y guardian angel i s the a n g l i c i z e d term ?f or E h i . An E h i , as we have seen, i s the i n d i v i d u a l Edo ' s s p i r i t u a l i z e d o t h e r . The concept i s not r e a l l y equ iva l en t to the Western idea of guard ian a n g e l . The term for h o l y messengers o f Osanobua i s ukosa which l i t e r a l l y means 'Those who execute Osanobua' s pu rposes . ' The idea conveyed i s that these s p i r i t s are f o l l o w e r s of Osanobua, be ing c l o s e to Him, but not e q u a l . Thus Ogun, Okhauhe, Ovia and the other h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s are cons idered as ukosa . The word ikuekuen has been t r a n s l a t e d as h o l y a t t endan t s . There i s some confus ion here for the word ikuekuen connotes the o f f i c e of the ukosa r a the r than a separate c l a s s of b e i n g . Odibo i s the Edo word for h o l y a n g e l s . The odibo are the pe rsona l servants o f Osanobua. For example, i n o f f e r i n g prayer to Osanobua one might say: ' O d i b ' o s a laho ghetueyimwen nokho ubegusas . ' This . . . . means 'Servants of Osanobua do not say any word that w i l l b i a s Osanobua aga ins t u s . ' Er imwin dan i s the exp res s ion for the 'bad s p i r i t s . ' An unders tanding o f er imwin i s b a s i c to an unders tanding of Edo r e l i g i o n . Erimwin i s the s p i r i t u a l wor ld as opposed to agbon, the e x t e r n a l l y v i s i b l e w o r l d . A l l departed s p i r i t s go to er imwin but i f one has l i v e d a good l i f e he w i l l go to er imwin e s i . A bad l i f e earns one erimwin dan, the p lace of the w i c k e d . Esu i s b e l i e v e d to be the head of er imwin dan which c o n s i s t s of the azen and - 124 -the departed s p i r i t s of the w i c k e d . And E h i , ukosa and odibosa are sub-sumed under the genera l category o f the Holy Assembly of Osanobua which i nc ludes the Holy Coex i s t en t s as w e l l . I f one has l i v e d an acceptable l i f e w h i l e on e a r t h , he may become a member of the Holy Assembly upon h i s dea th . Thus the ed i o n are not excluded e n t i r e l y from the Aruosa ca tech i sm. A f t e r the read ing of the c reed , announcements are made by the church s e c r e t a r y . Th i s i s fo l lowed by a b r i e f sermon by e i t h e r the ohensa, ohen or the church s e c r e t a r y . A f t e r he has f i n i s h e d p r e a c h i n g , the b e n e d i c t i o n i s g i v e n . The most important s p e c i a l days i n the Holy Aruosa are the Harvest and Bap t i smal days . The Harvest S e r v i c e corresponds to the y e a r l y thanks-g i v i n g o f f e r i n g which was g i v e n to Osanobua for h i s p r o t e c t i o n and goodness over the past y e a r . Var ious g i f t s are brought to the Aruosa and p laced before the a l t a r . These food-i tems are f u n c t i o n a l s u b s t i t u t e s for animal o f f e r i n g s . The e l d e s t group i n the Aruosa c u l t i s c a l l e d e d i o n . There i s a s imple ceremony upon i n i t i a t i o n i n t o t h i s group. The ohen w i l l pray over them: 'For your love fo r Osanobua, love for your k i n g and coun t ry , you are consecra ted an ed i o n , r igh teous e l d e r o f the Holy Church . ' There are two other shor t ceremonies a s soc i a t ed w i t h bapt ism and a naming ceremony. On bap t i sma l day the c h i l d w i l l be brought to the Aruosa where the ohen w i l l put n a t i v e cha lk on the candidates forehead and neck . The p r i e s t t o l d me tha t i s c a l l e d 'whitewashing the candidate i n the h o l y name of Osanobua. ' When a new c h i l d i s born the babe w i l l be brought to the Aruosa . The ohen w i l l take the c h i l d , take i t before the a l t a r , and pray : 'We thank thee , 0 Osanobua, for g i v i n g t h i s c h i l d to them. ' He then hands the c h i l d to i t s - 125 -mother and turns to the Aruosa . This ceremony i s i n no way a s u b s t i t u t e for the Edo naming ceremony; i t i s k i n d of d e d i c a t i o n - o f - t h e - c h i l d ce re -mony . - 126 -Olokun Shr ine © © Image of Chief I m a q e of © Uwvangue Osanobua (Olokun's assistant; ,_ Imaqe of 3 olokun (oba-figure] .© 9 .© Image of native d o c * o r Image ^ O amada Dome S T I C (sword iearen O Olokun Qy| aru A Image of Esogbon (Olokun's advisor) MAIN ALTAR Decorated wi+h mirrors ond numerous pieces of white cholk-U k h o n t i e i *lgbaron \ Orpmo image image \ Altarto obiemwen Domes+icO Olokun.-^ \Q Image of a r U amada (sword bearer) Shango r\ aru Domestic O Olokun aru O o o o © UUg image ft (messenqer of Olokun) Domes t i c ' ® Uko image (messenger of Olokun) Domes+icCD Olokun /^ ~\ aru {J ( O l o k u n aru Circle of white c h a l ^ ^ Domesf ic Olokvin Shango oaruo °b Entrance Image of Ogun hold ing iron bells Image of Esu Note: "Igbaron and Oromo are h e r o - d i v i n i t i e s . I t should a l so be noted that t h i s i s a model o f one Olokun s h r i n e - - o t h e r s vary i n d e t a i l . Diagram 3 CHAPTER V OLOKUN: THE POWERFUL SON OF OSANOBUA Olokun i s b e l i e v e d by the Edo to be the powerful son of Osanobua to whom has been delegated the s u p e r v i s i o n of w e a l t h , h e a l t h and f e r t i l i t y . Olokun can b;e viewed as the r e p o s i t o r y of b l e s s i n g , s e r v i n g as the source o f such fo r those ope ra t ing w i t h i n the Edo t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system. Since Olokun i s served by a p r i e s t who i s b e l i e v e d to be i n c l o s e or s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i m , I spent cons ide rab le time w i t h a number o f ohenOlokun d i s c u s s i n g the nature o f t h e i r d i v i n i t y . One soon learns tha t there i s a body of knowledge, a theology i f you w i l l , o f Olokun . I t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e to crosscheck the e l i c i t e d i n f o r m a t i o n . For example, i f an Edo says that Olokun i s o f t en approached by a bar ren woman for a c h i l d and I d i s c o v e r tha t numerous s a c r i f i c e s have been made to Olokun for these purposes , then I can assume tha t the i n fo rma t ion e l i c i t e d from the ohenOlokun i s not s p u r i o u s . Another means of s tudy ing the Edo r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Olokun i s to analyze the mythology. I fo l lowed t h i s p a t t e r n w i t h Osanobua (See the Erhamwoisa myth) . However, t h i s by no means exhausts the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of d i s c o v e r i n g ' t r u t h s ' about Olokun . There are a number of songs that are sung before the. a ruOlokun. These songs suggest tha t there i s a soph i s -t i c a t e d body of knowledge about the d i v i n i t y . I would even suggest that these songs be viewed as o r a l t heo logy , s e r v i n g as records o f the nature and workings of the d i v i n i t y . - 128 -I . THE EDO REPRESENTATION OF OLOKUN A . OLOKUN AS HE IS REPRESENTED IN THE MYTHOLOGY In the Erhamwoisa myth t h i s theme emerges: Olokun i s the favoured son o f Osanobua who i s b e l i e v e d to have superseded the Father and who can be approached i n order to o b t a i n favours from the F a t h e r . The f o l l o w i n g myth was r e l a t e d to me by a l e a d i n g ohenOlokun. At f i r s t the whole w o r l d was r i v e r . Only Osanobua was alone i n the w o r l d . Osanobua then decided tha t he wanted to make ' images ' i n h i s own l i k e n e s s . So he decided to make 201 ' i m a g e s . ' A f t e r the ' images ' were made they a l l d i sappeared . A f t e r s i x days, Osanobua decided tha t he must c rea te an in spec to r to guard the ' i m a g e s . ' Osanobua then made fu r the r images. The f i r s t ' image ' he made was the d e v i l (Esu) h o l d i n g a t h o r n - s t i c k i n h i s hand. In the n i g h t he sent Esu to guard the ' i m a g e s . ' The f i r s t ' image ' Esu detected t r y i n g to s t e a l an ' i m a g e , ' swallowed h i m . F o r t u n a t e l y Esu was able to escape through the s p i r i t ' s rec tum. So Esu went to Osanobua and t o l d him that the person he detec ted was imposs ib le to guard . So Osanobua h i m s e l f decided to cont inue to guard those ' i m a g e s . ' Then Osanobua began to watch over those ' i m a g e s . ' l i e (Yoruba fo r ea r th ) appeared, and t r i e d to swallow Osanobua. Then Osanobua knocked l i e w i t h the t a i l o f an a n i m a l . Osanobua asked the s p i r i t h i s name and the s p i r i t s a i d , ' l i e . ' l i e confessed that the reason he s t o l e was tha t he was hungry . Osanobua t o l d l i e tha t from t h i s day hencefor th he would never go hungry. A l l l i v i n g th ings would be g i v e n to him fo r food . l i e was not s a t i s f i e d . Osanobua then asked l i e to be the land (Oto i n Edo ) . Osanobua turned l i e i n t o the l a n d . This i s the reason we are b u r i e d i n the ground: Osanobua i s g i v i n g l i e food . The ground i s never s a t i s f i e d . And a f t e r c r e a t i n g the l a n d , Osanobua crea ted Olokun . Osanobua crea ted Olokun to be the f i r s t c h i l d to h i m s e l f . Osanobua confer red power upon h i m . 'As I have power, so w i l l y o u . ' Olokun w i l l not labour but w i l l have food at a l l t i m e s . Osanobua crea ted Ogun to he lp Olokun . I t i s on ly Ogun who k i l l s ; Olokun never k i l l s . The f o l l o w i n g themes are found i n t h i s c r e a t i o n - m y t h . 1. Olokun i s the s p e c i a l son of Osanobua. 2 . A l l the d i v i n i t i e s are under Olokun ' s s u z e r a i n t y . 3. Olokun i s of a gen t l e nature and i s neyer a s s o c i a t e d w i t h w i t h anyth ing e v i l or d e s t r u c t i v e (Olokun never k i l l s ) . - 129 -B . OLOKUN AS H E J S ; REPRESENTED BY THE OHENOLOKUN In an i n t e r v i e w w i t h a female ohenOlokun, M r s . U . 0. , she s t r e s sed tha t Olokun i s the god o f the sea ; the k i n g o f the w a t e r s . She s a i d that j u s t as a k i n g has h i s p a l a c e , that i s how Olokun i s on the e a r t h . She s a i d that Osanobua had crea ted Olokun and that Olokun has been g i v e n ce r -t a i n d u t i e s , one o f them being to c o n t r o l a l l the o ther d i v i n i t i e s on e a r t h . She s a i d tha t by s e r v i n g Olokun one f i nds l i f e to be more success-f u l and en joyab le . She admitted tha t Ogun i s powerful but she s t r e s sed tha t Olokun supersedes and c o n t r o l s Ogun. She emphasized tha t Osanobua has g i v e n Olokun the c o n t r o l o f w e a l t h , good h e a l t h and f e r t i l i t y . 'When somebody i s r e f e r r e d to Olokun a l l tha t he/she w i l l need w i l l reach h i m . 1 She a s soc i a t ed Olokun w i t h good, a l though i n cases of stubbornness Olokun has the power to make that person s u f f e r . The l e a d i n g ohenOlokun i n Benin C i t y t o l d me tha t the on ly power Olokun has i s 'to make th ings good and not b a d . ' He does not have power to d e s t r o y . Th i s theme i s predominant i n the o r a l l i t e r a t u r e and hymnology of the Edo. A p p a r e n t l y , the on ly way Olokun des t roys i s to g ive an Edo a l o t o f money. The r e c i p i e n t w i l l then proceed to des t roy h i m s e l f by mis -u s i n g the newly acqu i red w e a l t h . The head p r i e s t t o l d me that Olokun i s the f a v o u r i t e son o f Osanobua; tha t Olokun has the power to g ive c h i l d r e n d i r e c t l y to men. The p r i e s t s a i d tha t Olokun has many names. Among them are : Osanughegbe (Ref l ec t s l i k e g l a s s ) , and Orimwianme (One who comes from the s e a ) . S ince he i s a great k i n g , he has many t i t l e s . These t i t l e s are used i n prayer i n which Olokun ' s power and k i n g s h i p are emphasized. - 130 -C . OLOKUN AS HE IS REPRESENTED IN THE OLOKUN-SONGS In t h i s a n a l y s i s o f Edo Olokun-songs, we w i l l see that these songs c o n t a i n i n fo rma t ion about the d i v i n i t y . A newly i n i t i a t e d member of any O l o k u n - c u l t w i l l soon know p r e c i s e l y who Olokun i s , what he can do and has done for the Edo. I propose to analyze a number of Olokun-songs under the f o l l o w i n g genera l c a t e g o r i e s : p r a i s e , v o t i v e and d i d a c t i c . I t i s d i f f i -c u l t to c a t e g o r i z e these songs p r e c i s e l y as some o f them con t a in elements o f each ca t egory . A f t e r g i v i n g each song w i t h i t s t r a n s l a t i o n , I w i l l suggest the p r a c t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n which each song would be sung and the i n fo rma t ion r evea led about the d i v i n i t y . I . P r a i s e Songs 1. Uwu g h i gbe mwen; emiamwen g h i gbe mwen; do, o r imwian , orimwian do! Death w i l l not k i l l me, s i ckness w i l l not k i l l me. H a i l , one who comes from the sea (Olokun)! Confidence i s be ing expressed i n Olokun . Supp l i can t s have f a i t h that they can be d e l i v e r e d from bad s p i r i t s because of Olokun ' s goodness. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun i s able to d e l i v e r one from i l l h e a l t h . 2 . Okun mwen m ' l e l e , a gha l e l e og ie a i g h i v i o o y a . I f o l l o w Olokun , fo r you cannot f o l l o w a k i n g and be s l i g h t e d . The s i t u a t i o n i s one of t h a n k s g i v i n g . The s inger i s t e l l i n g Olokun that s ince he has fo l l owed him he has never been d i s a p p o i n t e d . The s inger i s a l s o i n v i t i n g other members to become constant worshippers of Olokun . - 131 -Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Here we see the h i g h regard Edo have for Olokun . He i s thought o f as a k i n g , a be ing of great power. 3 . Ese ne Olokun r u me, ona re ese ne g h i fo v b ' o t o . I w i l l always remember what Olokun has done for me. This song i s o f f e red i n p r a i s e of Olokun for what he has done for the s i n g e r . In format ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun i s the source of b l e s s i n g for the Edo. 4. I ya nomo, do; l y a hehehe, I ya nomo, do! • • • • Olokun g i v e r o f c h i l d r e n , I s a l u t e y o u , I s a l u t e you! This song i s sung i n p r a i s e of Olokun fo r performing t h i s p a r t i c u l a r f u n c t i o n fo r man. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun i s the source of c h i l d r e n . 5. G i ma d ' u g i Olokun, oghogho ma ye Let us c e l e b r a t e the f e s t i v a l of Olokun for we are i n absolu te gladness of mind . We are a l l happy. Th i s song i s sung dur ing an ugiOlokun—the weekly t h a n k s g i v i n g r i t u a l at the s h r i n e of Olokun . There have been no se tbacks ; a l l has been s u c c e s s f u l . Th i s successfu lness i s a t t r i b u t e d to the a c t i o n of Olokun . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun i s worthy o f be ing served because he has r a i n e d w e a l t h , b l e s s i n g and c h i l d r e n upon the Edo. I I . D i d a c t i c Songs 1. A gha l e l e okhuo, a dee I f one f o l l o w s the d i c t a t e s of a woman, the end w i l l always be - 132 -d o w n f a l l . The man making a prayer before Olokun must have been t e l l i n g Olokun about some problem r e l a t e d to h i s f a m i l i a l s i t u a t i o n . When Olokun descended upon the p r i e s t , i t was r evea led tha t t h i s man was too dependent on women. A c c o r d i n g to my informant , the l e s son here i s tha t women should not be t r u s t e d c o m p l e t e l y . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun has superna tu ra l i n s i g h t i n t o the nature of Edo problems. He i s a l so able to so lve problems through h i s chosen media of communication, the p r i e s t . 2 . I vba re , I vba re , I vba re , e d i o n i k a r o . I meet, I meet those who go before me. Th i s song i s sung i n remembrance of those who have departed and who were r e s p o n s i b l e for the p r i e s t ' s membership i n the Olokun c u l t . Before the present p r i e s t served Olokun , o thers served before h i m . Those gone before ( ed ion ika ro ) served Olokun f a i t h f u l l y . The most important l e s son Olokun ' s f o l l o w e r s l e a r n i s tha t the d i v i n i t y ' s s e r v i c e must be upheld by those whom he chooses. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun ' s orders must be c a r r i e d out o b e d i e n t l y so tha t h i s name w i l l cont inue to be w e l l p r a i s e d . 3. U gha r u n 'uwa, ghe mian mian mwen. I f I Olokun b l e s s y o u , do not forget me. This i s a warning to man from Olokun . Olokun does not g i v e th ings ' g r a t i s . ' In format ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun responds to the Edo ' s c ry for h e l p , but he must be remembered by s a c r i f i c e and by obedience to the moral i n s t r u c t i o n g iven through Olokun ' s media of communication, the p r i e s t . - 133 -4. A gha h 'uwa, uhumwun gua urorame' a gha mie ne ik inegbe gua  onurho. When you are seeking fo r fo r tune , you should prepare to undergo any c o n d i t i o n , even pass ing through a sma l l h o l d . When you have a t t a i n e d your ob jec t then you become so fa t that the door w i l l be too narrow for you to pass through. Th i s song w i l l be sung i n order to emphasize that the Edo have c e r t a i n r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and requirements to f u l f i l l before Olokun w i l l h e lp them. And now tha t someone i s i n need, he should be obedient to the d i c t a t e s of Olokun . When Olokun grants a request he must not be f o r g o t t e n . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Be prepared to ca r ry out the d i c t a t e s of Olokun . The Edo b e l i e v e tha t Olokun i s ab le to make one forget past s u f f e r i n g s . I I I . V o t i v e Songs 1. Ya ya ya o , ya y 'uwa re o , ya ya ya o . Olokun , p lease b r i n g for tune to me. Th i s song w i l l be sung when a man i s before Olokun p l ead ing w i t h the d i v i n i t y to r a i n for tune upon h i m . Fortune here inc ludes c h i l d r e n , wea l th and p r o t e c t i o n . In format ion about the d i v i n i t y : Olokun i s a source o f b l e s s i n g for man. He i s i n t e r e s t e d i n the we l f a r e o f the Edo. 2 . Olokun aweru, ere eve ukpon I v i e ; emwen omo oda mwenOgbomwankan • • • • • • • • • • ma I yo eguaosa. I t i s Olokun who I have been t o l d to w o r s h i p . I 'm worsh ipping Olokun not to get c l o t h e s , nor w e a l t h , I 'm bad ly i n need of a - 135 -c h i l d . Anybody who laughs at me because I have no c h i l d was never there when Osanobua c rea ted me. The s u p p l i c a n t i s i n se r ious need of a c h i l d and i s e a r n e s t l y beseeching Olokun . In format ion about the d i v i n i t y : This song r evea l s an i n t e r e s t i n g aspect o f Olokun ' s i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the Edo. Olokun i s here shown to be concerned w i t h a problem on the human l e v e l that no 'one e l s e i s concerned about . Al though no one e l s e understands a person ' s p l i g h t , Olokun does, and i s w i l l i n g to he lp the pe r son . I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF OLOKUN Something o f the Edo exper ience o f Olokun i s s tored i n t h e i r songs. These songs make i t ve ry c l e a r that Olokun i s i n no way hidden from the Edo. He i s a speaking and a c t i n g d i v i n i t y ; fa r more a c t i v e than Osanobua, and not as remote. There are b a s i c a l l y four ways i n which Olokun i s i n t e r -pre ted as man i f e s t i ng h i m s e l f to the Edo: through the dream-experience, through the posses s ion -expe r i ence , through d i v i n a t i o n , and through par-t i c u l a r even t s . A people must be c u l t u r a l l y predisposed to i n t e r p r e t the random events o f l i f e as the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of d i v i n i t y . In order to do t h i s , they must know what a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y i s capable o f . As w e l l as t h i s , they must be prepared to i n t e r p r e t s u b j e c t i v e exper iences as the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f d i v i n i t y . Wi th these p r i n c i p l e s as an i n t e r p r e t a t i v e b a s i s , the complex i n t e r a c t i o n of persona l need, s u b j e c t i v e exper ience and u n p r e d i c t a b l e event become the s t u f f o f the communication p roces s . - 136 -A . THE DREAM-EXPERIENCE AS A MANIFESTATION OF OLOKUN The dream-experience i s a means of f a c i l i t a t i n g ' e a sy ' communication between s p i r i t and man. During s l e e p , say the Edo, Olokun can invade a man's unconsc ious . The r e c i p i e n t of the dream w i l l exper ience Olokun s y m b o l i c a l l y . For i t i s the symbol that communicates and i s a x i a l i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the dream's con ten t . There appear to be two means whereby Olokun speaks to a man i n the dream: i n the whi te -symbol i sm to the ohen and i n the garb o f the ohen to a f o l l o w e r of Olokun . The content o f the dream must be decoded by e i t h e r an akpele or ogwega d i v i n e r . The common man does not have the s p e c i a l knowledge of dreams. He i s aware tha t d i v i n i t y i s speaking but u n t i l the d i v i n e r decodes i t , the message i s not c l e a r . An ohen hav ing a dream does not always have to have the message decoded. The p r i e s t ' s d e c i s i o n to consu l t a d i v i n e r seems to depend upon the complex i ty of the dream. Case 1 One n i g h t an ohen r e c e i v e d ' s i g n s ' through Olokun . Whi le as leep she saw Olokun appear a long w i t h a s t r a n g e r . The s t ranger was speaking a f o r e i g n language. He implored her to teach him some ' m e d i c i n e . ' She employed an i n t e r p r e t e r i n order to determine what the man i n the dream wanted. She d i scovered tha t somebody was going to v i s i t her i n the f o l l o w i n g day. Al though she was scheduled to appear at a meeting tha t morning at t e n , she awoke and went d i r e c t l y to the sh r ine house to w a i t fo r the s t r a n g e r . As soon as she entered the s h r i n e , the c h i l d r e n s a i d that a - 137 -woman had come seeking he lp and had been w a i t i n g for some time for the p r i e s t e s s to appear. Informat ion r e v e a l e d : Olokun has spoken through the dream-experience and g i v e n the p r i e s t e s s foreknowledge. Case 2 M r s . 0 . was former ly a t r ade r i n c l o t h . One time she was going to Lagos , the c a p i t a l c i t y , about 200 mi le s from Benin C i t y . In the n igh t Olokun appeared and i n s t r u c t e d her to s a c r i f i c e a cock . She bought the cock wi thou t k i l l i n g i t . La t e r she went to the market and bought some c l o t h . She forgo t to take her change from the c l o t h s e l l e r , an amount of three pounds. When she a r r i v e d home she q u i c k l y k i l l e d the cock and wrote a l e t t e r to the woman e n c l o s i n g a s h e l l from Esango (Edo for Shango, the Yoruba d i v i n i t y of t hunde r ) . The e n c l o s i n g o f t h i s s h e l l communicates the message to the woman tha t i f she f a i l s to r e t u r n the money she w i l l be cursed i n the name o f Esango. The woman q u i c k l y sent the money. M r s . 0 s a i d : ' I f you do what Olokun a sks , th ings w i l l always go w e l l . 1 Informat ion r e v e a l e d : Olokun communicates i n s t r u c t i o n s to h i s f o l l o w e r s . Note how v a r i o u s events are a s s o c i a t e d . She i s t o l d to s a c r i f i c e a cock i n the dream and then exper iences a misfor tune i n the market . A f t e r s a c r i f i c i n g to Olokun as she was supposed t o , the woman re turned the money. These contiguous events l ed to the acknowledgement by M r s . 0 o f Olokun ' s power. Case 3 M r s . 0 was as leep and began to f e e l p a i n i n the neck. She then p laced her head aga ins t the w a l l . In t h i s dream Olokun commanded her to - 138 -stop c a r r y i n g loads on her head. O lokun , a l so t o l d her to stop going to the market . A t f i r s t she d i d not obey, but every time she a r r i v e d at the market she had ve ry l i t t l e success w i t h her customers . I t seems that Olokun aga in t o l d her that she should not ca r ry any loads on her head. The reason g iven fo r t h i s by the p r i e s t e s s was tha t the s p i r i t o f Olokun uses her head for h i s d w e l l i n g p l a c e . At the time of i n t e r v i e w the p r i e s t e s s had not gone to the market for four y e a r s . She now l i v e s on the donat ions r e c e i v e d from the v a r i o u s people who seek her a s s i s t a n c e . In format ion r e v e a l e d : The content of t h i s dream i s p r i m a r i l y d i d a c t i c . Olokun spoke to her i n the dream, the message be ing r e i n f o r c e d by the p a i n i n her neck . At f i r s t she disobeyed the s p i r i t , but t h i s r e s u l t e d i n a l a c k of success i n her b u s i n e s s . Th i s l e d M r s . 0 to i n t e r p r e t her l a c k of success as fu r the r i n fo rma t ion from Olokun . She then changed her behav iou r . She now appears to be q u i t e s u c c e s s f u l i n her new r o l e as p r i e s t e s s . Case 4 One p r i e s t t o l d me tha t Olokun o f t en wakes him up i n the n i g h t . Whenever Olokun t a l k s to him he w i l l know by the nature of Olokun ' s dress p lus the presence o f Olokun ' s two sword-bearers (omada). One might the p r i e s t dreamed o f an i n d i v i d u a l who was going to be s i c k . The p r i e s t acted on the i n fo rma t ion g iven him and t o l d tha t person to perform c e r t a i n s a c r i f i c e s . The person f a i l e d to o f f e r the s a c r i f i c e s and l a t e r became s i c k . The p r i e s t c la imed that i f the man had performed (j the ceremony he would not have f a l l e n i l l . Informat ion r e v e a l e d : Olokun i s communicating h i s concern for a p a r t i c u l a r - 139 -person and i s f o r e t e l l i n g an event. The content of the message i s revealed to the p r i e s t through the dream-experience. The subsequent f a i l u r e to s a c r i f i c e i s l i n k e d w i t h the f o r e t o l d s i c k n e s s . The p r i e s t ' s a s s o c i a t i o n of the s u b j e c t i v e experience and e x t e r n a l events confirms Olokun's o r i g i n a l message. Case 5 One n i g h t a p r i e s t dreamt of Olokun w i t h h i s omada. These two kneeled before the p r i e s t t e l l i n g him that he must t r a v e l to Urhonigbe, the headquarters of Olokun a f t e r making a s a c r i f i c e . This the p r i e s t d i d . Information revealed: Olokun not only r e v e a l s h i s own 'needs' to man, but gives advice to the p r i e s t . Case 6 One c u l t member saw the p r i e s t i n h i s dream. Olokun t o l d him to go and t a l k to t h e ' p r i e s t . This he d i d . To h i s s u r p r i s e he found that the p r i e s t was s i c k . He then sought out a d i v i n e r and was t o l d to s a c r i f i c e a number of itemsQto Olokun. The p r i e s t got w e l l a f t e r the s a c r i f i c e was o f f e r e d . Information revealed: Olokun demonstrates h i s concern f o r h i s f o l l o w e r s ' h e a l t h by manifesting h i m s e l f i n t h e i r dreams. B. THE POSSESSION-EXPERIENCE AS A MANIFESTATION OF OLOKUN Every f i v e days (eken) the c u l t s of Olokun congregate before the aruOlokun. This ceremony i s c a l l e d the u^iOlokun. The main focus of t h i s - 140 -ceremony i s the hoped-for descent o f Olokun upon h i s chosen channel of communication, the p r i e s t . Accompanied by danc ing , drumming and the p l a y i n g of gongs and beaded ca labashes , the song appears to a s s i s t Olokun to descend. The s i n g i n g and dancing are p r e l i m i n a r y to the d e s i r e d pos-s e s s i o n - e x p e r i e n c e , for i t i s then tha t the people can hear t h e i r d i v i n i t y speak, a l b e i t i n d i r e c t l y . During the s p i r i t ' s descent upon the p r i e s t , the p r i e s t w i l l u t t e r words which w i l l bear upon the l i v e s of the c u l t members. The Edo, as w e l l as many other peop les , b e l i e v e tha t the f a c u l -t i e s of the p r i e s t have been taken over by the d i v i n i t y . A t the he igh t of the pos ses s ion -expe r i ence , the p r i e s t w i l l not know what i s happening or what sounds he i s u t t e r i n g . The p r i e s t ' s ' unconsc ious ' s t a t e i n t e n s i -f i e s the c u l t ' s consciousness o f the presence of d i v i n i t y . I t i s du r ing the ug iOlokun tha t the channel of communication between Olokun and man i s most open. The p r i e s t func t ions as the channel of com-munica t ion at that p a r t i c u l a r moment when d i v i n i t y descends. The ohen, t h e r e f o r e , i s not the decoder o f the message which has t r a v e l l e d from Olokun through the p r i e s t - c h a n n e l to the people who must act upon the i n f o r m a t i o n r evea l ed by the p r i e s t . Olokun ' s descent i s not p r e d i c t a b l e . By s i n g i n g and dancing i n a c o n t r o l l e d manner the c u l t t r i e s to set a r i t u a l l y conducive atmosphere f o r the d i v i n i t y ' s descent . But they never know when or i f Olokun i s going to descend. In order to be r e c e p t i v e to the d i v i n i t y ' s presence, the p r i e s t must undergo a number of p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t u a l s . Thus the c u l t b e l i e v e s tha t the p r i e s t ' f e e l s ' the ex i s t ence of Olokun i n a myster ious and profound way. Because of the p r i e s t ' s s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to Olokun, he i s chosen as the channel of the d i v i n i t y ' s messages. - 141 -The possess ion-exper ience has another meaning ou t s ide the u g i -01okun. The Edo b e l i e v e that Olokun chooses h i s ohen by descending upon them. Thus t h i s 'descent from d i v i n i t y ' i s a p r e r e q u i s i t e for the p r i e s t h o o d . An Edo could be descended upon at any t i m e . Aga in the e l e -ment of u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y r e i n f o r c e s the d i v i n i t y ' s s u p e r i o r i t y over man, for man cannot manage or c o n t r o l these expe r i ences . The p r i e s thood may i n some cases be h e r e d i t a r y , but each p r i e s t must never the less be s p e c i a l l y chosen by the d i v i n i t y . U n l i k e the ugiOlokun where possess ion manifests i n g l o s s o l a l i a , when Olokun i s choosing a p r i e s t other phenomena may be present as w e l l . Dur ing the d i v i n i t y ' s descent the candidate may u t t e r a p r e d i c t i o n which w i l l l a t e r be seen to have been a c c u r a t e . Possess ion by d i v i n i t y may a l s o r e s u l t i n speech lessness . One p r i e s t t o l d me that on s i x occas ions known to him Olokun rendered a person speech les s . This was a s i g n to the p r i e s t that Olokun was speak ing . He then prepared some leaves known as Olokun- leaves (eboOlokun) and bathed the v i c t i m . S h o r t l y a f t e r they became w e l l and are now se rv ing Olokun . Another m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the possess ion-exper ience i s lameness. One housewife a p r i e s t knew suddenly became lame. She consu l t ed a d i v i n e r and performed the necessary ceremony. She i s now qu i t e w e l l and i s a l s o a p r i e s t e s s . A fu r the r m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the d i v i n i t y ' s descent i s temporary i n s a n i t y . Olokun ' s 'descent i n order to choose an ohen' can r e s u l t , t hen , i n g l o s s o l a l i a , dumbness, lameness and temporary i n s a n i t y . In a l l o f these unusual happenings i n s t a n t a n e i t y i s the p r e v a i l i n g element i n the expe r i ence . I t i s not j u s t any s i ckness or lameness tha t i n d i c a t e s tha t d i v i n i t y i s speak ing . The content (eg . lameness) of the exper ience does not communicate i r r e v o c a b l y tha t Olokun has chosen an ohen. Lameness may have a meaning—it i s the d i v i n e r who w i l l determine the nature and - 142 -s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the expe r i ence . C . DIVINATION AS A MANIFESTATION OF OLOKUN The d i v i n e r i s a x i a l i n the Edo r e l i g i o u s system. I t i s the d i v i n e r ' s f u n c t i o n to d i s c o v e r the pa t te rns and meaning i n sensory exper ience and random even t s . In the dream-experiences of the Edo, he w i l l be sought fo r the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the con ten t . D i f f e r e n t symbols w i l l be i n t e r p r e t e d , as we have seen, as the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of d i v i n i t y . The complex i ty of the i n t e r p r e t a t i v e process must be emphasized. I f (a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y ) i s ( b e l i e v e d to be) speaking through the dream-media, c e r t a i n symbols (The presence of the sea , whiteness i n any form, the presence of the ohen) w i l l r e v e a l to tfhejdiviner which d i v i n i t y i s speak ing . Fur ther d e t a i l s i n the dream juxtaposed w i t h the p a t t e r n i n g of the a c t u a l d i v i n a t i o n w i l l i n d i c a t e what i s the p r e c i s e nature of the message. The ogwega and akpele d i v i n e r s are consu l ted p r i m a r i l y by the commoner and not the p r i e s t , a l though i n a d i f f i c u l t dream the p r i e s t would consu l t a d i v i n e r - , who i s working c l o s e l y w i t h h i m . In the possess ion-exper ience the ohen func t ions as the channel and source of the d i v i n i t y ' s p resence . The d i v i n e r i s not needed to decode the message because the c u l t read 01okun-words through the ohen. However, the d i v i n e r ' s a b i l i t y to decode i s needed when Olokun ' s descent manifests i t s e l f i n lameness, e t c . The ohen use a minor form o f d i v i n a t i o n to determine what Olokun * i s s a y i n g . Dur ing the s a c r i f i c i a l o f f e r i n g to Olokun , the ohen w i l l ' p l a y ' the f o u r - s i d e d k o l a . By b reak ing the k o l a i n t o four p ieces and then - 143 -t h r o w i n g i t o n t h e g r o u n d , h e i s a b l e t o a s c e r t a i n w h e t h e r o r n o t O l o k u n h a s r e c e i v e d t h e m e s s a g e . T h e p a t t e r n i n g o f t h e k o l a w i l l i n d i c a t e a s i m p l e ' y e s ' o r ' n o ' r e s p o n s e t o t h e s a c r i f i c e . B e f o r e g o i n g o n t o t h e n e x t s e c t i o n , i t s h o u l d b e n o t e d t h a t t h e d i v i n e r p l a y s a k e y r o l e h e r e a s w e l l . I t i s t h e e v e n t w h i c h i s a m a n i -f e s t a t i o n o f O l o k u n ' s p r e s e n c e ; t h e d i v i n e r ' s r o l e i s t o g i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e t o t h e e v e n t . D . THE E V E N T A S A M A N I F E S T A T I O N OF OLOKUN T h e e v e n t s w h i c h a r e i n t e r p r e t e d a s m e s s a g e s f r o m a p a r t i c u l a r d i v i n i t y c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e d i v i n i t y ' s n a t u r e o r c a p a b i l i t i e s . F o r a s p i r i t u a l b e i n g c a n o n l y m a n i f e s t i t s e l f i n s u c h a m a n n e r a s t o b e t r u e t o i t s b e i n g . A t t h e g e n e r a l l e v e l , t h e n , O l o k u n s h o u l d b e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e v e n t s w i t h i n h i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d s p h e r e s o f i n f l u e n c e : h e a l t h , w e a l t h a n d g e n e r a l b l e s s i n g . O l o k u n , t h e r e f o r e , s p e a k s t o man i n h i s e x p e r i e n c e o f t h e s e b l e s s i n g s . T o c i t e a n e x a m p l e , i f O l o k u n i s n o t b e l i e v e d t o h a v e a n y t h i n g t o d o w i t h e v i l a n d a p e r s o n i s k i l l e d b y a t r u c k , t h i s p a r t i c u l a r e v e n t c a n n o t b e i n t e r p r e t e d a s t h e m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f O l o k u n . T h e e v e n t d o e s n o t c o r r e s p o n d t o O l o k u n ' s n a t u r e . T h e a r g u m e n t may b e t a u t o l o g i c a l t o t h e o b s e r v e r , b u t i s c o m p r e h e n s i b l e t o t h o s e w i t h i n t h e r e l i g i o u s s y s t e m . J u s t a s O s a - n a x n e s r e v e a l a r e s p o n s e t o O s a n o b u a , t h e O l o k u n s o n g s do l i k e w i s e . F o r e x a m p l e , s o m e o n e may h a v e come t o O l o k u n w i t h a s e e m i n g l y i n s o l u b l e p r o b l e m . T h r o u g h t h e p o s s e s s i o n - e x p e r i e n c e t h e p r i e s t may h a v e r e c e i v e d a m e s s a g e f r o m t h e d i v i n i t y , t a k i n g t h e f o r m o f a d v i c e , r e v e a l i n g t h e n a t u r e o f m a n ' s p r o b l e m a n d w h a t h e s h o u l d d o a b o u t i t . C o n v e r s e l y , - 144 -someone may have received a blessing from Olokun which has resulted i n the composition of a song of praise or thanksgiving. E s s e n t i a l l y these songs have r i s e n out of the Edo i n t e r a c t i o n and communication with Olokun in experiences of l i f e r elated to his sphere of power: the giving of health, wealth and c h i l d r e n . These songs could, moreover, be thought of as man's attempt to communicate to Olokun: communication i s a dynamic, two-way process. But I want to comment b r i e f l y on the song as showing how Olokun speaks to the Edo. In the praise songs, i t can be seen that Olokun i s believed to have spoken to the Edo through the giving of c e r t a i n blessings. For example, the song: 'I follow Olokun, for you cannot follow a king and be s l i g h t e d ' is i n d i c a t i v e of the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of various events in one's l i f e as messages from d i v i n i t y . Olokun i s also praised i n other songs for giving of c h i l d r e n (Olokun, giver of c h i l d r e n , I salute you, I salute you!); revealing the nature of one's problems (If one follows the dictates of a woman, the end w i l l always be downfall); and contributing to the general welfare of one's l i f e (I w i l l always remember Olokun for what he has done for me) . I I I . THE EDO RESPONSE TO OLOKUN A. THE INDIVIDUAL APPROACH TO OLOKUN The Edo believe that prayer can be offered at any time to Olokun. But prayer is always more favourably received by Olokun before the aru. The Edo say that they cannot come before Olokun emptyhanded. If an i n d i v i d u a l - 145 -i s p r ay ing to Olokun he w i l l b r i n g such non-blood items as whi te c h a l k , k o l a , cowries and whi t e c l o t h and p lace them on the a r u . Every aru has numberous banana shaped p ieces of whi te chalk which have been p laced on the aru w h i l e prayer was o f f e r ed before the s h r i n e . Before p ray ing to Olokun, cha lk i s p laced on the s h r i n e . The p r i e s t a l s o prays to Olokun at non-ceremonial t i m e s . However, the p r i e s t has a s p e c i a l day when he/she s i t s i n the s h r i n e . The prayers before the s h r i n e , i f no immediate need i s p r e s s i n g are o f fe red fo r genera l purposes . 1. That harmony w i l l p r e v a i l i n the f a m i l y . 2 . That one 's wea l th w i l l i n c r e a s e . 3 . That one ' s f a m i l y w i l l remain w e l l and increase i n number. B . THE CULTIC APPROACH TO OLOKUN The ug iOlokun has been a l l u d e d to a number o f t i m e s . In t h i s par-t i c u l a r ceremony there are a number of ends sought by the members of Olokun. At the s p e c i f i c l e v e l , i n d i v i d u a l members have needs which are brought before the congrega t ion . I t Is at t h i s time that c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l b r i n g t h e i r s a c r i f i c i a l items to the p r i e s t . (The Edo b e l i e v e that the ug iOlokun provides the proper s e t t i n g for s a c r i f i c e ) . The ugiOlokun has a more genera l purpose. Each o f the elements of the ceremony e x c l u d i n g the possess ion-exper ience—genera l p r aye r , danc ing , drumming and s i n g i n g com-b ine to communicate a genera l message o f p r a i s e and t h a n k s g i v i n g to Olokun . The ceremony begins at dusk, for i t i s s a i d that i s when a l l s p i r i t s are r e t i r i n g from t h e i r l a b o u r . The Edo b e l i e v e that Olokun i s t r a v e l l i n g - 146 -around c a r r y i n g out h i s f u n c t i o n s . Prayer and s a c r i f i c e are i n t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d i n the ugiOlokun. When there i s to be a slaughter of some s a c r i f i c i a l item, the c u l t con-gregates before the s h r i n e . Everybody puts t h e i r hands over t h e i r mouths and repeats the word Oraho seven times. This i s the formal g r e e t i n g to Olokun. Olokun i s next c a l l e d by h i s various t i t l e s . (a) Oba noso bahia (Olokun, k i n g of a l l k i n g s ) . (b) Ogie nomwen iyaghigho (Olokun, the ki n g who has plenty of money). (c) Oba no rame nose noroke (Olokun, the k i n g who l i v e s i n the sea and surpasses he who l i v e s i n the l a n d ) . A f t e r invoking Olokun, the p r i e s t and c u l t repeat the f o l l o w i n g prayer: Ugbolu, atete were Ghegun mwen wu Ghegun mwen khuomwin Gbaro ghe omo kevbe amwen ne Gun mwen to,'nevbe kpe Kie odigho me, igho aya rue vbodo mwan. T r a n s l a t i o n : Don't l e t me d i e , don't l e t me f a l l s i c k , Look a f t e r my c h i l d r e n and my w i f e , Let me l i v e long, open up the road of money f o r me, For i t i s money one uses i n doing Whatever one d e s i r e s . The p r i e s t then takes the k o l a nuts and the chalk brought by the person who i s o f f e r i n g a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun. He f i r s t touches his) own head and and the breast of the woman on whose behalf he i s s a c r i f i c i n g w i t h white chalk. I f i t i s a male s a c r i f i c i n g , the p r i e s t w i l l touch h i s head o n l y . He then breaks the k o l a , d i v i n e s and shares i t w i t h the members before s l a u g h t e r i n g the s a c r i f i c i a l items. The a c t u a l s a c r i f i c e i s very simple. The s a c r i f i c i a l item i s held - 147 -by the p r i e s t ' s a s s i s t a n t (a sen io r woman member of the c u l t ) and i t s t h roa t i s cut by the p r i e s t . Whi le the p r i e s t i s s p r i n k l i n g the b lood he w i l l be u t t e r i n g a p rayer : '0 Olokun, b l e s s t h i s woman or man who has brought t h i s i t e m . B l e s s them through t h e i r u n d e r t a k i n g . ' He p laces some of the b lood on the head of the k n e e l i n g woman/man and on the mem-b e r s . U n l i k e the s a c r i f i c e before o ther a r u , the b lood must not touch the ' f a c e ' o f the a l t a r . One p r i e s t t o l d me that the a l t a r i s cons idered s a c r e d . The b l o o d , t h e r e f o r e , i s s p i l l e d on ly i n f ron t of the s h r i n e . The head o f the s a c r i f i c i a l animal i s thrown to the r i g h t of the sh r ine and the decap i ta ted body i n t o the p r e c o u r t . I t w i l l probably be eaten but t h i s doesn ' t seem to be important to the Edo. The s a c r i f i c e i s now complete . There are b a s i c a l l y two types of s a c r i f i c e : t hanksg iv ing and s u p p l i c a t i o n . The thanksg iv ing s a c r i f i c e i s i n t e r e s t i n g to us at t h i s p o i n t because i t i s a response to what i s i n t e r p r e t e d as the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f d i v i n i t y i n the a f f a i r s of the Edo. The t hanksg iv ing s a c r i f i c e flows out of the b e l i e f tha t Olokun has heard and responded to r e q u e s t s . 1 In the f o l l o w i n g s a c r i f i c e s , the purpose o f the s a c r i f i c e i s that which has been g iven by the ac tors w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s system. 1. Thanksgiv ing S a c r i f i c e s  Case 1 M r s . 0. 0. o f E k i a d o l o r v i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w.ith one This i s not to say , however, that the on ly i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of s a c r i -f i c e i s as g i f t , or as a par t of the Edo appeal to d i v i n i t y for some par-t i c u l a r end. - 148 -she-goat , one whi t e p igeon , one whi t e cock, a quan t i t y o f cocoanut , c o w r i e s , c h a l k , ododo, ko lanu t s and w i n e . Her purpose was to thank him fo r f u l f i l l i n g him promise to h e r . She had been dec la red a bar ren woman but succeeded i n bea r ing a c h i l d . She had a l ready made one s a c r i f i c e to Olokun to o b t a i n her end and promised to make another i f Olokun responded to her r eques t . Case 2 M r s . 0 . I . o f Eka V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one goat , one p igeon , some whi te c h a l k , ododo and c o w r i e s . Her purpose was to thank Olokun for enab l ing her to conceive and d e l i v e r a male c h i l d s a f e l y , a f t e r she had t r i e d a l l the other d i v i n i t i e s . Case 3 M r s . I . 0 . of Ig iuye V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun ; wi' t fP one whi t e cock , one whi te goat , ododo, k o l a n u t s , cowries and whi t e c h a l k . Her purpose was to thank him for a s s i s t i n g her to conceive and d e l i v e r a male c h i l d a f t e r she had sought a i d from other d i v i n i t i e s . I t i s under these circumstances that an Edo could g ive the c h i l d the name Olokunrobo. Case 4 M r s . 0 . A . o f Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one guinea f o w l , one whi te cock, ododo, ko lanu t s and c o w r i e s . Her purpose was to thank Olokun for the safe d e l i v e r y of her c h i l d which the azen had been t r y i n g to k i l l i n her womb. This woman had appealed to Olokun through prayer for a s s i s t ance aga ins t the azen . When she d e l i v e r e d s a f e l y under these adverse c o n d i t i o n s she knew that Olokun had acted on her b e h a l f . - 149 -Case 5 M r s . A . I . o f Ukhegie Quar t e r s , Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun o f one whi te pigeon and one whi te she-goat . Her purpose was to thank Olokun for her concept ion and s u c c e s s f u l d e l i v e r y o f a male c h i l d . A l l her other e f f o r t s to get pregnant had f a i l e d . Case 6 M r s . A . U . of Use lu Quar te r s , Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one guinea f o w l , some cocoanuts and k o l a n u t s . Her purpose was to thank Olokun fo r a l l o w i n g her t rade to p rospe r . A d i m i n i s h i n g t rade had l e d her to seek Olokun ' s a s s i s t a n c e . Case 7 M r s . 0 . E . of S i l u k o Quar te r s , Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e w i t h one whi te guinea f o w l , one whi te cock , some cocoanuts and one whi t e she-goat to Olokun . Her purpose was to thank Olokun for g i v i n g her a c h i l d . She had prayed to Olokun fo r a c h i l d and when she f i n a l l y conceived and d e l i -v e r e d , there was a great merriment among the f o l l o w e r s o f Olokun because t h i s woman, whose f i r s t name i s Olokunrobo, was r a i s e d as an Olokun wor-s h i p p e r . Constant prayers and promises had been made before the sh r ine of Olokun• Now that she had d e l i v e r e d s a f e l y , t h i s t h a n k s g i v i n g s a c r i f i c e was o f f e r e d . Case 8 M r s . A . U . of Ugbine V i l l a g e near Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one whi te guinea f o w l , 21 c o w r i e s , three lumps of cha lk (orhue) , one cocoanut , a p iece of ododo and a p iece of wh i t e d r i l l c l o t h . Her pur-pose was to thank Olokun fo r h e l p i n g her t rade to p rospe r . This was not a - 150 -promised s a c r i f i c e ; she came out of her own free w i l l i n response to Olokun ' s a c t i v i t y on her b e h a l f . Case 9 M r s . 0 . U . o f O l i h a Quar te r s , Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one whi te goat , one whi te cock , cocoanuts , cowries and a par ro t f e a t h e r . Her purpose was to thank Olokun fo r her daughter ' s concept ion and safe d e l i v e r y of a c h i l d though she had here to fore been unable to con-ce ive . Case 10 M r s . I . 0 . of Utoka V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to ..Olokun w i t h a whi te p igeon , whi te cock , whi te goat , ko lanuts and a cocoanut . Her purpose was to thank Olokun for her daughter ' s safe d e l i v e r y of a c h i l d . She had sought the a i d o f Olokun on beha l f o f her daughter . The c h i l d was named Olokunrobo (Olokun has p layed the r o l e o f s a v i o u r ) . 2 . V o t i v e S a c r i f i c e s  Case 1 Upon v i s i t i n g an ohenOlokun to a t tend the ug iO lokun , I found that the ceremony had been c a n c e l l e d . The reason g iven was that a w i f e of one o f the c u l t members was undergoing a very d i f f i c u l t l a b o u r . Thus a s a c r i -f i c e had been made to Olokun . I t was assumed that bad s p i r i t s were the cause of the woman's t r oub l e and that Olokun was q u i t e capable of f i g h t i n g aga ins t them. The ugiOlokun was c a n c e l l e d because to invoke the s p i r i t by dancing would obs t ruc t h i s m i s s i o n . I was t o l d that there could be no merriment u n t i l success was ach i eved . - 151 -Case 2 M r s . I . E . of Ben in C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one egg, a broom, a t h r e e - s i d e d k o l a and a p iece of m e t a l . This s a c r i f i c e was made on b e h a l f o f a son who was i n the motor t r anspor t b u s i n e s s . The named items were o f fe red to Olokun to enable M r . I . E . ' s son ' s t rade to f l o u r i s h wi thout impediment. These items are seldom of fe red to Olokun but the broom may symbol ize the Edo d e s i r e to have e v i l i n f luences 'swept away' and the metal may symbol ize the l o r r y which i s c e n t r a l to the son ' s b u s i n e s s . Case 3 M r s . 1.0. of Idumurvbioto Quar te r s , Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one whi te p igeon , one whi t e cock, one yard o f whi te c l o t h , k o l a - n u t s and c o w r i e s . Her purpose was to enable her daughter to have a c h i l d . She a l s o promised tha t she would make a fu r the r s a c r i f i c e i f Olokun granted her r eques t . The d i v i n e r t o l d t h i s woman to approach Olokun w i t h the aforementioned items to c l e a r away the o b s t a c l e s . A double s a c r i f i c e seems necessary i n major cases . Case 4 M r s . O . E . o f Ugbague Quar t e r s , Ben in C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one she-goat , one whi te guinea f o w l , a cocoanut and some k o l a n u t s . Her purpose was to o b t a i n a c h i l d from Olokun . Case 5 A woman i n the Eghobamien household i n Ben in C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun w i t h one guinea f o w l . Her purpose was to enable her to t r a v e l s a f e l y to Lagos . - 1 5 2 -Case 6 A woman i n the Eghobamien household i n Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Olokun of one whi te she-goat . An akpele d i v i n e r came to the household for a v i s i t . At t h i s time he broke k o l a and d i v i n e d w i t h i t . I t was through the k o l a - d i v i n a t i o n that he warned the woman of impending danger to her son . The s a c r i f i c e was made to Olokun to ward o f f t h i s impending danger; probably that of s i c k n e s s . There i s another ceremony which takes p lace when an Edo r ece ives a domestic s h r i n e . The ukOlokun i s a seven day ceremony which g ives an Edo the r i g h t to have a sh r ine at which i t i s b e l i e v e d Olokun w i l l presence h i m s e l f . In order to o b t a i n a ' p a r t ' (domestic a l t a r ) of Olokun, an[,Edo must be ' c h o s e n . ' Olokun must manifest h i s d e s i r e to the chosen one by causing s i c k n e s s , by d i s t u r b i n g h i s dreams (or speaking i n them) and by induc ing d i z z i n e s s . These exper iences w i l l mot ivate the r e c i p i e n t to see a d i v i n e r who w i l l decode these expe r i ences . He w i l l p r e d i c t that Olokun i s speaking and choosing him to have h i s own domestic s h r i n e . A f t e r l e a v i n g the d i v i n e r the i n i t i a t e w i l l consu l t the ohenOlokun. The p r i e s t arranges for the s p e c i a l ceremony to take p lace at the member's house. The f i r s t s tep i n r e c e i v i n g a domestic sh r ine i s the undergoing of a four teen day p u r i f i c a t i o n ceremony. This precedes the a c t u a l i n s t a l -l a t i o n of the s h r i n e . During t h i s two week pe r iod the i n i t i a t e must abs t a in from sexual i n t e r c o u r s e , manual labour and s o l i d food . The i n i t i a t e w i l l a l so r e c e i v e c e r t a i n i n s t r u c t i o n s as to the proper method of prayer before the domestic aru and the method o f s a c r i f i c e . A f t e r t h i s two week pe r iod i s over a l l o f the Olokun c u l t gathers - 153 -at the i n i t i a t e ' s house. A dance takes place before the a c t u a l ceremony. The o l d people present the k o l a and wine to the new member who w i l l be clothed i n white. The body w i l l a l s o be rubbed w i t h white chalk and a parrot feather placed i n the h a i r . The i n i t i a t e then produces the s a c r i -f i c i a l animals. Some leaves and chalk w i l l be placed i n a c e r t a i n spot i n the corner of the house. The ohenOlokun, before k i l l i n g the s a c r i f i c i a l animal, invokes the s p i r i t of Olokun to the a l t a r : Olokun dore Olokun dore '0 come down Olokun, hear and partake of the s a c r i f i c e . ' A f t e r the invo-c a t i o n , the s a c r i f i c e i s made. This i s followed by a feast of a l l the members of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r Olokun c u l t . This ceremony i s a response to the m a n i f e s t a t i o n and the 'presencing' of Olokun at the domestic s h r i n e . The s a c r i f i c e , then, releases 'part of the s p i r i t of Olokun' f o r residence at the domestic aru. The ehukpo i s the y e a r l y f e s t i v a l of thanksgiving to Olokun. Every Edo d i v i n i t y must have a y e a r l y f e s t i v a l . And Olokun i s no exception. A l l members of Olokun must pay t h e i r y e a r l y t r i b u t e . The ceremony follows the pat t e r n of the ugiOlokun. CHAPTER VI OGUN: THE ARBITER OF JUSTICE I . THE EDO REPRESENTATION OF OGUN Ogun i s the d i v i n i t y of i r o n . Al though Ogun i s served by a l l Edo ope ra t i ng w i t h i n the t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s ; s y s t e m , he i s served e s p e c i a l l y by i r o n and b rass - smi ths and, i n the o l d days, was the s p e c i a l pa t ron of w a r r i o r s and s p e c i a l i s t hun te r s . Ogun i s a l so the focus o f s p e c i a l c u l t s who serve him p r i m a r i l y but not e x c l u s i v e l y . A . OGUN AS HE IS REPRESENTED IN THE MYTHOLOGY This p a r t i c u l a r myth was r e l a t e d to me i n an i n t e r v i e w w i t h an ohenOgun. Ogun i s above a l l d i v i n i t i e s . Without Ogun the other d i v i n i t i e s cannot ea t . He occupies a conspicuous p lace among a l l o ther d i v i n i t i e s . That i s why when any other s a c r i f i c e i s made that Ogun must have the f i r s t par t of the o f f e r i n g . Osanobua has created a l l s p i r i t s and one day he b u i l t a c e r t a i n enclave fo r them to l i v e i n . At that t ime Ogun was the sma l l e s t c h i l d among the d i v i n i t i e s . Osanobua t es ted them a l l by suddenly p l a n t i n g a very b i g t ree i n a l a rge e n c l a v e . Osanobua s a i d , 'Who among a l l the d i v i n i t i e s w i l l be the f i r s t to hew the t r ee down?' A l l the d i v i n i t i e s attempted but f a i l e d . Ogun then decided to t r y , going w i t h the a i d of a heavy wind*. Ogun used the wind because he knew what was needed to 'defeat the t r e e . 1 La te r Ogun was hungry. The heavy wind s a i d , 'Don ' t be i n has t e , I w i l l he lp y o u . ' The wind s a t i s f i e d Ogun by b lowing the t r ee down. And Ogun threw the wind i n t o a nearby sea . A f t e r t h i s Osanobua was s a t i s f i e d that Ogun was able to meet h i s demands. From that day hencefor th Ogun was honoured because a l l o f the other d i v i n i t i e s had f a i l e d . Those d i v i n i t i e s present at the contes t were O v i a , Okhauha, Igbaron, Orhomo, Ikhokho, Eredo, Ake , O d i g g i , Obiemwen, Erevbu and Imene. - 155 -The main theme emerging from t h i s myth i s that Ogun i s b e l i e v e d to be the k i n g o f a l l d i v i n i t i e s under Osanobua and Olokun . Upon ask ing the ohen where Esu was dur ing the c o n t e s t , he r e p l i e d that i t was through E s u ' s i n f l uence that Ogun was able to ' g a i n success ' over that p a r t i c u l a r t r e e . Esu and Ogun had worked hand i n hand to achieve the success . B . OGUN AS HE IS REPRESENTED IN THE OGUN SONGS 1. Ogun o n i r e Ogun n i z i d e Ogun ayagboro, Ogun orh ievbare no mwanre. Ogun who h a i l s from I r e , Wi th Ogun one makes a farm, From whence one feeds . This song i s sung to i n s p i r e the s p i r i t o f ibgun to be present at the a r u . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Ogun has h i s o r i g i n i n I r e . He i s the one who i s p r i m a r i l y r e s p o n s i b l e for the food the Edo ea t , for i t i s imposs ib le to farm wi thout u s i n g a c u t l a s s . The Edo b e l i e v e , t h e r e f o r e , that they cou ld not s u r v i v e wi thout Ogun's a s s i s t a n c e . — " — / 2 . Ogun o rod ion E d i o n i k a r o , Ogun o rod ion kevbe, Olokun ya muebohia. Ogun o rod ion agahadukpon ^Aghabowa Ogun o r o d i o n . Ogun i s the f i r s t . Our ancestors know Ogun i s the f i r s t of a l l d i v i n i t i e s . Ogun supersedes Olokun . Without Ogun one cannot buy c l o t h , n e i t h e r can one b u i l d a house. - 156 -This song i s sung as a p r a i s e song to encourage Ogun to descend. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Ogun i s be ing e x a l t e d above a l l d i v i n i t i e s -even Olokun . The Edo dependence on Ogun i s again a s s e r t e d . I t i s w i t h money that the Edo buy the c l o t h that c lo thes them as w e l l as the z i n c for t h e i r r o o f i n g . The phrase 'our ancestors know that Ogun i s the f i r s t ' a s se r t s that Ogun has been served by past generat ions and there fore should not be neg lec ted now. 3. Iyaowa, Ogun o r i o d i o n itemwen avben Ogun orieme  Ogun rue se . Ete gha r i e aghiyobalore omoregbe • • • • omwan. Irogbe agan nomabie Ogun rue se . • • • • • • Ogun i s foremost . I had no w i f e nor c h i l d p r e v i o u s l y . I t i s Ogun who has helped me to have them. 0 I thank you Ogun for a l l these g i f t s . One w i l l not t o t a l l y remember the p a i n endured when one has had a sore that i s now h e a l e d . I t i s a c h i l d that i s the crown of l i f e . A c h i l d l e s s person i s loaded up w i t h p a i n f u l thoughts . I thank you again Ogun. . Th i s song has a r i s e n out of pe r sona l exper i ence , and i s sung to induce newcomers to f o l l o w Ogun. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : In t h i s song the ohen i s p r a i s i n g Ogun for what he has done for h i m . Ogun has helped him i n desperate (c i rcumstances . In the past he had suf fe red g r e a t l y ; now he has fo rgo t t en the past and i s en joying l i f e . Ogun i s be ing p r a i s e d for h e l p i n g him o b t a i n c h i l d r e n . 4. Vbawogun ruSeloghogun ikpon iyevben kevbe erhamwen. Ogun o l e ghimwen omo kevbe avben. • • • • There i s no assignment g iven to Ogun-.that he cannot - 157 -d i scharge wi thout success . Nothing i s imposs ib le w i t h Ogun. I thank my mother and f a t h e r - - i t i s Ogun who made i s p o s s i b l e fo r me to have i s s u e s . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Ogun i s b e l i e v e d to have power to a s s i s t the Edo i n va r ious ways. But he must be t r u s t e d before he w i l l c l e a r the way to success . The s inger o f t h i s song a t t r i b u t e s the c h i l d r e n he has to Ogun ' s power. 5 . Urese Ogun. 01 i r e Obo n i s i o k h e r h e obo me n i gha ro i t o gun. Ikedogha man ote bakua. I g h i t e vben avben r a  omo. Me a t i e r e Oviarobo Ogun rue se . • • • • • I thank you Ogun who comes from I r e . I t was one n a t i v e doctor who i s a ce l eb ra ted man by the name of Obonis iokhere who p r e d i c t e d that u n t i l I became a p r i e s t of Ogun that my des i r e s would not be g ran ted . I t was a f t e r becoming a p r i e s t of Ogun that I s t a r t e d to have i s s u e s . Before then I was l i v i n g a woeful l i f e . My name i s Ovia robo . This song r e f l e c t s a p a r t i c u l a r exper ience o f one i n d i v i d u a l . ; Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : This song r evea l s the c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p that e x i s t s between the d i v i n e r and the p r i e s t . The d i v i n e r (a l so p o p u l a r l y c a l l e d ' n a t i v e d o c t o r 1 ) r evea led that Ogun wanted him to be a p r i e s t . This song a l so shows that Ogun has power and that h i s d i c t a t e s cannot be i gno red . There i s an i r o n i c note i n t h i s song, for h i s fa ther worshipped Ovia and though O v i a ' s i n s t r u m e n t a l i t y h i s fa ther gained h i m . But where i s Ovia now? The p r i e s t i s p r e s e n t l y s e r v i n g Ogun. - 158 -6. Kpenogun, Ogun o l i r e . Obagha to kpere , Ewuakpe  no r ioba emwen omo evben avben Ogun o r h i iyobone  ighoghore ighoghore . • • • • 0! beat the drums fo r Ogun of I r e . May the k i n g r e i g n f o r e v e r . K ing Ewuakpe^of Benin once has no w i f e or i s s u e . I t was Ogun who made i t p o s s i b l e for him to have them. Beat the drum for Ogun! I am g l a d , I am g l a d . This p a r t i c u l a r song i s sung i n remembrance o f a p a r t i c u l a r event i n h i s t o r y . The p r i e s t t o l d me tha t every ohen i s r e q u i r e d to t e l l the h i s t o r i c a l back-ground of h i s d i v i n i t y . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : The purpose of t h i s song i s to show that s ince Ogun helped an Oba when he was despera te , how much more w i l l he be l i k e l y to he lp the commoner so lve h i s problems. 7. Kobo kobo nibadanuwa  No ba nobo nogbe. I s a l u t e a l l n a t i v e doctors and d i v i n e r s . Anyone who f a i l s to respec t and obey n a t i v e doctors and d i v i n e r s -may they be s h o r t l i v e d . P r a i s e be to n a t i v e doctors and d i v i n e r s for any s i c k person must consu l t them ( i n order to be h e a l e d ) . Th i s i s p r a i s e song: w h i l e we are p r a i s i n g Ogun, l e t us not forge t the n a t i v e - d o c t o r . They p lay a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n d i r e c t i n g needy people to Ogun. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Al though no th ing s p e c i f i c i s s a id about Ogun, i t i s understood tha t Ogun and the n a t i v e doctor and d i v i n e r work t oge the r . 1 K i n g Ewuakpe came to the Edo throne i n 1700 (Bradbury(^1967: 2). - 159 -8. U z e v b i v b i nakpenogun kpema no Ogun. Ogun agbamu. Gie g i r akpemogun. Beat the drum q u i c k l y for Ogun. Ogun the f e a r l e s s d i v i n i t y . Beat the drums q u i c k l y fo r Ogun, for Ogun needs quick a c t i o n . Th i s song i s sung to i n s p i r e the drummers to keep on drumming. Ogun's descent depends to a l a rge extent on the bea t ing of the drums, there fore the drummers are encouraged to cont inue u n t i l the d i v i n i t y descends. Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : A very important aspect of Ogun's nature i s r evea led i n t h i s song. Ogun i s b e l i e v e d to be a f u r i o u s , temperamental d i v i n i t y . Not o n l y does he descent q u i c k l y but he acts q u i c k l y . Therefore , eve ry th ing that i s done before the sh r ine must be done i n h a s t e . Ogun does not want any ' s l o w n e s s ' ; on ly quick a c t i o n i s a c c e p t a b l e . 9 . I r e r e nogunye. I r e r e nogunye I tuwaya n o t o t a . • - • • • Wado ikpeme. Iyare i y a r e . I thank a l l who are present here i n c l u d i n g the drummers. May you a l l l i v e l o n g . In the name of Ogun o f I r e , I thank a l l o f y o u . Th i s song was crea ted e s p e c i a l l y for my v i s i t to the s h r i n e . Informat ion about the d i v i n i t y : Nothing s p e c i f i c i s conveyed about Ogun. The p r i e s t i s t hank fu l to the drummers and d ismisses the congregat ion i n the name of Ogun. C . OGUN AS HE IS REPRESENTED BY THE OHENOGUN - 160 -1. Ogun's C o n t r o l over M e t a l One ohenOgun informed me that wi thout Ogun, the Edo ' c o u l d not pass through any r o a d . ' 'Money i s needed to pave one 's way i n l i f e - - a n d Ogun i s the d i v i n i t y who decides t h i s . ' He a l s o added that wi thou t money one cannot ma in ta in a c h i l d . The ohen went on to say that Ogun cont inues to a s s i s t a man r i g h t to h i s l a s t days . 'For i t i s w i t h a shovel that man i s b u r i e d . ' Summing up , Ogun p lays a very impor tan t •par t i n the l i v e s of the Edo as the guardian of m e t a l . 2 . Ogun's Power to Heal Apar t from the i r o n - a s s o c i a t i o n , Ogun has power to h e a l va r i ous k inds o f s i c k n e s s e s : lunacy , e p i l e p s y and other d i s e a s e s . One ohen informed me tha t many bar ren women had come to him and through the a c t i o n o f Ogun were able to c o n c e i v e . One o f the l e a d i n g ohenOgun i n Benin C i t y r an a ma te rn i ty c l i n i c through the s p i r i t of Ogun. F u r t h e r , he c la imed that many l u n a t i c s had been healed through Ogun' s power, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the cause of the lunacy was the e v i l s p i r i t s . Ogun he lps i n another way. With h i s ob jec t of c r e a t i o n (the c u t l a s s ) , leaves are ob ta ined to he lp the s i c k p a t i e n t . Even the i n j e c t i o n s g iven i n h o s p i t a l s are made w i t h a metal ins t rument . Ogun, t h e r e f o r e , has a par t i n modern t r e a t -ments as w e l l . 3 . Ogun's Power to Admin i s t e r Vengeance A number of ohen s a i d that Ogun's g rea tes t power i s h i s a b i l i t y to - 161 -admin i s te r vengeance. In a robbery case , fo r example, Ogun w i l l be sought to 'go and f i n d o u t . ' One case r e l a t e d to me by my informant i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f about Ogun's n a t u r e . My informant s a i d that 22 years ago h i s w i f e l e f t h i m . At that t ime the dowry was not pa id back. In the meantime the woman marr ied a g a i n . She bore four c h i l d r e n but they a l l d i e d . The deaths o f her c h i l d r e n l e d her to consu l t the d i v i n e r who s a i d that her problem was a t t r i b u t a b l e to Ogun. The d i v i n e r informed the woman that her t r o u b l e was r e l a t e d to her f a i l u r e to pay back the dowry so many years ago. She was t o l d that she had to b r i n g a t o r t o i s e , cock and a hen to her former husband's house, make a s a c r i f i c e and r e t u r n the money. My informant thanked Ogun fo r b r i n g i n g back h i s p roper ty a f t e r so many y e a r s . This p a r t i c u l a r case was g iven as proof tha t Ogun r e a l l y 'works ' on one; ;s b e h a l f . Twenty-two years ago he had consu l ted Ogun i n order to r e g a i n h i s l o s t p r o p e r t y . As the years went by he had g iven up a l l hope of r e -g a i n i n g the s t o l e n i t ems . He hadn ' t seen the woman for many y e a r s . But the d i v i n e r was able to l i n k h i s former w i f e ' s problem to the d i s r u p t i v e a c t i v i t y o f Ogun--and t h i s f i n a l l y l ed her to r e t u r n the dowry. Commenting on t h i s case , my informant s a i d that Ogun had a c t u a l l y s h i e l d e d t h i s woman from future e v i l . Accord ing to n a t i v e p r a c t i c e when Ogun wants to demonstrate someone's g u i l t , he causes the g u i l t y pa r ty to become s i c k . The q u i l t y one w i l l then confess by w a l k i n g about the market banging an i r o n gong (egogo) i n order to r e v e a l h i s / h e r g u i l t i n e s s . I haven ' t seen any cases of t h i s i n B e n i n . In the case of a motor acc iden t where some people are saved and one man l o s t , i t w i l l be known that Ogun has c la imed that pe rson ' s l i f e . At other times people w i l l commit an o f f ense . Ogun w i l l be d i sp l ea sed and w i l l be approached to punish the o f f ende r . - 162 -We can now make a number of genera l statements about the Edo r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of Ogun. L i k e the o ther d i v i n i t i e s , Ogun has r e c e i v e d h i s power d i r e c t l y from Osanobua. Next to Olokun i n power and a u t h o r i t y , Ogun's pr imary sphere o f i n f l uence i s to act as the a r b i t e r of j u s t i c e i n the Edo kingdom. H i s secondary f u n c t i o n i s to serve as a p ioneer d i v i n i t y to remove obs t ac l e s and open up the way for m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l p r o s p e r i t y for h i s wor sh ippe r s . We have a l so seen that anyth ing achieved through the i n s t r u m e n t a l i t y o f metal implements or ob jec t s i s a t t r i b u t e d to Ogun. Ogun i s b e l i e v e d to be a fu r ious d i v i n i t y capable o f d e s t r u c t i v e a c t s . I f Ogun i s n o t heeded, i t i s b e l i e v e d that he can be very ' w i l d . ' He i s the c h i l d o f Osanobua who i s b o l d , f e a r l e s s and outspoken. Other d i v i n i t i e s are dependent upon h i m . I t i s Ogun who makes the way smooth for the d i v i n i t i e s i n t h e i r s p i r i t u a l encounters w i t h men. An Edo proverb says : 'Any d i v i n i t y who despises Ogun, grass w i l l grow on h i s f a c e . ' Ogun i s b e l i e v e d to be omnipresent . However, he l o c a l i z e s h i m s e l f at the v a r i o u s shr ines i n Edo land . As one informant s u c c i n c t l y put i t : 'Ogun doesn ' t hear you i n the open s p a c e . ' And another informant s a i d : 'A war genera l needs a p lace to gather h i s a rmy. ' Ogun i s such a genera l and he r ece ives the p r a i s e and s u p p l i c a t i o n s of the Edo before the va r ious aru s ca t t e r ed throughout the Edo kingdom. Numerous ohen serve Ogun. There doesn ' t seem to be a h i e r a r c h y of p r i e s t s i n the Mid-West , a l though some ohen earn r e c o g n i t i o n as ou t s tand ing and powerful p r i e s t s . An ohen i s s e l e c t e d by the d i v i n i t y i n a manner s i m i l a r to Olokun . Once he i s chosen by the d i v i n i t y , he must undergo some i n s t r u c t i o n by t r a i n e d ohen. The ohenOgun may Jalso have a knowledge of he rbs , m e d i c i n a l charms of both a d e s t r u c t i v e and p r o t e c t i v e na tu re : to - 163 -prevent gun wounds, curse an enemy, w in a l o v e r , e t c . Some o f the obo (na t ive doc to rs ) i n Edoland may be second c l a s s ohenOgun. Women are f o r -bidden to be ohen of Ogun. The on ly women ohen are those s e r v i n g the gen t l e d i v i n i t y Olokun . There are two types of aruOgun: domestic and communal. Most t r a d i t i o n a l households have a domestic aru ( p a r t i c u l a r l y i f one of the r e s i d e n t s of the household i s a member of Ogun) where prayers are o f fe red from time to t i m e . These aru c o n s i s t o f a mud a l t a r adorned w i t h i r o n implements. In con t ra s t to the domestic sh r ines are the communal s h r i n e s . The aru i s enclosed i n a sma l l hut c o n t a i n i n g m e d i c i n a l p o t s , s k u l l s of p r e v i o u s l y s a c r i f i c e d animals suspended over the a l t a r . R a f i a i s s t rung across the ou t s i de of the sh r ine house to demarcate the s h r i n e . There are a number of moral requirements for any f o l l o w e r of Ogun. They must safeguard aga ins t s t e a l i n g , avo id a d u l t e r y , and avoid c r e a t i n g any d i s tu rbance to community s e c u r i t y . I f there are any d i f f e r e n c e s among members, the ohen w i l l s i t i n judgment over the ma t t e r . Bear ing f a l s e wi tness aga ins t f e l l o w members of Ogun i s a l so f o r b i d d e n . I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF OGUN A . THE DREAM-EXPERIENCE AS A MANIFESTATION OF OGUN The symbols which appear i n the dream-experience of the Edo and r e v e a l that Ogun i s t r y i n g to break i n t o t h e i r consciousness are t w o - f o l d : burn ing f i r e and metal o b j e c t s . The appearance o f these symbols w i l l then lead the subjec t o f the dream to consu l t a d i v i n e r who w i l l i n t e r p r e t the meaning of the symbols and t e l l h i s c l i e n t what a c t i o n i s demanded o f h i m . - 164 -Case 1 C M . dreamt tha t he saw a t r a i n c o n t a i n i n g many s o l d i e r s coming a long the t r a c k . The t r a i n was suddenly engulfed i n f i r e . C M . went to the d i v i n e r seeking an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h i s unusual dream. The d i v i n e r s a i d that Ogun war warning him that he should s a c r i f i c e to Ogun i n order to avoid an a c c i d e n t . B . THE POSSESSION-EXPERIENCE AS A MANIFESTATION OF OGUN What fo l l ows i s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the ugiOgun. Since the main focus o f the ugiOgun, as w i t h the ug iO lokun , i s the descent of the d i v i n i t y upon the ohen, I have chosen to i nc lude the d e s c r i p t i o n of the ugiOgun i n t h i s s e c t i o n on the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Ogun. I t should be n o t e d , however, tha t a number of elements i n the ceremony seek to communicate va r ious messages to Ogun. For example, i f Ogun 'needs ' a s a c r i f i c e i t w i l l be'Joffered dur ing the ugiOgun. Thus the ceremony i t s e l f f i nds ac to r and d i v i n i t y i n dynamic i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p . Ogun Shr ine and Ceremonial Area o O Sword bearer Inner Courfya rd Shrine women >->. usinq+he ^ ukuse O o o Diagram 4 - 165 -The ceremony begins w i t h the ohen seated at the f ron t of the sh r ine h o l d i n g the eben. Two women dance i n f ron t o f the s h r i n e , f a c i n g one another . The purpose o f the p r e l i m i n a r y dancing and drumming i s to c a l l Ogun down on the ohen. At f i r s t the p r i e s t i s s i t t i n g ca lmly i n f ront o f the s h r i n e , but s l o w l y he begins to sway back and f o r t h w i t h the drumming c o n t i n u i n g . He begins to bob up and down as the women cont inue to dance before the ohen. Gongs are handed to him w h i l e h i s a s s i s t a n t s , seated bes ide h im, hand him metal gongs (egogo) and s p r i n k l e n a t i v e cha lk around the s h r i n e . Some cha lk i s a l so rubbed on the face of the ohen. Suddenly the dancing s t o p s . At t h i s po in t i t i s b e l i e v e d that Ogun has descended upon the ohen. The ohen now speaks to h i s congregat ion t e l l i n g them that Ogun doesn ' t want any c h i l d r e n to be s i c k nor does he want any p i c t u r e s t aken . He t e l l s the congrega t ion that Ogun paves the way fo r p r o g r e s s . Without h im , the b u i l d i n g of homes i s i m p o s s i b l e . Going on , the ohenOgun s ta tes that Ogun i s the inventor o f a l l machines. He reassures the c u l t that when the azen ea t , Ogun feeds them ( i n other words, there i s no need to fear them i f you are s e r v i n g Ogun). He con-cludes by saying that i f any r i v e r i s too deep,' Ogun makes i t easy to cross and that whenever there i s a war, Ogun i s the cause of i t . A f t e r making these s ta tements , the ohen greets the people : Wakoyo. He says that i f anyone i s too poor or too r i c h i t i s through Ogun. Speaking to the e l d e r s , the ohen exhorts them to be a t t e n t i v e because Osanobua has empowered Ogun to be the leader of a l l d i v i n i t i e s . The ohen backs up h i s command to the e lde r s by n o t i n g that i t i s Ogun who causes death through the d r i v e r s of v a r i o u s c a r s . Next the ohen begins to s i n g : Daghome, daghome. Th i s i s a war song - 166 -sung by the members of the Federa l Army. A l l of the members j o i n i n the s i n g i n g of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r song. As he s ings the ohen begins to shake h i s head, o c c a s i o n a l l y s m i l i n g . He then says: Iyeghede tuwa. ' I s a lu t e you wi sh the Ighede drum. ' The ohen then r a i s e s h i s hand to stop the dance, s t a t i n g that he has respec t for a l l ohen: Kobonimade nuwa, nomaduaogunnugungbe. 'Ogun must be recognized by a l l d i v i n e r s . Any d i v i n e r who does not r ecogn ize Ogun w i l l be k i l l e d . ' The ohen r i s e s and s t a t e s : 'No other power has a wider chest than Ogun. Even the wizards and wi tches are under him because he feeds them a l l . Ogun uses h i s chest i n bea t ing the drums. ' This p a r t i c u l a r statement p r a i s e s Ogun fo r h i s bo ldness , the Edo id iom for boldness be ing 'wide c h e s t . ' A f t e r these statements o f d o c t r i n e , the ohen c i r c l e s the f l o o r as the drums cont inue to bea t . The s p i r i t o f Ogun has now f u l l y descended upon the ohen. Jumping up and down, he h i t s h i s chest f a s t e r and f a s t e r ; he h i t s h i s head w i t h the egogo, not appearing to f e e l the e f f e c t o f t h i s . Suddenly he stops w i t h h i s head bobbing s l i g h t l y , a l though the drumming and s i n g i n g c o n t i n u e s . A l l pause momentarily to p r a i s e Ogun. Next the ohen s e l e c t s one boy from the congrega t ion . I t i s b e l i e v e d that the s p i r i t o f Ogun has now taken c o n t r o l of the- ohen's f a c u l t i e s ; that i t i s the d i v i n i t y speaking to the assembled members o f Ogun. The ohen t e l l s the boy tha t he should s a c r i f i c e a cocoanut and a ha l f - cooked yam to Esu because 'bad s p i r i t s ' have been p l o t t i n g to k i l l the boy . The ohen informs the c u l t tha t i n seven days the boy would have been k i l l e d . The yam should on ly be ha l f - cooked and par t o f i t should be g iven to E s u . At t h i s p r e c i s e moment a woman steps out from the dancers and confirms the whole i n c i d e n t . She says tha t s i x days ago her husband - 167 -had consu l t ed the d i v i n e r and was ordered to k i l l three goats to the 'bad s p i r i t s ' i n order to dismember the c h i l d r e n . The ohen r e p l i e s t e l l i n g the woman that Ogun w i l l waive a l l o f t h i s . A f t e r t h i s event , the ohen paces around the f l o o r and informs the c u l t that 201 s p i r i t s came to him but on ly 100 were able to dance w i t h h i m . He then conveys fu r the r i n fo rma t ion about Ogun to the c u l t . He says that a person who i s underfed w i l l not work ve ry w e l l . Without hard work, one cannot o b t a i n food . Accord ing to the ohen, Europeans know the va lue of Ogun because they have p i l o t s and many engineers and are thus l i f t e d above A f r i c a n s by Ogun. The ohen shakes h i s gong i n the d i r e c t i o n o f one of the women present at the ceremony. She steps out o f the l i n e and kneels down. The i n f o r -mation conveyed to her i s tha t she should not be too quick i n a c q u i r i n g w e a l t h . Then the ohen again begins to knock h i s head w i t h the gongs b e a t i n g h i s chest w h i l e jumping up and down. The drumming s t a r t s again and the ohen speaks to another woman. He turns to the drummers and t e l l s them to beat the drums c o n t i n u o u s l y . At t h i s po in t i n the ugiOgun, a man comes to the back of the cour t -yard and the p r i e s t wants to know the reason for h i s coming. The man says tha t he has come to seek r e d r e s s . Before t u r n i n g h i s f u l l a t t e n t i o n to t h i s man, the ohen dances again a f t e r charg ing an o l d man up near the f ron t o f the cour tya rd a s h i l l i n g . Money i s a l so demanded o f me. There i s genera l dancing as the money i s taken to the ohen who i s now s w i r l i n g round and round, hopping on one foot as w e l l as h i t t i n g h i s head w i t h the egogo. A l l o f the c u l t r i s e to dance w i t h the ohen. This appeared to me - 168 -to be the most e c s t a t i c moment i n the whole ceremony. The woman h o l d i n g the ukuse (beaded calabash) stood and moved i n around the ohen. Word was brought to me that Ogun had accepted my g i f t . The ohen turned to me and informed me that I should take p r ecau t ion as t h i s i s a time of year when many th ieves are l o o s e . He then t o l d me tha t Ogun goes everywhere and has power to go through the ohen fo fo recas t a n y t h i n g . A f t e r t h i s conve r sa t i on w i t h me, h i s f u l l a t t e n t i o n was turned to the man who had j u s t entered the room. Th i s aspect o f the ceremony i s important because the ohen gave the impress ion tha t Ogun had g i v e n him superna tu ra l i n s i g h t i n t o the nature of the man's predicament . The ohen f i r s t t e l l s the man that he has come on b e h a l f of h i s son who had been a f f ec t ed men ta l ly due to the e v i l a c t i o n o f h i s second w i f e . Apparen t ly the man's second w i f e wanted to have her own son to be the so le i n h e r i t o r o f the f a t h e r ' s p r o p e r t y . The ohen p r e d i c t e d that i t was h i s second w i f e who was the cause of the problem; that he had l o s t h i s b i c y c l e and other b e l o n g i n g s ; that the s t ranger was here because the d i v i n e r t o l d him to come. The s t ranger confirms the ohen's statements and kneels begging the 'god o f i r o n ' to he lp h i m . The ohen informs the s t ranger that Ogun w i l l he lp him al though Ogun i s annoyed w i t h the man for l e a v i n g h i s case so l o n g . He should have come to Ogun e a r l i e r . The ohen then t e l l s the man that i t i s the azen who have been h i n d e r i n g h i s p rog re s s . But Ogun i s going to r e l ea se him s ince Ogun can r e l e a s e those t i e d by e v i l s p i r i t s . The ohen advises the man tha t Ogun i s on ly i n t e r e s t e d i n those who are b r a v e . Ogun does not l i k e l a z i n e s s or d isobedience and i s annoyed w i t h him for h i s l a t e a r r i v a l before the s h r i n e . But Ogun w i l l he lp h i m . - 169 -Ogun i s b e l i e v e d to be speaking to t h i s man through the ohen. The second w i f e has been used by the azen as the channel of e v i l a c t i o n . And i n order to a l l e v i a t e h i s situation:"'he should make a s a c r i f i c e to Esu o f one he-goat , an empty sack c o n t a i n i n g some e d i b l e th ings and an egg. These items were to be dumped i n the r i v e r near an a n t h i l l c lo se to the stream on the man's p r o p e r t y . My informant t o l d me tha t the ohen had never seen the man's p r o p e r t y , but had been g iven t h i s superna tu ra l i n -s i g h t through Ogun. The ohen a l s o advises the man to go to a mango t ree on h i s farm and pray there to Ogun. The man was assured by the ohen tha t Ogun would punish the woman, but he was warned that he should not take any 'bad money, ' d r i n k any palm wine , take any k o l a or smoke a c i g a r e t t e o f fe red to him by any persons from the door next to h i m . The reason g iven by the ohen was that the enemy wants to 'pass through a f r i e n d next door to h i m . ' F i n a l l y a genera l song i s sung and the ceremony was o v e r . Summarizing some of the elements of t h i s ceremony, we can f i r s t say tha t the ac to r s b e l i e v e that the main purpose of the ceremony i s to per -suade Ogun to descend. Th i s i s induced by the drumming and dancing o f the members who are p a r t i c i p a t i n g a c t i v e l y i n the ceremony. When Ogun des-cends, the ohen then becomes the media of communication between d i v i n i t y and man. Previous to the descent , the ohen had conveyed in fo rma t ion to the c u l t but i t was in fo rmat ion o f a d o c t r i n a l nature and not i n fo rma t ion r e l a t e d to the l i f e - s i t u a t i o n s of the members. I t should be noted tha t the ohen spoke to a number of the c u l t , exho r t i ng and warning of danger to come. The in fo rma t ion revea led was of a p rophe t i c na tu r e , i . e . the ohen warned o f impending danger. In one case , the woman seemed to conf i rm - 170 -the ohen's p r e d i c t i o n . The case of the s t ranger i s an i n t e r e s t i n g one because i t i l l u s t r a t e s a common Edo b e l i e f : that the ohen and d i v i n e r have the a b i l i t y to 'see i n t o the f u t u r e . ' There i s s c a r c e l y an Edo who would deny that they have these s p e c i a l a b i l i t i e s . L i k e the other d i v i n i t i e s , Ogun i s a l s o honoured i n a y e a r l y ehukpo. The genera l p a t t e r n of the ehukpo i s s i m i l a r to the ugiOgun; the main d i f f e r e n c e be ing that a s a c r i f i c e i s always o f fe red at the ehukpo whereas t h i s i s not the case at the ugiOgun. C . THE EVENT AS A MANIFESTATION OF OGUN Al though I have a l ready touched on some of the events which are i n t e r p r e t e d as the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f Ogun, I w i l l t r y to summarize them b r i e f l y . When we are c o n s i d e r i n g j u s t how Ogun manifests h i m s e l f through v a r i o u s events , i t i s important to s t a t e once aga in that the d i v i n e r i s the one who w i l l i n t e r p r e t the v a r i o u s events as be ing the m a n i f e s t a t i o n ° f Ogun. L i k e a l l d i v i n i t i e s Ogun manifests h i m s e l f to the Edo by caus ing v a r i o u s types o f s i c k n e s s . The most common event a s soc i a t ed w i t h Ogun i s the a c c i d e n t - - p a r t i c u l a r l y those acc iden t s a s soc i a t ed w i t h me ta l : motor a c c i d e n t s , shoo t ings , k n i f i n g s , e t c . This type of acc iden t shows that Ogun i s annoyed w i t h the Edo. Anyth ing that i s used by the Edo to do v i o l e n c e i s r e l a t e d to the i n f l u e n c e of Ogun. One informant exp la ined the present d i f f i c u l t y i n N i g e r i a i n terms of Ogun' s anger and unhappiness w i t h the c o r r u p t i o n i n the c o u n t r y . I I I . THE EDO RESPONSE TO OGUN There are a number of f ac to r s m o t i v a t i n g the Edo i n t h e i r response - 171 -to Ogun. The Edo know what Ogun i s capable of doing fo r them and he i s used i n s t r u m e n t a l l y to achieve p a r t i c u l a r ends. However, t h i s i s not a one-s ided r e l a t i o n s h i p because the Edo know that Ogun ac ts f u r i o u s l y and tha t i f he i s not s a t i s f i e d by s a c r i f i c e and proper behav iour , h i s fury may be d i r e c t e d upon them. I n d i v i d u a l Edo come before Ogun to have him des t roy or c rea te confus ion i n t h e i r de t r ac to r s or to cause a 'bad s i t u a t i o n ' fo r t h e i r enemy who has s t o l e n some o f t h e i r p r o p e r t y . In s i t u a t i o n s such as these , the ac to r i s conscious o f lo s s and s ta tes e x p l i c i t l y what he wants Ogun to a c h i e v e . I was t o l d by one informant that one must not l i e to any d i v i n i t y or one ' s d e s i r e for revenge w i l l b a c k f i r e . The Edo b e l i e v e tha t Ogun, due to h i s ^ i m p a r t i a l i t y , makes a thorough i n v e s t i g a t i o n before seeking revenge. Another f ac to r m o t i v a t i n g the Edo to approach Ogun i s t h e i r d e s i r e to know the reason for t h e i r d i s t r e s s f u l c o n d i t i o n . For example, a woman who has been hav ing cons ide rab l e problems w i t h her concep t ion might seek Ogun's p r o t e c t i o n or a s s i s t a n c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the woman's problem has been d i v i n e d as the r e s u l t of the a c t i v i t y o f Esu or the azen . Other d i s t r e s s f u l s i t u a t i o n s might be a d e c l i n i n g tirade or t roub led dreams. C o l l e c t i v e l y , the Edo come before Ogun to p r a i s e him for a c t i v i t y on t h e i r b e h a l f . The ugiOgun provides them w i t h the oppor tun i ty to express t h e i r thankfulness i n a f o r m a l , r i t u a l i z e d manner. In c o n c l u s i o n , then , whether or not the i n d i v i d u a l Edo knows e x a c t l y what the source of h i s problem i s matters l i t t l e . Ogun i s the a r b i t e r of j u s t i c e who i s communicated w i t h i n order to c l e a r away obs tac les which are b e l i e v e d to be b l o c k i n g a f u l l , s a t i s f a c t o r y l i f e . - 172 -. A . SACRIFICE AS RESPONSE TO OGUN The e s s e n t i a l means of communication w i t h Ogun i s through s a c r i f i c e . Other elements such as dancing and prayer w i l l be commented on l a t e r . L i k e the o ther d i v i n i t i e s , Ogun p re fe r s c e r t a i n a n i m a l s . In Ogun's case , i t i s the dog. One ohenOgun informed me that i f one wants to get a message through to Ogun q u i c k l y , the best means of doing i t i s to o f f e r Ogun a dog. There- are o ther items used i n s a c r i f i c e to Ogun: t o r t o i s e , cock, s n a i l , obobo, o i l and i r o n implements. S a c r i f i c e to Ogun f o l l o w s a very s t r i c t p a t t e r n . The ohen enters the aru and s p r i n k l e s cha lk on the i n s i d e o f the sh r ine and r i n g s the gongs to g a i n the a t t e n t i o n of the d i v i n i t y . He then p rays : Ogun o n i r e , tuore nudor ievbaye , Ido rue bavbengbemwen » • • Kevbe omo odigho vbe odo mo me Simwin emwanhia no dogun mwen dugie r u e . Ogun who h a i l s from I r e , descend to take the o f f e r i n g I 'm making to y o u . I come to o f f e r t h i s s a c r i f i c e to you on b e h a l f of myself and c h i l d r e n . Open the gate of money and c h i l d r e n for me. Safeguard the l i f e o f the people gathered to he lp me dur ing t h i s c e l e b r a t i o n . Th i s prayer v a r i e s accord ing to the s u p p l i c a n t ' s need. I t should a l so be noted that the ohen w i l l s a c r i f i c e on b e h a l f of the s u p p l i c a n t , the nature of the s a c r i f i c i a l items v a r y i n g accord ing to the d i v i n e r ' s recommendations. A f t e r t h i s p r a y e r , the ohen s p r i n k l e s some more cha lk around the s h r i n e . Four ko lanu t s are p laced on a p l a t e , and then taken and h e l d over - 173 -the s h r i n e . Some feathers are taken from the cock and p laced at the foot o f the s h r i n e . The feet o f the cock are u n t i e d , the k o l a nuts taken and broken i n t o four p ieces before be ing d i s p l a y e d . The ohen d i v i n e s w i t h the k o l a s a y i n g : 'The k o l a must speak for what he asks to be done . ' The k o l a i s d i s p l a y e d seven times on the f l o o r of the s h r i n e . Another prayer i s o f f e r e d : Ogun zevbe rue r e . • • • Ogun, take your k o l a and accept what o f f e r i n g I 'm making to y o u . I f the K o l a says ' n o , ' there must be something added. Th i s cou ld mean f i n d i n g another i tem to o f f e r to Ogun bes ides the present one. The core of the k o l a i s p laced on the a l t a r which i s s a i d by the p r i e s t to be for Osanobua. Then the broken K o l a i s passed to each of the ohen's a s s i s t a n t s who par take of i t . Another prayer i s made and the remain ing b i t s of k o l a are thrown on the sh r ine by the a s s i s t a n t s of the ohen. At t h i s p o i n t a horn i s blown i n v o k i n g the d i v i n i t y . The cock i s taken i n hand by the ohen. F i r s t he throws some of the c o c k ' s feathers around the s h r i n e , then he k i l l s the cock wi thou t a c u t l a s s , b reak ing the neck w i t h h i s hand. Blood i s s p r i n k l e d on the a r u . I t i s impera t ive that the cock be k i l l e d q u i c k l y as Ogun demands quick a c t i o n . I was t o l d that par t of the ohen's t r a i n i n g i s l e a r n i n g how to wr ing the c o c k ' s neck q u i c k l y . The s p r i n k l i n g o f the b lood i s the focus o f the s a c r i f i c e . A f t e r t h i s i s completed, the ceremony i s almost f i n i s h e d . More cha lk i s s p r i n k -l e d around the sh r ine and kaila nuts are d i s t r i b u t e d to those who have - 174 -gathered ou t s i de the s h r i n e . A l i b a t i o n of g i n i s s p i l l e d on the a l t a r and a prayer repeated (a r e p e t i t i o n o f the f i r s t prayer o f fe red to Ogun). When asked why he poured g i n on the s h r i n e , the ohen t o l d me tha t i t i s Ogun's d r i n k . Thec"ceremony;is brought to a c l o s e w i t h a l i b a t i o n to Esu who i s commonly b e l i e v e d to work hand i n hand w i t h Ogun. Case Studies i n S a c r i f i c e s made to Ogun For a n a l y t i c a l purposes I have d i v i d e d the s a c r i f i c e s i n t o three c a t e g o r i e s : v o t i v e , t hanksg iv ing and p r o p i t i a t i o n . 1. V o t i v e S a c r i f i c e s  Case 1 M r . I . 0 . of E v b o r i a r i e V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one 2 t o r t o i s e , and one cock . Hisypurpose was to persuade Ogun to obs t ruc t the w i t c h who had been d i s t u r b i n g h i s s leep every n i g h t . Ogun can do t h i s f o r , g e n e r a l l y he i s a remover o f o b s t a c l e s . Case 2 M r . I . 0 . o f Ugbogui V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one cock , some c o w r i e s , roas ted yam, o i l and one t o r t o i s e . H i s purpose was to persuade Ogun to obs t ruc t the w i t c h who was d i s t u r b i n g h i s s l e e p . One of the ways Ogun obs t ruc t s the a c t i v i t y of a w i t c h i s through v i o l e n t murder. - 175 -Case 3 M r . E . I . o f Iguosa la V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one dog, one t o r t o i s e , some k o l a nuts and c o w r i e s . H i s purpose was to persuade Ogun to obs t ruc t the w i t c h who had caused the abnormal development of h i s w i f e ' s f o e t u s . Case 4 M r . I . 0 . o f Ugbogui made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h c o w r i e s , o i l , roas ted yam, t o r t o i s e and a cock . H i s purpose was to persuade Ogun to obs t ruc t the w i t c h who f requen t ly caused h i s w i f e to undergo i r r e g u l a r mens t rua t ion . M r . T. 0 . f i r s t approached the d i v i n e r who r e l a t e d the woman's problem to w i t c h c r a f t a c t i v i t y . The d i v i n e r then t o l d M r . I . 0 . to approach Ogun to c l e a r away t h i s p a r t i c u l a r t r o u b l e . Case 5 M r . I . 0 . o f Ogbesasa S t r ee t i n Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one cock and one t o r t o i s e . H i s purpose was to o b s t r u c t the w i t c h who had caused h i s t r anspor t t rade to decrease . He promised to g ive Ogun one ram and a dog i f h i s d e s i r e was g ran ted . The o b s t a c l e M r . I . 0 . faced here was the lo s s i n h i s t r anspo r t b u s i n e s s . He approached a d i v i n e r who t o l d him tha t he was a v i c t i m o f w i t c h c r a f t a c t i v i t y . He devined that Ogun should be approached for a s s i s t a n c e . He was to make a f i r s t o f f e r i n g to be fo l lowed by a fu r the r s a c r i f i c e i f h i s w i s h was g ran ted . My informant t o l d me that the w i t c h confessed and d ied a very p a i n f u l death on a bush p a t h . I d o n ' t know i f the business r ecove red . Case 6 M r . 0 . U . o f Ben in C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one dog and - 176 -one t o r t o i s e . H i s purpose was to persuade Ogun to k i l l the man who had committed a d u l t e r y w i t h h i s w i f e , but had refused to perform the t r a d i -t i o n a l ceremony of appeasing h i s departed f a t h e r ' s s p i r i t w i t h one goat and some k o l a n u t s . M r . 0 . U . had approached the g u i l t y pa r ty r eques t i ng tha t he perform the ceremony. The a d u l t e r e r refused and t h i s l e d 0 . U . to seek the a i d o f Ogun for r e t r i b u t i v e purposes . Case 7 M r . 0 . E . of Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one b l a c k c h i c k e n , one roas ted yam and o i l . His purpose was to k i l l the t h i e f who s t o l e h i s goat which he had t i e d i n h i s compound i n t end ing to o f f e r i t to h i s erha du r ing the ,-Eho f e s t i v a l . He approached Ogun wi thout con-s u l t i n g a d i v i n e r as he was a member of the Ogun c u l t . 2 . Thanksg iv ing S a c r i f i c e s  Case 8 M r . I . E . of Ova V i l l a g e near Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one ram, one cock, a t o r t o i s e , a dog, obobo, some cowries and roas ted yam mixed w i t h o i l . H i s purpose was to thank Ogun for d e t e c t i n g and k i l l i n g the azen who had been d i v i n e d as r e s p o n s i b l e fo r the frequent mi sca r r i ages o f h i s w i f e . The w i t c h confessed before her death that Ogun was going to k i l l her s i nce she was r e s p o n s i b l e for p reven t ing the man's w i fe from c o n c e i v i n g . Case 9 M r . E . E . o f Evbokuden V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun o f one cock, some c o w r i e s , one t o r t o i s e , o i l , ko lanu t s and one dog. His purpose was to - 177 -thank Ogun fo r enab l ing h i s son to win a case of the f t which had landed him i n the m a g i s t r a t e ' s c o u r t . The fa ther made the s a c r i f i c e on the son ' s b e h a l f as the f u l f i l l m e n t of a promise . In cour t cases , the f i r s t appeal to Ogun i s through p r a y e r . I f the wish i s g ran ted , then a t h a n k s g i v i n g s a c r i f i c e i s made to Ogun. Case 10 M r . 0 . U . o f Ubine V i l l a g e s a c r i f i c e d to Ogun w i t h one dog, one t o r t o i s e , some c o w r i e s , cha lk and a p iece o f red c l o t h . H i s purpose was to thank Ogun fo r h e l p i n g him recover from the c lu t ches of a w i t c h who had been undermining h i s progress i n h i s t r a d e . The w i t c h confessed at her death that Ogun was going to k i l l her for her wickedness . M r . 0 . U . ' s o b s t a c l e to s u c c e s s f u l l i v i n g was h i s d e c l i n i n g t r a d e . Case 11 M r . 0 . I . o f Utekon V i l l a g e s a c r i f i c e d to Ogun w i t h a dog, t o r t o i s e and some k o l a n u t s . H i s purpose was to thank Ogun dur ing the y e a r l y s a c r i -f i c e to Ogun. 3 . P r o p i t i a t i o n S a c r i f i c e s  Case 12 M r . 0 . U . of Benin made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one dog, one roas ted yam, o i l and some c o w r i e s . H i s purpose was to ward o f f any dan-ger on h i s way to Lagos as he was a t r ader who had great d i s t ances to t r a v e l . H i s problem was that he had been i nvo lved i n s e v e r a l motor a c c i d e n t s . Th i s l e d him to consu l t the d i v i n e r who s a i d that he should appease Ogun. - 178 -Case 13 M r s . 0 . E . made a s a c r i f i c e to Ogun w i t h one cock . Her purpose was to save her sons from any motor a c c i d e n t . Previous to the s a c r i f i c e some members of the f ami ly had been i n j u r e d . D e s i r i n g to know the cause o f the a c c i d e n t s , she d i scovered through the d i v i n e r that Ogun needed something from h e r . Other s a c r i f i c e s were a l so made to Orunmila and E s u . B . ELEMENTS IN THE UGIOGUN VIEWED AS RESPONSE TO OGUN I have mentioned that there are other elements that could be viewed as a response to Ogun's m a n i f e s t a t i o n and presence . Prayer i s o f f e red to Ogun r e g u l a r l y by h i s f o l l o w e r s . I f an Edo i s a member o f the Ogun c u l t , then he w i l l pray every morning before h i s domestic s h r i n e , a sk ing for genera l p r o t e c t i o n throughout the day, and b l e s s i n g upon h i s f a m i l y . When an Edo i s conscious w i t h i n h i m s e l f o f a s p e c i a l need, he w i l l come before Ogun to he lp him overcome h i s problem. In case 9 , fo r example, we saw how M r . E . E . f i r s t prayed fo r a p a r t i c u l a r end and a f t e r i t was g ran ted , o f f e r e d a t h a n k s g i v i n g s a c r i f i c e . However, the s a c r i f i c e to Ogun i s u s u a l l y mot ivated by a t r i p to the d i v i n e r who i n d i c a t e s what Ogun i s i n need o f i n order to get him to act on one ' s b e h a l f . And i t i s common for the s u p p l i c a n t to o f f e r one s a c r i f i c e w i t h the promise o f another to f o l l o w i f the request i s g r an t ed . We have a l so seen tha t prayer i s an i n t e g r a l pa r t o f the a c t u a l s a c r i f i c i a l p r o c e s s . The.ohen o f f e r i n g the prayer does not adopt what Western man b e l i e v e s i s a p r a y e r f u l pos tu re , but u t t e r s words to Ogun i n the course o f h i s r i t u a l d u t i e s . Wi th s i n g i n g the Edo honour Ogun; w i t h the dance and drumming they communicate t h e i r d e s i r e to - 179 -i n v i t e him i n t o t h e i r m i d s t . F i n a l l y , by c a r r y i n g out the d i c t a t e s o f the ohen, b e l i e v e d by Ogun's f o l l o w e r s to be the mouthpiece o f Ogun, the Edo respons to Ogun by obeying moral r u l e s , conceived o f as o r i g i n a t i n g i n the purposes of the d i v i n i t y . CHAPTER V I I ESU: THE DESTRUCTIVE ENEMY OF OSANOBUA AND MAN I . THE EDO REPRESENTATION OF ESU A . ESU AS HE IS REPRESENTED IN THE MYTHOLOGY Accord ing to the venerable Edo h i s t o r i a n J . Egharevba, Esu i s the premier o f the next w o r l d ( e r imwin) ; w i t h power equal to Osanobua, the c r e a t o r . Erimwin and agbon were d i v i d e d between Osanobua and Esu and because of t h i s confus ion Esu caused people to fear him more than Osano-bua . Accord ing to Egharevba, Esu i s e v i l , caus ing death and war . M r . egharevba r e l a t e d the f o l l o w i n g myth. Orunmila had a s l ave who was very poor at a c e r t a i n t i m e . He t r i e d h i s best and bought a s l ave to he lp h i m . He d i d not t e l l Esu who remained, q u i e t . Esu went i n the n igh t and k i l l e d the s l a v e . The next morning Orunmila began to lament b i t t e r l y over the death of h i s s l a v e . He had no one to he lp him al though people d i d come to console h i m . F i n a l l y Orunmila spoke to Esu and found out that he wanted a goa t . Esu took the dead s l ave o f Orunmila and dressed him up as a man. He made the s l ave s i t on a s t o o l . Every market person who passed sa lu t ed the s l ave not r e a l i z i n g that he was dead. A f t e r some time one very r i c h woman named Ighu came by c a r r y i n g many goa t s . Ighu sa lu t ed the s l a v e and began to beg Esu for the a s s i s t a n c e of the s l a v e . Esu agreed to ca r ry the dead s l ave for h e r , but the woman i n s i s t e d on c a r r y i n g him h e r s e l f . She f i n a l l y won and c a r r i e d the s l ave to Orun  m i l a who saw the woman and asked her to marry h i m . Orunmila thanked Esu warmly fo r h i s kindness and noble deed. Ever s i n c e Esu has never f a i l e d to consu l t Orunmila on any p o i n t . See J . Egharevba. A Short H i s t o r y o f B e n i n . Ibadan: U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1953. - 181 -A comment on Orunmila i s necessary h e r e . Idowu w r i t i n g i n Olodumare, God i n Yoruba B e l i e f (1962: 80) s t a t e s : The baba ' lawo ( p r i e s t s ) u s u a l l y h o l d the v iew that Esu was crea ted to be the r i gh t -hand d i v i n i t y to Orunmi la . I t i s h i s duty to run errands for Orunmi la ; he must be always i n attendance upon him and act under h i s o r d e r s . . . i t i s the duty o f Esu to b r i n g some ca l ami ty by way o f punishment upon the r e c a l c i t r a n t . The Edo do not b e l i e v e that Esu was crea ted to be the r i g h t - h a n d d i v i n i t y o f Orunmila ' . Al though the Edo b e l i e f i n Esu p a r a l l e l s the Yoruba b e l i e f on some po in t s there i s a d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s to the Edo concept . The Edo concep tua l i z e Esu l e s s as a t r i c k s t e r and more as the arch-enemy of Osanobua. However, s i nce the Edo t r ace t h e i r o r i g i n to I fe and have a deep sense o f c u l t u r a l a f f i n i t y w i t h the Yoruba , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g tha t Egharevba makes re ference to Orunmila i n t h i s myth. He i s s imply express ing tha t aspect of Esu ' s cha rac te r which i s h e l d i n common by both the Yoruba and Edo. The Erhamwoisa Myth In t h i s myth Esu i s desc r ibed as be ing wickedjand t roublesome. In the myth there i s a contes t between the d i v i n i t i e s Og iuwu, Olokun , E h i and Esu w i t h Olokun w i n n i n g . Esu i s extremely annoyed at Olokun ' s success . This leads to h i s estrangement from Osanobua. Subsequently whenever Osanobua c a l l e d a meeting of h i s c h i l d r e n Esu would adamantly refuse to a t t e n d , choosing to remain on the ou t s i de i n s t e a d . The Edo say that t h i s i s the reason for the presence of aruEsu ou t s i de the main entrance to t h e i r compounds. - 182 -B . ESU AS HE IS GENERALLY REPRESENTED BY THE EDO The Edo b e l i e v e that Osanobua has c rea ted Esu to dec la re war and" fo r genera l d e s t r u c t i v e du ty . He i s the arch enemy of Osanobua, the a n t i -t h e s i s of goodness. The Edo say: 'Esu waniren ya ghare o to to Osanobua • • r engh iyad ie r imwin erhenya. ' 'Esu chooses to be i n ' h e l l ' r a t he r than serve Osanobua. ' Esu i s b e l i e v e d to be very b l a c k and u g l y . He wanders up and down, r e s t l e s s and d e s t r u c t i v e . An i l l u s t r a t i o n of E s u ' s d e s t r u c t i v e nature occur red dur ing my o b s e r v a t i o n of the ugiOgun. The ohenOgun, dur ing h i s possess ion by d i v i n i t y , t o l d one woman tha t Esu was going to k i l l her c h i l d ; tha t un less she made a s a c r i f i c e to Esu w i t h i n seven days her c h i l d would d i e . Since Osanobua's ac t ions are above blame, Esu i s b e l i e v e d to be one of the causes o f e v i l , a long w i t h Ogun and the azen . The main d i f f e r e n c e between the a c t i o n s of Esu and Ogun i s tha t Ogun u s u a l l y des t roys w i t h a purpose (vengeance fo r an unjus t a c t ) , whereas Esu dest roys because he enjoys doing t h i s , i . e . e v i l for i t s own sake . However, t h i s does not mean tha t Esu i s not approached for j u s t ends (see the v o t i v e s a c r i f i c e s ) . ) E s u ; doesn ' t seem to have power to cause harm to a t o t a l community. The Edo say: 'Esu kosua vbohoho. 'Esu cannot have i n f l uence over the whole p e o p l e . ' He has power to harm on ly one person at a t i m e . Esu i s i n league w i t h a l l the other e v i l b e i n g s . One no te s , fo r example, the presence of Ogun and Esu a l t a r s at the entrance of the aruOlokun (see diagram 3 ) . For example, any s a c r i f i c i a l o f f e r i n g to Ogun must be shared i n par t by E s u . Esu i s a l so c l o s e l y a s soc i a t ed w i t h the - 183 -azen, who are b e l i e v e d to fear E s u . As I have a l ready mentioned, the aruEsu i s found at the f ron t o f the main entrance to Edo compounds. The a l t a r i s pa in ted b l a c k and i s adorned by thorn s t i c k s or roughly hewn wooden d o l l s . There are no ohenEsu; i n d i v i d u a l s u p p l i c a n t s o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s before the sh r ine wi thout the a s s i s t a n c e of p r i e s t s . I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF ESU r A . Sudden d r a s t i c changes i n behaviour or p h y s i c a l h e a l t h are a t t r i b u t e d to Esu who i s capable o f d i s r u p t i n g normal behaviour p a t t e r n s . For example, i f wi thou t good reason a person takes a s t i c k and s t a r t s chas ing a dog around the compound, the Edo might say: Esu suare . 'Esu i s pushing y o u . 1 B . Insane^behaviour, p o p u l a r l y termed 'madness' by the Edo, i s a t t r i b u t e d to E s u . Many of the madmen roaming the s t r e e t s of Benin are b e l i e v e d to have bad heads—the v i c t i m s of Esu 's des-t r u c t i v e a c t i v i t y . Not a l l cases of madness are a t t r i b u t e d to E s u , for the azen can cause madness as w e l l . C . Esu manifes ts h i m s e l f i n response to messages sent to him through the s a c r i f i c e media . P a r t i c u l a r problems w i l l lead the s u p p l i c a n t to s a c r i f i c e to E s u . I f the s u p p l i c a n t ' s d e s i r e i s granted (eg. a t h i e f i s k i l l e d , a w i t c h i s dest royed or an enemy e l i m i n a t e d ) t h e i r deaths are i n t e r p r e t e d as the mani-f e s t a t i o n of Esu ' s power and presence . - 184 -I I I . THE EDO RESPONSE TO ESU Esu i s not worshipped by the Edo. Some people are i n c l i n e d to c a l l any i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h Esu as ' d e v i l w o r s h i p . ' This i s h a r d l y accurate w i t h re fe rence to the Edo who through r i t u a l means t r y to keep Esu at a d i s t a n c e . The presence of the aruEsu ou t s ide the door o f Edo compounds i s symbol ic of t h i s f a c t : Esu i s not one to be honoured or p r a i s e d , nor i s he a be ing to be n e g l e c t e d . U n l i k e the other d i v i n i t i e s , Esu i s not approached fo r genera l b l e s s i n g . The fundamental means of i n t e r a c t i n g w i t h Esu i s through s a c r i f i c e . The r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e i s set i n motion through the d i v i n e r . Esu i s not the r e c i p i e n t of p r a y e r . Esu i s b e l i e v e d to have h i s favoured items and they are c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Esu ' s n a t u r e . Esu i s d i r t y , b l a c k and ug ly and a number of s a c r i f i c e s correspond to h i s na tu r e . For example, i f a ch icken i s o f f e red to Esu i t w i l l be b l a c k . This cou ld be con t ras t ed w i t h the chickens o f fe red to Olokun which are always w h i t e . Blackness i s a s soc i a t ed w i t h e v i l and wh i t e w i t h goodness i n the Edo symbol system. I f Esu i s g iven a yam, then i t must be b u r n t . S ince Esu i s opposed to the Edo ' s 2 progress and i s the a n t i t h e s i s of the Edo modal p e r s o n a l i t y , the burnt yam symbolizes the d i s t a n c e and o p p o s i t i o n of man and E s u . There are three types of s a c r i f i c e o f fe red to Esu : p r o p i t i a t i o n , v o t i v e and t h a n k s g i v i n g . The f i r s t type of s a c r i f i c e i s o f fe red to Esu i n order to p l a c a t e h i m . The second i s c o n t r a c t u a l - - t o persuade the The Edo would never eat a burnt yam. - 185 -d i v i n i t y to c a r r y out a p a r t i c u l a r j o b . And the t h i r d type of s a c r i f i c e , a l s o c o n t r a c t u a l i n na tu re , i s g i v e n i n g r a t i t u d e a f t e r the job has been completed. The thank o f f e r i n g has elements of g r a t i t u d e ; however, i t may be analogous to h i r i n g a gunman to do a nasty j o b . He i s h i r e d to do a job w i t h the promise tha t i f he succeeds, more w i l l come. The s a c r i f i c e to Esu may f low out of a g r a t e f u l h e a r t , but c e r t a i n l y not a l o v i n g one. A . VOTIVE SACRIFICES  Case 1 M r . I . 0 . o f Ben in C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Esu o f a b l a c k c h i c k e n , one t h o r n - s t i c k and a burnt yam. His purpose was to persuade Esu to k i l l the man who had s t o l e n h i s goa t . He had gone to the d i v i n e r and was t o l d to appeal to Esu to b r i n g r e t r i b u t i o n upon the t h i e f . Case 2 M r . E . U . of Awo S t r ee t i n Ben in C i t y s a c r i f i c e d to Esu w i t h one 3 he-goa t , t h o r n - s t i c k , some roas ted corn mixed w i t h o i l and a roas ted yam. H i s purpose was to persuade Esu to k i l l the w i t c h whom the d i v i n e r had t o l d him was r e s p o n s i b l e for the sudden r u i n of h i s t rade as a t r a n s p o r t e r . He had sus ta ined cons ide rab l e l o s s o f money as h i s v e h i c l e was damaged beyond r e p a i r . In t h i s s t a t e he appealed to E s u . Idowu has an i n t e r e s t i n g comment on o i l i n the Yoruba s a c r i f i c e . He s ta tes that Esu does not l i k e o i l and 'anyone who b r ings i t near him i s the re fo re a sk ing for t r o u b l e upon h i m s e l f of anyone e l s e ' ( 1 9 6 2 : 118) . - 186 -Case 3 M r s . I . 0 . of Evbimaa V i l l a g e made a s a c r i f i c e to Esu w i t h one t h o r n - s t i c k , one roas ted cob o f c o r n , one egg, and a b l ack c h i c k e n . Her purpose was to f i n d the t h i e f who had s t o l e n the bags of r i c e and onions she had prepared for s a l e i n the market . This p a r t i c u l a r s a c r i f i c e was made to urge Esu to quick a c t i o n . Case 4 M r . I . E . of Iguosa V i l l a g e s a c r i f i c e d to Esu w i t h on he-goat and one burnt cob of corn w i t h some o i l . His purpose was to persuade Esu to k i l l the man who had committed a d u l t e r y w i t h h i s w i f e . Case 5 M r . E . A . of Ben in C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to Esu w i t h one b l a c k c h i c k e n , one t h o r n - s t i c k and some c o w r i e s . H i s purpose was to cause a l o r r y o f h i s r i v a l t r anspo r t e r to c o l l i d e on the r o a d . He promised to ' t hank ' Esu w i t h one goat i f he succeeded. My informant , commenting on t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s a c r i f i c e , s a i d tha t no th ing more than s p i t e was i n v o l v e d h e r e . Case 6 M r . I . E . o f Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to Esu w i t h a b l ack c h i c k e n , one t h o r n - s t i c k , one egg and one burnt yam. His purpose was to ask Esu to cause thef^uidk death o f a t h i e f who entered h i s shop i n the n igh t and loo ted him o f h i s wares . He promised to o f f e r one b i g he-goat to Esu when the t h i e f was des t royed . - 187 -Case 7 M r . T . 0 . of Ben in s a c r i f i c e d to Esu w i t h a he -goa t . His purpose was to aver t an impending a t t ack from an e v i l man. The s a c r i f i c e r had seen something strange i n a dream which l ed him to seek the d i v i n e r ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The d i v i n e r s a i d that Esu needed a goat i n order to prevent t h i s man from a t t a c k i n g h i m . Th i s s a c r i f i c e was par t of three s a c r i f i c e s made concerning t h i s p a r t i c u l a r problem. Case 8 M r . J . E . of Benin s a c r i f i c e d to Esu w i t h a he -goa t . H i s purpose was to a l l e v i a t e what was t r o u b l i n g h i s son . This s a c r i f i c e was pa r t of a s e r i e s . One s a c r i f i c e was o f fe red to Orunmila to save the boy from s i c k n e s s , as b lood was found i n h i s u r i n e . Esu was s a c r i f i c e d to i n order to d r i v e away the cause of the s i c k n e s s , which might have been due to azen a c t i v i t y . B . PROPITIATORY SACRIFICES  Case 9 M r s . J . E . of Benin s a c r i f i c e d to Esu w i t h a goa t . Her purpose was to p l a c a t e Esu who was d i v i n e d to be the cause o f her son ' s c o n f l i c t w i t h another member o f the f a m i l y . Case 10 M r . J . E . of Benin s a c r i f i c e d to Esu w i t h one he -goa t . His purpose was to prevent any bad people from j o i n i n g him at h i s j o b . Since i t was divined tha t Esu might t r o u b l e J . E . at h i s job as n a t i v e m a g i s t r a t e , Esu was p r o p i t i a t e d j i . ' e . g iven something to keep him at a d i s t a n c e . - 188 -C . THANKSGIVING SACRIFICES  Case 11 M r . A . I . o f I t e V i l l a g e near Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to Esu w i t h one he-goat , one s n a i l , one t h o r n - s t i c k , palm o i l , seven cowries and a s m a l l roas ted yam. H i s purpose was to thank Esu for a s s i s t i n g him to ca tch a t h i e f who had been coming i n t o h i s ya rd to s t e a l food . A l l p rev ious e f f o r t s to ca tch the t h i e f had f a i l e d but Esu was approached to has ten the death or a r r e s t o f the t h i e f . The t h i e f was caught and Esu r e c e i v e d t h i s ' g i f t . ' In case 5 i t i s worth n o t i n g that i f h i s r i v a l i s k i l l e d , M r . E . A . w i l l g i ve Esu a t hanksg iv ing s a c r i f i c e . The same i s t rue i n case 6 . These s a c r i f i c e s do not i n any way i n d i c a t e the frequency of the d i f f e r e n t types of s a c r i f i c e s ( v o t i v e , p r o p i t i a t i o n , t h a n k s g i v i n g ) . Every d i v i n i t y i s o f f e red v o t i v e type s a c r i f i c e s ; the nature o f the request v a r y i n g w i t h the c a p a b i l i t i e s and sphere o f i n f l uence of the d i v i n i t y . A l l d i v i n i t i e s are p r o p i t i a t e d or appeased s ince a l l d i v i n i t i e s are capable o f be ing d i s p l e a s e d w i t h Edo behav iou r . But E s u , due to h i s c a p r i c i o u s and d e s t r u c t i v e na tu r e , i s fa r more l i k e l y to be p r o p i t i a t e d than , for example, Olokun . The Edo thank Esu fo r a job w e l l done. T h i s , t oo , i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the Edo concepts o f s a c r i f i c e . CHAPTER V I I I THE ANCESTORS: SPIRITS OF THE DEPARTED I t i s necessary to d i s t i n g u i s h between two k inds o f ancestors who once l i v e d i n agbon but who a f t e r t h e i r deaths r e s i d e i n e r imwin . The f i r s t category o f departed s p i r i t are the i n d i v i d u a l l y named ancestors w i t h s p e c i f i c g e n e a l o g i c a l re ference (erha and i y e ) and the c o l l e c t i v e unnamed ancestors or predecessors o f the members of a corpora te group ( e d i o n ) . The concept o f edion i s not conf ined to the c o l l e c t i v e ancestors o f a v i l l a g e community. In some v i l l a g e s each ward has i t s own ogwedion. The f a m i l y and household has i t s ed ion t o o , fo r whom a cow or goat i s s a c r i -f i c e d du r ing mortuary r i t e s and to whom l i b a t i o n s o f palm-wine and p ieces o f k o l a - n u t are o f ten o f f e r e d . In most community sh r ines o f hero and other d i v i n i t i e s there are s u b s i d i a r y a l t a r s to the e d i o n , that i s to the past worshippers o f the d i v i n i t y . And the p a l a c e - a s s o c i a t i o n s , t oo , have t h e i r edion a l t a r s at which o f f e r i n g s ;'are made r e g u l a r l y , fo r example, at promotions and the i n v e s t i t u r e o f new t i t l e - h o l d e r s . The Uzama have t h e i r ed ion a l t a r housed i n the compound of t h e i r l eader ( O l i h a ) . F i n a l l y there are the ed ion of the whole Ben in n a t i o n ( ed ion-Edo) , represented by a carved s t a f f which i s i n the keeping o f the Esogban, the second-ranking Eghaevo n 'Ore who i s a l so known as odionwere-Edo. S a c r i f i c e s are made to edion-Edo i n times of n a t i o n a l ca tas t rophe , (Bradbury 1957: 5 6 ) . There are a number o f very compl ica ted r i t e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the ancestors of the Oba. Bradbury s t a tes (1957: 55) that ' i n the past a l l the famous Oba had separate a l t a r s , each housed i n a l a rge w a l l e d compound.. . - 190 -In the past there were two separate annual s e r i e s o f r i t e s (ugioro and ugigun) at which s a c r i f i c e s to i n d i v i d u a l Oba were performed on every f i f t h day. Each s e r i e s was"3rought to a c l o s e w i t h a p u b l i c f e s t i v a l i n honour o f the r e i g n i n g Oba's fa ther (ugie-erhoba) at which twelve human b e i n g s , chosen from the p r i s o n i n Ben in C i t y , where the wors t c r i m i n a l s were c o n f i n e d , were s a c r i f i c e d . . . T h e a c t u a l r i t e s i n honour o f the past Oba were d i r e c t e d by s p e c i a l p r i e s t s from the group known as Ihogbe who a l so o f f i c i a t e at the annual s a c r i f i c e s to the r e i g n i n g Oba's h e a d . ' This p a r t i c u l a r study w i l l be l i m i t e d to the i n d i v i d u a l l y named ancestor (erha) and the c o l l e c t i v e unnamed ancestors o f a p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e ( e d i o n ) . THE ERHA I . THE EDO REPRESENTATION OF THE ERHA The word erha means f a t h e r . When a man w i t h no c h i l d r e n d i e s , he i s u s u a l l y accorded only a per func tory b u r i a l . He i s not incorpora ted as a fa ther (Bradbury 1966: 133) . I f a man leaves only daughters , the s e n i o r daughter ' s son, or her husband a c t i n g on her b e h a l f , may undertake to bury h i m . Normal ly i t i s the sen io r son who bury (re) and p l an t (ko) h i s f a t h e r , i . e . conver t him i n t o a ancestor and ded ica te an a l t a r to serve h i m . I f the departed erha i s not i n t e r r e d , i . e . the second b u r i a l i s not completed, the f a t h e r ' s ghost may commit ac ts of aggress ion aga ins t h i s former dependents, making them s i c k , caus ing them to have acc iden ts or to lose t h e i r money. They are p a c i f i e d by s a c r i f i c e s made over the r i g h t foot o f the h e i r . - 191 -When the erha i s p r o p e r l y b u r i e d , the departed erha takes h i s p lace i n er imwin where he assumes the guard iansh ip of h i s son ' s l i n e a g e . The f a t h e r ' s sh r ine (aruerha) then becomes the scene o f p e r i o d i c commemorative r i t e s , and o f e x p i a t o r y s a c r i f i c e s and o f f e r i n g s a r i s i n g out of s i ckness and other d i s e a s e s , which are d i v i n e d to be the r e s u l t o f qua r r e l s and o ther s i n s of omiss ion and commission i n v o l v i n g l i neage members and t h e i r wives (Bradbury 1966: 138) . The s en io r son i s the p r i e s t of the departed e r h a . He in te rcedes w i t h him on b e h a l f of h i m s e l f and a l l o f the departed e rha ' s descendants . Bradbury s t a tes (1957: 54) that there may be a second p r i e s t , i d e a l l y the s en io r s u r v i v i n g b ro the r o f the deceased, who must be present at a l l impor-tan t s a c r i f i c e s and prayers to represent h i m s e l f and h i s descendants i n the male l i n e , h i s b ro thers and t h e i r descendants, and h i s s i s t e r s . I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF THE ERHA In l i n e w i t h t h e i r sphere o f i n f l u e n c e , the erha f u n c t i o n as guardians o f the u n i t y and harmony of the l i n e a g e . S ickness and other d i s a s t e r s may be caused by the d i sp l ea sed e r h a . The erha can a l so cause the lo s s o f p r e s t i g e i n the f ami ly c i r c l e . I t i s impera t ive that the s en io r son obey the d i c t a t e s of the f a t h e r . I f the erha i s not happy w i t h the s e r v i c e s of the son , he may cause h i s i n h e r i t e d proper ty to d w i n d l e . I f the s en io r son f a i l s to. c a r r y out the Eho ceremony, the erha may cause him to lose h i s senses and wander about Benin as a madman. One informant t o l d me that a t r a d i t i o n a l c h i e f who was dancing before the Oba du r ing the Igwe dropped h i s eben and f e l l down, u t t e r l y d i s g r a c i n g - 192 -h i m s e l f before the Oba. His f ami ly was i n great b i t t e r n e s s . I t was l a t e r d i scovered tha t he had not observed the Eho F e s t i v a l because of m i s e r l i n e s s . I f a son offends h i s fa ther du r ing h i s l i f e t ime and f a i l s to r e c a n t , he cou ld beg in to exper ience c e r t a i n h a r d s h i p s . In order to be r e i n s t a t e d the son would have to s i t i n the f a t h e r ' s s h r i n e w i t h h i s f a t h e r ' s b r o t h e r , c a l l the name of the erha to come and hear h i s p r a y e r . Each would have to take some medic ine , water and a c u t l a s s . The nature o f the offense would be named before the s h r i n e , the abuse recanted and water blown on the e rha ' s son . I f the departed erha i s not s a t i s f i e d w i t h the behaviour o f members o f the l i n e a g e , he can b l o c k t h e i r progress f o r the Edo b e l i e v e that progress i s dependent upon r e t a i n i n g the e rha ' s b l e s s i n g . Since the erha i s i n t i m a t e l y concerned w i t h the a f f a i r s of the f a m i l y , they have power to p ro t ec t them from ou t s i de in f luences as w e l l as power to d i s r u p t the harmony o f the p a t r i l i n e a g e through s i c k n e s s , e t c . Par t o f t h e i r pro-t e c t i v e power i nc ludes the a b i l i t y to thwart the azen . Al though Olokun i s ' f o r ' everyone, the erha are e s p e c i a l l y concerned fo r ego and h i s b ro the r s and s i s t e r s . I f one judges from the s a c r i f i c e s o f fe red to the e rha , the erha can manifest themselves through the g i v i n g of c h i l d r e n . I t i s common fo r the Edo to a t t r i b u t e the b i r t h of a c h i l d to the e r h a . This w i l l evoke a response i n the form of a t hanksg iv ing s a c r i f i c e . On another occas ion the d i v i n e r suggested tha t the reason tha t the f a t h e r ' s son was not p rog re s s ing i n h i s l i f e was tha t the boy was the source of some c o n f l i c t i n the f a m i l y . H i s behaviour was not acceptable to the e r h a . A s a c r i f i c e ensued i n order to balance the r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the offended e r h a . - 193 -Dur ing the B i a f r a n i n v a s i o n of the Mid-West i n August , 1967 a number of s a c r i f i c e s were made to the erha for p r o t e c t i v e a s s i s t a n c e . In one household one man made a number of s a c r i f i c e s to h i s e rha , and when the Mid-West was l i b e r a t e d September 20, 1967 he o f fe red a fu r the r t h a n k s g i v i n g s a c r i f i c e ; h i s sa fe ty over a s ix-week p e r i o d be ing a t t r i b u t e d to the e rha ' s p r o t e c t i v e a c t i v i t y . The Edo respond to the ex i s t ence and presence o f the erha p r i m a r i l y through prayer and s a c r i f i c e . Prayer can be o f fe red at any time before the a rue rha . In genera l prayer before the a ruerha , a k o l a i s p laced on the sh r ine and the f o l l o w i n g prayer u t t e r e d . Erhamwen orobue, r h i e er imwin negberuehia , mwonbo nude r i e evbare , na nuvbedeba v i a , ghasimwin vben, kevbe emo vbe amwen. Ghegumwen wu  ghegumwen khuomwin khuebehia himwen egbe re ghegiogbe, ehgiangba mwen. Simwin emo vbamwen me. I s e . My fa ther (mention name of f a t h e r ) , I am e n t i r e l y under your p r o t e c t i o n . I implore you to gather the departed f o r e f a t h e r s . Come to par take o f what I am p re sen t ing to you now ( k o l a ) . In con junc t ion w i t h the fo re -fa thers you seek my i n t e r e s t and p r o t e c t i o n , as w e l l as that of my w i f e and c h i l d r e n . Do not l e t me d i e a premature death or be a f f l i c t e d w i t h s i c k n e s s . P ro t ec t me aga ins t a l l danger. Do not a l l o w my enemies to get the upper hand over me. P ro tec t my c h i l d r e n ' s we l fa re as w e l l as my w i f e ' s . Amen. Th i s i s a genera l prayer and i s a t y p i c a l example of the k i n d of prayer o f fe red before the a ruerha . The prayers cou ld be more s p e c i f i c accord ing to the predicament and s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n o f the s u p p l i c a n t . - 194 -The Edo respond to the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f the erha i n t o t h e i r a f f a i r s by s a c r i f i c e . A c o n f l i c t s i t u a t i o n , or a s i t u a t i o n i n d i c a t i n g that a l l i s not w e l l i n the f a m i l y w i l l se t the s a c r i f i c i a l a c t i o n i n mot ion . The d i v i n e r sets the s a c r i f i c e i n mot ion: i t i s he who r evea l s tha t the erha are of fended. However, i t i s not on ly to g a i n p r o t e c t i o n or a s s i s t ance tha t the Edo s a c r i f i c e to the e r h a . They a l so respond i n t h a n k s g i v i n g . A . VOTIVE SACRIFICES  Case 1 M r . C . M . o f Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha w i t h one cock . His purpose was to g a i n the e r h a ' s a s s i s t a n c e for h i s son who was w r i t i n g h i s GCE examina t ion . He promised h i s erha tha t i f h i s son passed the examina t ion , he would o f f e r one whi t e goat and a b o t t l e o f g i n as thanks-g i v i n g . Th i s fo l l ows the u s u a l Edo p a t t e r n : r i t u a l a c t i o n to get the e r h a ' s a s s i s t a n c e w i t h the promise of fu r the r o f f e r i n g s and s a c r i f i c e s i f the erha ac ts on h i s b e h a l f . I t i s worthy n o t i n g tha t i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case we have a fa ther o f f e r i n g a s a c r i f i c e on b e h a l f of someone e l s e . Case 2 M r . 0 . E . of Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha w i t h one l eg of ante lope and k o l a n u t s . H i s purpose was to a l l o w him to succeed i n pass ing h i s t rade t e s t . L i k e C M . he promised that i f he succeeded he would s a c r i f i c e one goat as a t h a n k s g i v i n g . Case 3 M r . J . E . o f Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha o f some f i s h and r f u f u . The purpose was to persuade the erha to stop t r o u b l i n g one of h i s - 195 -sons who was not p rogress ing very w e l l i n s c h o o l . Case 4 M r . J . E . o f Ben in made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha w i t h a goa t . His purpose was to aver t the q u a r r e l l i n g between two sons who were working at Sapele , 35 mi l e s from B e n i n . The d i v i n e r s a i d that a s a c r i f i c e should be made to the erha to aver t the q u a r r e l . Case 5 M r . J . E . of Benin made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha w i t h a goa t . H i s purpose was to be d e l i v e r e d from the r ebe l s who were occupying Benin C i t y at the time o f s a c r i f i c e . This p a r t i c u l a r s a c r i f i c e was made to the erha for d e l i v e r a n c e and p r o t e c t i o n . Th i s same man a l s o came before the aruerha and promised that at the end of the war a goat would be s a c r i f i c e d . Case 6 M r . J . E . o f Benin made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha w i t h a goat , cock and t o r t o i s e . This p a r t i c u l a r s a c r i f i c e was the r e s u l t of a v i s i t to the d i v i n e r . The fa ther probably had a dream and sent h i s w i f e to the d i v i n e r to i n q u i r e about the dream's meaning. The d i v i n e r s a i d that a s a c r i f i c e had to be made to the e r h a . This p a r t i c u l a r s a c r i f i c e was made at the time o f the Fede ra l Government's l i b e r a t i o n o f the Mid-West . The purpose of the s a c r i f i c e seemed to be to ga in a genera l end: that th ings would 'get b e t t e r ' i n B e n i n . B . THANKSGIVING SACRIFICES  Case 7 M r . E . E . o f Usen V i l l a g e near Benin made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha - 196 -w i t h one she-goat . The purpose of t h i s s a c r i f i c e was to thank h i s e rha , on the occas ion o f h i s grand-daughter ' s d e l i v e r y of a c h i l d , fo r spa r ing him to l i v e to an advanced age so that he cou ld see the b i r t h o f a great g r a n d c h i l d . This s a c r i f i c e was from the hear t and was not d i v i n e r mo t iva t ed . Case 8 M r . I . U . o f Benin C i t y made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha o f one goat , and one cock . H i s purpose was to thank h i s erha for h i s w i f e ' s d e l i v e r y o f a male c h i l d . She had not had a s i n g l e male c h i l d be fo re , having g i v e n b i r t h to (three 4 daughters . Thus by t h i s b i r t h , M r . I . U . would now have someone to succeed him a f t e r h i s dea th . H i s p r o p e r t i e s would no longer go to h i s b r o t h e r - i n - l a w . This p a r t i c u l a r b i r t h was a t t r i b u t e d to h i s depar-ted e r h a . Now h i s name w i l l not d i e i n the f ami ly c i r c l e . •Case 9 M r . J . E . made a s a c r i f i c e to h i s erha of one goa t . H i s purpose was to thank h i s erha for the work done for him and h i s f ami ly du r ing the B i a f r a n occupa t ion of the Mid-West from August 9, 1967 to September 20, 1967. I I I . THE EHO 'FESTIVAL AS RESPONSE TO THE ERHA The most important r i t u a l d i r e c t e d to the erha i s the Eho F e s t i v a l . Th i s i s the y e a r l y f e s t i v a l i n honour of the departed erha at which a l l the p a t r i l i n e a l descendants of erha and h i s fa ther and t h e i r w i v e s , knee l one-by-one before the a l t a r , p re sen t ing ko lanu t s and other o f f e r i n g s and p ray ing for the w e l l - b e i n g of themselves, t h e i r wives and c h i l d r e n . - 197 -M a r r i e d daughters r e t u r n home to take par t i n the Eho. P a t r i l i n e a l c o l l a t e r a l s and other cognates may be present but they do not knee l before the a l t a r (Bradbury 1957: 55 ) . The Eho begins w i t h the Ihonmwhona or the p u r i f i c a t i o n of men-s t r u a t i n g women. This cerembny must take p lace before the a c t u a l per-formance o f the Eho. The menstruat ing women cannot go near the a n c e s t r a l sh r ine s ince they are i n a s t a t e o f i m p u r i t y . Mens t rua t ing women must conf ine themselves to t h e i r room for seven days . The Edo b e l i e v e tha t bad s p i r i t s f o l l o w them dur ing t h i s s t a t e . C e r t a i n a c t i o n must take p lace before they can be brought to a s t a t e of p u r i t y . F i r s t a sma l l ch i cken o r , i n i t s absence, an empty egg s h e l l i s purchased. Ikimwin leaves from the t r ee known as the ' t r e e o f d e c i -s i o n ' are gathered and t i e d to the sma l l c h i c k e n . A d i s h c o n t a i n i n g n a t i v e c h a l k , cowries and water i s prepared by a member of the husband's f a m i l y . Chalk i s s a i d to b r i n g good for tune and the cowries w e a l t h . A f t e r the necessary items have been ga thered , a j u n i o r member of the p a t r i l i n e a l l i n e w i l l take the ch icken i n h i s r i g h t hand and the d i s h i n h i s l e f t and repeat the f o l l o w i n g i n c a n t a t i o n : ' A l l the bad s p i r i t s tha t come dur ing menst rua t ion should go away. The good ones can then come i n . ' Whi le the i n c a n t a t i o n i s be ing s a i d the ch i cken i s swept around the house-h o l d . The sma l l ch i cken i s then l e f t to d i e , s ince the Edo b e l i e v e that i t i s the bad s p i r i t s that must k i l l him and then go away. The good s p i r i t s are s a i d to feed the bad s p i r i t s . The comple t ion of t h i s event does not complete the Ihomwhonwa cere-mony. The now p u r i f i e d women must cook for t h e i r husbands i n order to p lease them and as a s i g n tha t the good s p i r i t s w i l l come. I t appears that - 198 -the good s p i r i t s are l i n k e d w i t h concep t i on , fo r the Edo b e l i e v e that i t i s a f t e r mens t rua t ion that concept ion w i l l take p l a c e . On that n igh t no other woman must i n t e r f e r e w i t h the sexual r e l a t i o n s of'--' a - p u r i f i e d woman and her husband. As the purpose of the Eho i s to ensure tha t the erha w i l l be p leased w i t h the s a c r i f i c e , one can r e a d i l y see the importance of the Ihonmhonwa to the Eho ceremony. Before the a c t u a l s a c r i f i c e proceeds, the head of the house w i l l set a da t e . A l l r e l a t i v e s w i l l be n o t i f i e d of the p r e c i s e da t e . They w i l l b r i n g t h e i r g i f t s to the house on the day before the performance of the Eho. In some ins tances g i f t s w i l l be brought i n before the day o f performance. In t h i s case they w i l l be s t o r e d . Dancing precedes the s a c r i f i c e r i t u a l l y p repa r ing the ancestors for the s a c r i f i c i a l o f f e r i n g . I t i s a l s o e s s e n t i a l fo r the compound to be i n a s t a t e o f c l e a n l i n e s s . Each member o f the f ami ly prays before the s h r i n e , each p re sen t ing a k o l a - n u t on the aruerha: '0 f a t h e r , l e t me l i v e p r o s p e r o u s l y . Let my household be i n good h e a l t h . For at t h i s t ime next y e a r , I w i l l come aga in i n good h e a l t h and feed you more scrumptuously than l a s t y e a r . And l e t me be b l e s sed by the k i n g . 1 A b e l l i s then rung to n o t i f y the ancestors of t h e i r approach to them. The erha presences h i m s e l f i n the b o d i l y e f f l u g i a ( n a i l s , e t c ) that have been b u r i e d i n the a rue rha . Before the s a c r i f i c e can proceed, the a c t i n g p r i e s t must break a k o l a - n u t . A f t e r the k o l a i s b roken , the headman w i l l read i t s p o s i t i o n . This w i l l i n d i c a t e whether or not the s a c r i f i c e has been accep ted . I f a l l i f not r i g h t fo r the s a c r i f i c e , fu r the r a c t i o n w i l l be necessary to r i g h t the s i t u a t i o n . The headman ( sen ior son a s s i s t e d by the departed f a t h e r ' s b ro the r ) w i l l p l ace one p iece of the f o u r - s i d e d - 199 -k o l a on the s h r i n e ; the r e s t be ing d i s t r i b u t e d to the members o f the f a m i l y . Now the s a c r i f i c e can b e g i n . I f a t i t l e d man i s performing the ceremony, the l i v e s t o c k w i l l be brought before the a l t a r . A cock, goa t , and cow w i l l be s a c r i f i c e d i n that o r d e r . The f i r s t son i s forb idden to h o l d the s a c r i f i c i a l animal s ince t r a d i t i o n has i t that the f a t h e r ' s b ro ther should h o l d the a n i m a l . F i r s t , the a n i m a l ' s b lood i s s p i l l e d on the s h r i n e . The Edo c l a i m that the b lood i s used by the e rha : they are hungry and want food . One informant s t a ted that the b lood i s p rovided for the e rha ' s 'sustenance' i n e r imwin . A f t e r s p i l l i n g the b lood on the a ruerha , the b lood i s marked on the forehead o f the headman fo l lowed by the heads of the f a m i l y . The Edo b e l i e v e tha t ' i t i s the head that d i r e c t s the body, the body be ing use less w i thou t the h e a d . ' No one e l s e i s a l lowed to do the b lood-mark ing . Per-formed by the headman, t h i s act s i g n i f i e s h i s t r u s t e e s h i p o f the a n c e s t r a l s h r i n e . I f a cow has been s a c r i f i c e d before the s h r i n e , the va r ious sec t ions of the animal w i l l be d i s t r i b u t e d . One l e g of the cow must go to the p a l a c e . Th i s pa r t i s cons idered to be the b e s t ; i t w i l l be sent to the pa lace w i t h k o l a - n u t s . The Oba w i l l r e c i p r o c a t e t h i s g i f t by sending a v a l u a b l e g i f t which may i nc lude a goa t , cocoanuts and the t r a d i t i o n a l k o l a . Prayer i s then o f fe red by the headman who w i l l by then have washed h i s hands o f the b l o o d . ' I t i s necessary for one to feed the fa thers w i t h c l e a n hands . ' Food i s brought again to the s h r i n e . A smal l p iece of meat i s cut from the s a c r i f i c e , dipped i n a n a t i v e soup and then p laced on the s h r i n e . The erha are b e l i e v e d to be present dp p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the f e a s t . The neck o f the s a c r i f i c e d animal i s g iven to the c h i l d r e n . The - 200 -reason for t h i s , s t a t ed by the a c t o r , i s that t h i s i s the way i t has always been done. The w a i s t of the cow i s reserved for the w i v e s . (The w a i s t i s r e l a t e d to the womb and i s supposed to promote the f e r -t i l i t y of the women). The r e s t i s d i s t r i b u t e d as the headman chooses, a l though the f a t h e r ' s b ro the r w i l l r e c e i v e a share f i r s t . The meat i s taken from the a n i m a l ' s head, the jaw t i e d together and p laced on the w a l l . Th i s w i l l i n d i c a t e s t a t u s . The nature of the s a c r i f i c e i s r e l a t e d to one 's s o c i a l s t a t u s . A poor man may use an antelope l e g which i s b e l i e v e d to be the lowest acceptable o f f e r i n g to the e r h a . There i s no need for a poor man to c a l l a dance because t h i s i n d i v i d u a l i s performing the Eho w i t h the pr imary i n t e n t i o n o f becoming r i c h , o f r e c e i v i n g the e rha ' s b l e s s i n g . He comes to the erha more out of need than of t h a n k s g i v i n g . My informant s a i d that even though the erha are not r e c e i v i n g any b lood at l e a s t they are be ing remembered. The poor man prays to h i s erha so that he w i l l be l i f t e d up to a h igher s t a t u s . One informant t o l d me that the ancestors love antelope (uzo) meat more than any o ther bush meat. When a poor man comes before the s h r i n e , the s a c r i f i c e fo l lows the same genera l p a t t e r n except tha t there w i l l be no danc ing . The cock i s an acceptable o f f e r i n g because i t i s presumed to awaken the e r h a . I t s use .serves as a symbol o f t h i s in tense d e s i r e to awaken the erha i n order tha t they might hear and f u l f i l l p r a y e r s . The a c c e p t a b i l i t y of the goat s a c r i f i c e i s r e l a t e d to the f ac t tha t the erha ' l o v e ' c e r t a i n types of animals more than o t h e r s . The goat i s b e l i e v e d to be the most v a l u a b l e animal i n the s i g h t of the e r h a . The he-goat i s used for the male ancestors s ince th ings male are used for the male a n c e s t o r s . One - 201 -informant t o l d me that i n the past the Edo had not used a cow for s a c r i -f i c e to the e r h a . In present times the cow i s used p r i m a r i l y as an i n d i c a t o r of s o c i a l s t a t u s , but not to the e x c l u s i o n of the goa t . The Eho i s performed p r i m a r i l y to remember the erha as a l i v i n g par t of the l i n e a g e . ' I f you remember the e rha , they w i l l remember y o u . -To forget them w i l l mean tha t there w i l l be bad repercuss ions for that p a r t i c u l a r person. 1 The f a m i l y head i s under a great dea l of p re s su re , as a t r u s t e e o f the a ruerha , to perform the Eho ceremony. He holds the key to the success and we l f a r e of the e n t i r e f ami ly u n i t . 'What the erha handed over to you must be performed and p r e s e r v e d . ' Another purpose o f the Eho i s to bestow p r o s p e r i t y upon the f a m i l y . A secondary end, but an important one, i s the occas ion for the r eun ion of the f a m i l y . The f ami ly can observe how the f a m i l y has grown. The f a m i l y a l s o pays . respec t once more to the head of the f a m i l y , h i s a u t h o r i t y be ing r e i n f o r c e d by t r i b u t e and g i f t . THE EDION This d i s c u s s i o n o f ed ion w i l l be l i m i t e d to the ed ion o f the v i l l a g e « * u n i t , i . e . the c o l l e c t i v e predecessors o f a v i l l a g e . I . THE EDO REPRESENTATION OF EDION The ed ion are thought to be the o r i g i n a l occupie rs of the v i l l a g e land and as a l l the ed ion who have s ince l i v e d and been bu r i ed there (Bradbury 1957: 5 6 ) . A l l v i l l a g e s have ed ion shr ines which c o n t a i n an a l t a r decorated w i t h ukhurhe. These shr ines (ogwedion) a l s o serve as - 202 -meeting p l a c e s . The odionwere as the p r i e s t of the edion makes r e g u l a r • • • o f f e r i n g s t he r e , and h i s i n f l uence w i t h the ed ion s p i r i t s i s a powerful s a n c t i o n p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h re fe rence to h i s c o n t r o l of the age-grades . Promotions are made i n the ogwedion and the odionwere h i m s e l f i s inves ted • * * t h e r e . We have a l ready seen that the d i f f e r e n t k inds o f dead correspond to a s ta tus category among the l i v i n g . Each of the incorpora ted dead has h i s own f i e l d o f a u t h o r i t y . As Bradbury has po in ted out (1966), fo r a l l three types the act of i n c o r p o r a t i o n i s a par t of a complex s e r i e s of mortuary and success ion r i t e s . From the a c t o r ' s s tandpoint these r i t e s do three main t h i n g s . F i r s t , they ensure the deceased h i s r i g h t f u l p lace i n e r imwin . Second, they re formula te and r egu l a t e h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h those among the l i v i n g for whom he has re levance by v i r t u e of the same s t a t u s e s . T h i r d , the r i t e s e f f e c t of symbolize the t r a n s m i s s i o n o f these s ta tuses to one or more succes so r s . The ed ion or e l d e r s , then , are the u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d deceased e lde r s of k i n s h i p , t e r r i t o r i a l and a s s o c i a t i o n a l groups . The c h i e f s ( e n i g i e and oba) have t h e i r own predecessors for which there are s p e c i a l r i t e s (Bradbury 1966: 138) . The ed ion demand tha t the l i v i n g e lde r s should uphold the customs and r u l e s they have t r ansmi t t ed to them, and a f f o r d them m y s t i c a l sanc t ions to a s s i s t them i n d e a l i n g w i t h i n f r a c t i o n s . I t seems that j u s t as r e l a t i o n s w i t h the ancestors image f a the r - son r e l a t i o n s , so do r e l a t i o n s between the v i l l a g e ed ion and t h e i r congregat ion r e f l e c t the corresponding aspects o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the l i v i n g ed ion and t h e i r apparent h e i r s . - 203 -I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF THE EDION Since the sphere of i n f l u e n c e of the ed ion i s r e s t r i c t e d to the v i l l a g e , the v i l l a g e r s b e l i e v e that the ed ion in te rvene i n t h e i r a f f a i r s ; caus ing d i s a s t e r of both a genera l and i n d i v i d u a l n a t u r e . The f l o u t i n g o f an e l d e r ' s a u t h o r i t y and cases o f a d u l t e r y are p a r t i c u l a r l y se r ious events and w i l l i ncu r the r e t r i b u t i v e a c t i o n o f the e d i o n . I t i s through the events t a k i n g p lace i n the v i l l a g e that the l i v i n g w i l l know that the edion are d isp leased—events that th rea ten the whole v i l l a g e . When ' t h ings are going p o o r l y ' i n the v i l l a g e t h i s i s taken as a s i g n that the edion have been of fended . This leads to a c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h a d i v i n e r who t e l l s what a c t i o n i s needed to r e s t o r e the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the l i v i n g and the dead e d i o n . I I I . THE EDO RESPONSE TO THE EDION The Edo respond to the m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the ed ion i n t h e i r a f f a i r s i n the f o l l o w i n g ways. I f i t i s d i v i n e d that the edion are d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h some aspect o f l i f e i n the v i l l a g e i t i s necessary to s a c r i f i c e to them before the a n c e s t r a l s h r i n e . The s a c r i f i c i a l items are c o l l e c t e d and a l l o f the v i l l a g e gathers at the s h r i n e . The items for s a c r i f i c e w i l l be handled by the odionwere who invokes the ed ion to guide the l i v i n g • • • both at home and abroad. Next he breaks the k o l a and spreads i t on the f l o o r . He p laces one p iece on the sh r ine and shares the r e s t w i t h the o t h e r s . Then he s laughte rs the s a c r i f i c i a l animal (eg . goat) and s p i l l s the b lood on the a l t a r . He - 204 -takes the ukhurhe s t a f f and rubs the blood on i t - - a n e s s e n t i a l aspect of the s a c r i f i c e . A f t e r t h i s i s done, the s t a f f i s placed back on the a l t a r . The s a c r i f i c e i s followed by f e a s t i n g . This s a c r i f i c i a l p a t t e r n i s followed at a l l s a c r i f i c e s before the edion s h r i n e . As w e l l as responding to the edion' s i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t h e i r a f f a i r s , informants t o l d me that i n case of an impending epidemic s a c r i f i c e s would be made to the edion f o r p r o t e c t i o n of the whole v i l l a g e . Judging from the general prayer o f f e r e d to the edion at various occasions, the edion are a l s o capable of d r i v i n g away e v i l s p i r i t s of counteracting the azen. During the important v i l l a g e d e c i s i o n s , proceedings w i l l be con-ducted before the edion s h r i n e . In cases of c o n f l i c t , f o r example, the p a r t i e s would be summoned to the shrine where they would be d e a l t w i t h . Every meeting i s opened w i t h the breaking of the k o l a , followed by prayer. Edion, edion nirunagban wahia do sikoko niwa d o r i e evbare na wa  ghegie evboni mayena ve, wagie okpia kevbe okhuo no ro ghama. • • Wa khue be ^ Kevbe uwa ro rue. Wa giomokpia kevbe omo okhuogha maubo. • • • Azen okpia kevbe azen okhuo nogha omwan vbe vbo waghi gbe. T r a n s l a t i o n : Departed s e t t l e r of the v i l l a g e we implore you to see that the com-munity continues to m u l t i p l y i n c h i l d r e n and i n food. Let both male and female i n the v i l l a g e continue to prosper. We implore you people to d r i v e away a l l witches that w i l l cause sickness or death to the community. Let both male and female c h i l d r e n continue to l i v e long. Any witches that may cause sickness or death, may you gather to counteract them. In cases of a d u l t e r y , the g u i l t y party w i l l be f i n e d . C H A P T E R I X THE A Z E N : B R I D G E BETWEEN AGBON AND E R I M W I N I . THE EDO R E P R E S E N T A T I O N OF THE A Z E N T h e a z e n a r e a n t i - s o c i a l s p i r i t u a l b e i n g s . D u r i n g t h e d a y t h e y a r e ' n o r m a l ' h u m a n b e i n g s b u t i n t h e n i g h t t h e i r s p i r i t u a l p a r t ( o r i o n ) i s r e l e a s e d f r o m t h e b o d y e n a b l i n g t h e m t o c a r r y o u t t h e i r e v i l a c t i v i t i e s . T h e i r s p e c i a l p o w e r l i e s i n t h e i r a b i l i t y t o m o v e f r o m a g b o n t o e r i m w i n w i t h o u t b e i n g p e r m a n e n t l y r e s i d e n t i n o n e o f t h e o t h e r . O f a l l t h e b e i n g s i n t h e E d o p a n t h e o n , t h e a z e n a r e t h e o n l y b e i n g s c a p a b l e o f m o v i n g b e t -w e e n t h e a g b o n a n d e r i m w i n r e a l m s . E v e n t h e a n c e s t o r s who o n c e r e s i d e d i n a g b o n a r e p e r m a n e n t m e m b e r s o f e r i m w i n a f t e r t h e p r o p e r b u r i a l . A s s o c i a l b e i n g s t h e a z e n a r e a b l e t o g a i n a n i n t i m a t e k n o w l e d g e o f t h e i r f e l l o w s w h i c h h e l p s t h e m t o w o r k e v i l a g a i n s t t h e m . T h u s t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n s d u r i n g t h e d a y a r e u t i l i z e d i n t h e i r n e f a r i o u s a c t i v i t i e s a f t e r d a r k . A . C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S OF T H E A Z E N ON THE S O C I A L L E V E L W i t c h e s , s a y t h e E d o , a r e i n c a p a b l e o f f u n c t i o n i n g n o r m a l l y o n t h e s o c i a l l e v e l . T h e y a r e b e l i e v e d t o b e h a v e i n a n a n t i - s o c i a l m a n n e r , a n d i f t h e i r a c t i o n s a p p e a r ' g o o d , ' i t i s o n l y t o d i s g u i s e t h e i r f u n d a m e n t a l l y e v i l m o t i v e s . T h e y a r e c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s f o l l o w s : 1. T h e y w i l l p r o v o k e a n g e r i n t h e h o u s e h o l d . T h e E d o s a y t h a t p a l a v e r s h o u l d n e v e r b e made i n t h e n i g h t , f o r t h e a z e n w i l l - 206 -f i n d the cause and wi t h t h e i r knowledge of inner weakness con-t i n u e to m u l t i p l y d i s t r e s s . They w i l l seek to 'double' the already e x i s t i n g s t a t e of a f f a i r s . An azen may harm someone i n the daytime. I t may be that when two women are cooking soup that one of the women w i l l have some meat and the other w i l l not. Jealousy may provoke the azen to poison the meat of the more fortunate w i f e . A r e f u s a l to meet an azen' s request may lead to r e t r i b u t i o n at a l a t e r date. For example, a w i t c h may request money from a r i c h man. I f the r i c h man refuses not knowing the supp l i c a n t i s . a w i t c h , he may be the object of e v i l a c t i o n . In such a case as t h i s the Edo say that the witches are not i n t e r e s t e d i n whether or not anything i s shared, but i n f i n d i n g an oppor-t u n i t y or excuse to work e v i l . The Edo als o b e l i e v e that i f a man refuses to share some of h i s wealth he may be a v i c t i m of w i t c h c r a f t a c t i v i t y i n the n i g h t . Here we see c l e a r l y the emphasis the Edo place on sharing and h o s p i t a l i t y . The Edo b e l i e v e that an azen w i l l be motivated to e v i l a c t i o n through j e a l o u s y . For example, i n a house where there i s more than one w i f e , one woman may have s i x c h i l d r e n . The woman who i s b e l i e v e d to be a w i t c h w i l l have only one. In order to r e t a -l i a t e , the barren woman w i l l d i r e c t e v i l a c t i o n against her co-wife. I t should be noted that i f the jealous woman i s able to k i l l the other woman, the l i v i n g c h i l d r e n w i l l be cared f o r by h e r s e l f . The Edo say that i f a woman f e e l s that things are not r i g h t w i t h i n the household, whether t h i s be manifest i n the - 2 0 7 -s i c k n e s s o f c h i l d r e n o r o t h e r e v i l o m e n s , s h e w i l l d i r e c t h e r w i t c h c r a f t a g a i n s t a n o t h e r member o f t h e h o u s e h o l d w h o a p p e a r s a s a t h r e a t o r h i n d r a n c e t o h e r s o c i a l s t a t u s . H o w e v e r , i n a c t u a l p r a c t i c e a c c u s a t i o n b e t w e e n c o - w i v e s d o e s n o t s e e m t o o c c u r v e r y o f t e n . B r a d b u r y s t a t e s ( 1 9 5 7 : 6 0 ) t h a t m o s t r e c o r d e d i n s t a n c e s o f w i t c h c r a f t a c c u s a t i o n s i n v o l v e d p e o p l e w h o w e r e n o t c l o s e k i n s m e n . T h e c o n f l i c t b e t w e e n k i n w a s r e g a r d e d a s h a v i n g d i s t u r b e d t h e u n i t y o f t h e k i n g r o u p , t h u s m a k i n g i t v u l n e r a b l e t o w i t c h c r a f t . T h e c a s e s I h a v e r e c o r d e d s e e m t o v e r i f y B r a d b u r y ' s h y p o t h e s i s . T h e E d o a l s o b e l i e v e t h a t a n y g o o d b e h a v i o u r b y a w i t c h i s m e r e l y a c a m o u f l a g e f o r t h e m t o g a i n t h e i r o b j e c t i v e . F o r e x a m p l e , a w i t c h may b e v e r y h o n e s t a n d s h o w e x c e s s i v e f r i e n d l i n e s s a s w e l l a s s h o w i n g t h e u t m o s t r e s p e c t t o a l l p e r s o n s . T h i s i s a c o v e r - u p f o r e v i l m o t i v e s . I t i s m o r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f a w i t c h , h o w e v e r , t o m a n i f e s t s o c i a l l y r e p r e h e n s i b l e b e h a v i o u r . I f a n E d o ' s b e h a v i o u r c o n t r a d i c t s a c c e p t e d n o r m s , t h e y w i l l b e a s k e d : A z e n we k h i n r a ? ' A r e y o u a w i t c h ? ' S u m m i n g u p , we c a n s a y t h a t t h e E d o b e l i e v e t h a t a w i t c h ' s b e h a v i o u r o n t h e s o c i a l l e v e l i s a b n o r m a l : e i t h e r t o o g o o d o r t o o b a d . B . C H A R A C T E R I S T I C S OF T H E A Z E N A S E R I M W I N B E I N G S T h e m a j o r i t y o f w i t c h e s i n t h e E d o c u l t u r e a r e f e m a l e . T h e r e a r e a l s o m a l e w i t c h e s ( o s o ) b u t t h e y a r e l e s s common a n d h a v e l e s s p o w e r . T h e a z e n a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d a r k n e s s a n d a r e c o m m o n l y k n o w n a s t h e ' n i g h t p e o p l e . ' D u r i n g t h e n i g h t t h e a z e n a r e n o l o n g e r l i m i t e d t o a n y p h y s i c a l - 2 0 8 -l o c a l i t y , f o r w h i l e t h e b o d y s l e e p s , t h e a z e n ' s o r i o n f l i e s a w a y , u s u a l l y i n t h e f o r m o f a b i r d . T h e E d o s a y t h a t t h e a z e n f l y o u t o f t h e b o d y t h r o u g h t h e p r i v a t e o r i f i c e s o f t h e b o d y . O n c e t h e o r i o n h a s l e f t t h e b o d y i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o a w a k e n t h e w i t c h . I t i s a l s o b e l i e v e d t h a t i f o n e h a p p e n s t o b e i n t h e p r e s e n c e o f a w i t c h d u r i n g t h e n i g h t t h a t o n e w i l l f e e l d i z z y . A n E d o may b e c o m e a w i t c h t h r o u g h i n h e r i t a n c e . T h e c h i l d r e n o f w i t c h e s a r e q u i t e l i k e l y t o b e w i t c h e s a l s o . ' W i t c h c r a f t i s f r e q u e n t l y s a i d t o b e i n h e r i t e d . C l o s e r q u e s t i o n i n g , h o w e v e r , r e v e a l s a b e l i e f t h a t a p r e g n a n t w i t c h may g i v e w i t c h c r a f t f o o d t o t h e c h i l d s h e i s c a r r y i n g ; t h e c h i l d o f a w i t c h i s , t h e r e f o r e , m o r e l i k e l y t o b e s u s p e c t e d t h a n o t h e r s . New w i t c h e s c a n b e r e c r u i t e d b y p u t t i n g t h e same s u b s t a n c e , w h i c h i s i n v i s i b l e , i n t o a p e r s o n ' s f o o d ' ( B r a d b u r y 1 9 5 7 : 6 0 ) . I w a s a l s o t o l d t h a t i t w a s p o s s i b l e t o b u y ' w i t c h c r a f t p o w e r ' i n t h e A f e n m a i D i v i s i o n a n d t h u s b e i n i t i a t e d i n t o t h e w i t c h e s ' s o c i e t y . 1 One woman l i v i n g i n t h e a r e a r e l e g a t e d t o k n o w n E d o w i t c h e s b y E w e k a I I i n t h e 1 9 3 0 ' s c l a i m e d t h a t s h e h a d e n t e r e d i n t o t h e w i t c h e s ' s o c i e t y b e c a u s e o f h e r b a r r e n n e s s . S h e h a d l o s t many c h i l d r e n d u e t o t h e m a l p r a c t i c e o f w i t c h e s a n d i n o r d e r t o h a v e c h i l d r e n s h e b e c a m e a w i t c h t o p r o t e c t h e r s e l f f r o m a n y f u r t h e r c h i l d d e a t h s . T h i s woman d i d n o t i n h e r i t h e r w i t c h c r a f t , b u t u n d e r w e n t c e r t a i n r i t u a l s s u g g e s t e d b y a k n o w n I t s h o u l d b e n o t e d t h a t t h e E d o c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n o f w i t c h e s d o e s n o t c o r r e s p o n d e n t i r e l y w i t h t h e c l a s s i c a l d e f i n i t i o n g i v e n b y E v a n s - ^ P r i t c h a r d i n W i t c h c r a f t , M a g i c a n d O r a c l e s Among t h e A z a n d e . S e e n o t e s i n C h a p t e r I o n Some p r o b l e m s w i t h t h e c l a s s i c a l d i c h o t o m y b e t w e e n w i t c h -c r a f t a n d s o r c e r y . - 2 0 9 -w i t c h o r o b o n o y a d a . T h e E d o h a v e a l w a y s b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e a z e n p o s s e s s a c e r t a i n s u b -s t a n c e i n t h e s t o m a c h . T h i s s u b s t a n c e i s r o u g h l y a k i n t o a t e n n i s b a l l . One w a y o f d e t e c t i n g w i t c h e s i n t h e o l d d a y s w a s t o f o r c e t h e w i t c h t o v o m i t u p t h e w i t c h c r a f t s u b s t a n c e . I n c o n t e m p o r a r y E d o c u l t u r e t h i s m e t h o d o f d e t e c t i n g w i t c h e s i s b a n n e d . N e e d l e s s t o s a y , a n u m b e r o f c u l t s c l a i m i n g t o d e t e c t w i t c h e s h a v e a r i s e n i n B e n i n a n d t h e s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a . T h e w i t c h e s d o n o t o p e r a t e i n d i v i d u a l l y . I m m e d i a t e l y u p o n l e a v i n g t h e b o d y , t h e y f l y a w a y t o a m e e t i n g o f t h e w i t c h e s ( i k e n i w a r e n a s o n ) . T h e w i t c h e s ' s o c i e t y i s h i e r a r c h i c a l l y s t r u c t u r e d . C i t i n g B r a d b u r y , h e s t a t e s t h a t t h e ' w i t c h e s a r e s a i d t o b e o r g a n i z e d a l o n g l i n e s p a r a l l e l t o t h e t e r r i t o r i a l d i v i s i o n s o f t h e B e n i n k i n g d o m . E a c h v i l l a g e h a s i t s t r e e i n w h i c h t h e w i t c h e s o f t h e v i l l a g e a r e s a i d t o m e e t a t n i g h t . T h e r e a r e l a r g e r m e e t i n g s f o r t h e m o r e p o w e r f u l w i t c h e s o f t h e m a j o r g e o g r a p h i c a l a r e a s o f t h e k i n g d o m a n d f i n a l l y a c e n t r a l m e e t i n g w h i c h i s a t t e n d e d o n l y b y t h e m o s t p o w e r f u l w i t c h e s f r o m t h e B e n i n k i n g d o m ' ( 1 9 5 7 : 6 0 ) . T h i s h i e r a r c h y i s i n n o w a y r e l a t e d t o s o c i a l s t a t u s o n t h e a g b o n l e v e l . ' A s m a l l man i n a g b o n may b e a b i g man i n e r i m w i n . ' One E d o whom my i n f o r -m a n t d e s c r i b e d a s a v e r y u g l y , p o o r man c l a i m e d t o b e s e c o n d i n command t o t h e k i n g o f t h e a z e n . He a l s o c l a i m e d t o h a v e c o n t r o l l e d e i g h t w i v e s i n t h e . w i t c h e s - . ' s o c i e t y . One b a r r e n woman c l a i m e d t o h a v e h a d many c h i l d r e n w h i l e a member o f t h e w i t c h e s ' s o c i e t y . U< I t i s t h e j o b o f t h e w i t c h e s t o s t e a l a p e r s o n ' s o r i o n a n d t a k e t h i s t o t h e m e e t i n g o f t h e w i t c h e s . T h e p u r p o s e o f t h e m e e t i n g i s t o c a u s e t r o u b l e a n d p a r t i c i p a t e i n a k i n d o f c o m m u n a l f e a s t . O n c e t h e w i t c h e s h a v e s e i z e d s o m e o n e ' s s o u l , t h e y t r a n s f o r m i t i n t o a n r a n i m a l ( u s u a l l y a - 210 -g o a t ) , k i l l i t and then feast upon i t . U n l i k e Esu who acts suddenly, the azen are b e l i e v e d to toy w i t h an i n d i v i d u a l before they f i n a l l y k i l l him. One informant t o l d me that the azen w i l l q u i t e o f t e n warn a p o t e n t i a l v i c t i m through dreams of other experiences g i v i n g him a means of escape. The occurrence of strange phenomena w i l l lead the p o t e n t i a l v i c t i m to the d i v i n e r who w i l l r e v e a l what must be done to escape i n j u r y . I I . THE MANIFESTATION OF THE AZEN 1. The azen have the power to stop conception. I t i s s a i d that they w i l l d r i n k a woman's conception. This i s a b s o l u t e l y abhorrent to the Edo. I t i s very common f o r Edo women to c l a i m that they have been pregnant only to los e t h e i r conception to the azen. The Edo al s o b e l i e v e that the azen can hold a woman's embryo i n the womb f o r as long as four y e a r s . 2. The azen can cause disturbances i n a woman's menstrual p e r i o d . 3. The azen have the power to render a man impotent. 4. The azen can cause madness. They take c o n t r o l of the b r a i n , causing v i o l e n t behaviour i n the s t r e e t s . The Edo u s u a l l y leave such people alone f o r there i s nothing that they can do to counteract the i n f l u e n c e of the azen a f t e r a person has acted i n t h i s manner. 5. The azen can cause general s i c k n e s s . Stomach t r o u b l e i s a t t r i -buted to t h e i r a c t i v i t y as are poor breathing and some throat problems. Most common of the sicknesses a t t r i b u t e d to the azen - 2 1 1 -a r e t h o s e c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e l o s s o f b l o o d . 6 . T h e a z e n c a n c a u s e b l i n d n e s s . T h e y a r e b e l i e v e d t o h a v e a s u p e r -n a t u r a l w a y o f ' p o i n t i n g t h e f i n g e r ' i n o r d e r t o c a u s e b l i n d n e s s . 7 . T h e a z e n h a v e t h e a b i l i t y t o e m p o w e r v a r i o u s m e d i c i n e s . 8 . T h e a z e n c a n r u i n i n d i v i d u a l E d o b u s i n e s s e n t e r p r i s e s . C a s e s R e v e a l i n g Some I n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e M a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e A z e n  C a s e 1 I n 1 9 6 1 a c e r t a i n man w o n ^ 5 0 0 0 i n a l o t t e r y . He d i d n o t g i v e a f e a s t o r d i s t r i b u t e a n y o f t h e m o n e y t o h i s r e l a t i v e s . I n s t e a d , h e w e n t a n d d u g a h o l e i n t o w h i c h h e p l a c e d h i s m o n e y . L a t e r h e b e c a m e s i c k . Some o f t h e m a n ' s r e l a t i v e s w e n t t o t h e d i v i n e r w h o s t a t e d t h a t t h e ' n i g h t p e o p l e ' w e r e t h e c a u s e o f t h e a i l m e n t . T h e man h a d f a i l e d t o g i v e t h e a z e n a n y f o o d ; n o r h a d h e o f f e r e d t h e m a s a c r i f i c e . He r e m a i n e d a d a m a n t i n h i s r e s i s t a n c e o f t h e a z e n a n d l a t e r d i e d o f d y s e n t r y . T o t h i s d a y t h e f a m i l y d o e s n o t k n o w w h e r e t h e m o n e y i s . I n t h i s c a s e t h e a z e n h a v e f i r s t c a u s e d t h e s i c k n e s s a n d f i n a l l y , a f t e r t h e w a r n i n g , h i s d e a t h . C a s e 2 I n D e c e m b e r , 1 9 6 6 t h e v i l l a g e o f E k i a d o l o r n e a r B e n i n d e s t r o y e d a l l t h e d o g s l i v i n g w i t h i n t h e b o u n d a r y o f t h e v i l l a g e . On t h r e e d i f f e r e n t o c c a s i o n s i t w a s r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e d o g s i n t h e v i l l a g e h a d b a r k e d i n a n u n u s u a l m a n n e r a f t e r t h e c h u r c h b e l l s h a d r u n g f o r e a r l y m o r n i n g p r a y e r s a n d o n e a c h o c c a s i o n a c h i l d s u d d e n l y d i e d . T h e v i l l a g e e l d e r s a s s o c i a t e d t h e t h r e e e v e n t s a n d c a m e t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n t h a t a l l d o g s w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n w e r e a f f e c t e d w i t h w i t c h c r a f t ( o r a t l e a s t t h e p o t e n t i a l i n s t r u m e n t s o f t h e - 2 1 2 -a z e n ) a n d w e r e r e s p o n s i b l e , a s v e h i c l e s o f t h e a z e n , f o r t h e d e a t h s o f t h e c h i l d r e n . C o n s e q u e n t l y , a l l d o g s w e r e d e s t r o y e d a n d n e w o n e s b a n n e d f r o m e n t e r i n g t h e v i l l a g e . I n t h i s c a s e we s e e t h a t t h e a z e n u s e l o w e r a n i m a l s a s a g e n t s o f t h e i r n e f a r i o u s a c t i v i t y . T h e a z e n w i l l g i v e t h e u n s u s p e c t i n g a n i m a l s s o m e t h i n g t o e a t i n t h e n i g h t , e n a b l i n g t h e m t o c o n t r o l t h e d o g ' s b e h a -v i o u r a n d u s e t h e m t o d e s t r o y t h e c h i l d r e n . T h e s e c o n d f a c t e m e r g i n g f r o m t h i s c a s e i s t h a t t h e a z e n a r e b e l i e v e d t o b e c a p a b l e o f d e s t r o y i n g l i f e . My i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t t h e a z e n h a t e t h e c h u r c h . R e j e c t i o n o f t h e t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s s y s t e m d o e s n o t e r a d i c a t e t h e b e l i e f i n w i t c h e s . W i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s a r e s t i l l v e r y m u c h a p a r t o f t h e c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k o f t h e E d o C h r i s t i a n s . C a s e 3 I n D e c e m b e r , 1 9 6 6 a N i g e r i a n Y o r u b a man w a s j a i l e d f o r l i f e i n L o n d o n f o r b e a t i n g t o d e a t h a 1 9 - y e a r o l d g i r l who h e c l a i m e d w a s a w i t c h . T h e j u d g e , M r . J u s t i c e J o n e s , t o l d t h e 3 6 - y e a r o l d N i g e r i a n t h a t t h e r e p e a t e d a s s a u l t s o n a f e l l o w N i g e r i a n w e r e s o h o r r i f y i n g t h a t h e w o u l d r e c o m m e n d a m i n i m u m o f t w e n t y y e a r s i m p r i s o n m e n t . T h e g i r l ' s b r u i s e d b o d y w a s f o u n d p a r c e l l e d i n b r o w n p a p e r i n a n o r t h L o n d o n s t r e e t w h e r e t h e a c c u s e d h a d t a k e n i t i n a t a x i . U p o n d i s c u s s i n g t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c a s e w i t h a n E d o m a n , h e s a i d t h a t i s w a s a c a s e o f ' d i s a p p o i n t e d l o v e . ' My i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t a l l w i t c h e s ( a n d t h i s w o u l d i n c l u d e t h e a z e n ) h a v e t h e p o w e r t o h a r a s s h u m a n s . T h e g i r l w a s a w i t c h a n d a p p e a r e d t o t h e man i n t h e f o r m o f s n a i l s , r a t s , a n d b i r d s , c a u s i n g h i m t o b e c o m e v e r y w e a k a n d c o n f u s e d . T h e man p r o b a b l y d r e a m t o f t h e g i r l a n d b e l i e v e d t h a t s h e w a s a w i t c h , c o n t i n u a l l y p l a g u i n g a n d h a r a s s i n g h i m t o t h e p o i n t w h e r e - 2 1 3 -h e c o u l d n o l o n g e r s t u d y o r f u n c t i o n n o r m a l l y . T h u s h e k i l l e d h e r . E x t r a p o l a t i n g f r o m t h i s c a s e , i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e a z e n a r e n o t l i m i t e d t o a p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l e . T h e y a r e c a p a b l e o f t r a v e l l i n g g r e a t d i s t a n c e s a n d c a n c a u s e c o n f u s i o n t h r o u g h t o r m e n t i n g d r e a m e x p e r i e n c e s . C a s e 4 M r . P . A . o f O v a V i l l a g e n e a r B e n i n d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e a z e n h a d b e e n r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e r e p e a t e d m i s c a r r i a g e s o f h i s w i f e . He s o u g h t 2 O g u n w h o w a s r e p o r t e d t o h a v e k i l l e d t h e w i t c h . C a s e 5 M r . I . 0 . d i s c o v e r e d t h r o u g h d i v i n a t i o n t h a t t h e a z e n w e r e r e s -p o n s i b l e f o r h i s c o n t i n u a l l y t r o u b l e d s l e e p . C a s e 6 M r . E . I . o f I g u o s a l a V i l l a g e d i s c o v e r e d t h r o u g h d i v i n a t i o n t h a t t h e a z e n w e r e t h e c a u s e o f h i s w i f e ' s a b n o r m a l l y d e v e l o p e d e m b r y o . C a s e 7 M r . I . 0 . o f U g b o g u i p e r s u a d e d O g u n t o o b s t r u c t t h e w i t c h w h o w a s c a u s i n g h i s w i f e t o u n d e r g o i r r e g u l a r m e n s t r u a t i o n . C a s e 8 . M r . I . 0 . o f B e n i n d i s c o v e r e d t h r o u g h d i v i n a t i o n t h a t t h e a z e n w e r e t h e c a u s e o f h i s d e c l i n i n g t r a n s p o r t b u s i n e s s . T h e a z e n m a n i f e s t t h e m s e l v e s t o t h e E d o t h r o u g h t h e d i s r u p t i n g o f C a s e s 4 - 8 a r e t a k e n f r o m t h e d a t a i n t h e c h a p t e r o n O g u n . - 214 -a c t i v i t i e s on the s o c i a l l e v e l . They al s o invade the nature of man, d i s r u p t i n g h i s normal f u n c t i o n i n g . Their presence, then, i s f e l t p r i m a r i l y as a r e s u l t of the e v i l ends of t h e i r a c t i o n . The Edo 'read' the signs of t h e i r m a n i f e s t a t i o n : the causal l i n k i n an event being explained i n terms of the azen. I I I . THE EDO RESPONSE TO THE AZEN The Edo seldom i n i t i a t e communication w i t h the wit c h e s . The witches pose a serious t h r e a t to the harmonious f u n c t i o n i n g of Edo s o c i e t y . There-f o r e the primary motivating f a c t o r i n the Edo response to the azen i s appeasement. The azen must be kept at a d i s t a n c e , or p u t t i n g i t another way, r i t u a l l y managed. Thus the m a j o r i t y of s a c r i f i c e s to the azen are fo r t h i s s p e c i f i c purpose. I f an Edo de s i r e s to harm another person, he can i n t e r a c t w i t h a known, confessed w i t c h . Or he can o f f e r h i s complaint openly, promising to give the witches something i f they c a r r y out h i s request. The Edo may a l s o contact the obonoyada i n order to purchase some medicinal power which w i l l enable them to gain supernatural i n s i g h t i n t o the azen's a c t i v i t i e s . Before examining a number of cases of s a c r i f i c e to the azen, I w i l l o u t l i n e the a c t u a l s a c r i f i c i a l process to the 'night people.' A f t e r the c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h the obonoyada or p o s s i b l y other d i v i n e r s , the s u p p l i c a n t w i l l go w i t h him to the j u n c t i o n . The azen always want blood. Things associated w i t h d i r t i n e s s and e v i l are acceptable to the azen (My informant t o l d me that items k i l l e d on the road and r e j e c t e d by everybody e l s e are acceptable) as w e l l as items associated w i t h the l e f t (eg. the l e f t foot of a go a t ) . Some of the items o f f e r e d to the azen are the dog, - 2 1 5 -g o a t , t o r t o i s e , h e n , s m a l l e g g , n a t i v e m a t , w h i t e c l o t h a n d f u f u . T h e p u r p o s e o f t h e w h i t e c l o t h i s t o s e r v e a s a n u n d e r c o v e r f o r t h e s l a u g h t e r e d a n i m a l w h i c h i s p l a c e d o n a m a t . T h e m a t i s b e l i e v e d t o b e u s e d b y t h e a z e n t o r o l l t h e i r i n g r e d i e n t s i n w h e n t h e y t r a v e l a w a y . T h e i n d i v i d u a l g o e s w i t h t h e o b o n o y a d a t o t h e c r o s s r o a d s . T h e r e a s o n f o r t h i s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e E d o i s t h a t t h e a z e n c a n c o m e f r o m t h e c a r d i n a l p o i n t s t o p a r t a k e o f t h e o f f e r i n g . B e f o r e t h e s a c r i f i c e i s m a d e , a h o r n ( o r u ) i s b l o w n . A f t e r t h e s a c r i f i c e i s made t h e o b o n o y a d a a n d t h e s u p p l i c a n t g o h o m e . C a s e 1 One i n f o r m a n t t o l d me o f a man w h o w a s t r o u b l e d a s h e f e l t v e r y u n c o m f o r t a b l e d u r i n g t h e n i g h t . He a p p r o a c h e d a n o b o n o y a d a w h o p r e p a r e d a t a l i s m a n a n d t o l d h i m t o b a t h e i n O s u n ( t h e r e a r e v a r i o u s m e d i c i n a l p o t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h O s u n , t h e d i v i n i t y o f m e d i c i n e ) . He w a s a l s o t o l d t o s a c r i f i c e some p e p p e r s o u p ( o i l i s f o r b i d d e n t o b e u s e d i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n ) a n d a c o c k a t t h e c r o s s r o a d s . I w a s t o l d t h a t i t i s n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e h e a d o f t h e f a m i l y t o a s s o c i a t e w i t h t h e a z e n , a s t h e j u n i o r m e m b e r s o f t h e l i n e a g e m i g h t k i l l h i m a n d t a k e h i s p o s i t i o n i f h e d i d n o t h a v e s t r o n g m e d i c i n e . T h i s p a r t i c u l a r s a c r i f i c e w a s made t o a p p e a s e t h e m . C a s e 2 I n t h i s c a s e M r . F . 0 . h a d b e e n f a l s e l y a c c u s e d . He w a n t e d r e d r e s s f o r w h a t h e w a s a c c u s e d o f ; i n t h i s d e s p e r a t e s t a t e o f m i n d h e s o u g h t t h e a z e n a t t h e c r o s s r o a d s ( a d a ) p r a y i n g b l i n d l y f o r t h e i r h e l p . My i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t t h i s man w a s t a k i n g a v e r y s e r i o u s c h a n c e , f o r i f ' e v e r y t h i n g h a d n o t b e e n a l l r i g h t i n h i s l i f e , ' t h e a z e n c o u l d e a s i l y h a v e c a u s e d h i m - 216 -h a r m . A p p a r e n t l y t h e a z e n g r a n t e d , F . O . ' s r e q u e s t a n d h i s o p p o n e n t l a t e r f e l l s i c k . T h i s l e d t h e a c c u s e r ' s f a m i l y t o s e e k t h e c a u s e o f t h e s i c k -n e s s . T h e d i v i n e r r e v e a l e d t h e n a t u r e o f t h e < p r o b l e m , s t a t i n g t h a t t h e c a u s e w a s r e l a t e d t o t h e a c t i v i t y o f t h e a z e n a n d t h a t t h e a z e n d e m a n d e d a s a c r i f i c e f r o m t h e m a n . He w a s a l s o t o l d t h a t t h e m o n e y s h o u l d b e g i v e n b a s k t o F . O . C a s e 3 M r . I . E . o f I g u o s o d i n V i l l a g e o f f e r e d o n e h e - g o a t , o n e s m a l l n a t i v e m a t , some c o w r i e s , k o l a n u t s a n d o n e t o r t o i s e t o t h e a z e n . H i s p u r p o s e w a s t o i m p l o r e t h e m n o t t o h i n d e r t h e p r o g r e s s o f h i s w i f e ' s p r e g n a n c y a s s h e w a s s u f f e r i n g f r o m o c c a s i o n a l b l e e d i n g . T h e d i v i n e r a d v i s e d h i m t o o f f e r t h e a f o r e m e n t i o n e d m a t e r i a l s t o t h e a z e n b e c a u s e o n e o f t h e m a n ' s w i v e s w a s j e a l o u s o f t h e o t h e r w i f e , t h i n k i n g t h a t s h e m i g h t g i v e b i r t h t o a m a l e c h i l d t h e r e b y i n h e r i t i n g h e r h u s b a n d ' s p r o p e r t y u p o n h i s d e a t h . T h e o n l y t h i n g h e c o u l d d o t o e s c a p e t h e r e c u r r e n c e o f a t t a c k s f r o m t h e a z e n w a s t o s a c r i f i c e t o t h e m a t t h e c r o s s r o a d s . v \ I n c o m m e n t i n g o n t h i s c a s e , my i n f o r m a n t s a i d t h a t t h e r e i s c o n -s i d e r a b l e c o n f l i c t w i t h i n t h e p o l y g a m o u s f a m i l y o v e r s u c c e s s i o n r i g h t s . One o f t h e m a n ' s w i v e s f e a r e d t h a t h e r c o - w i f e w o u l d h a v e a m a l e c h i l d . A p p a r e n t l y t h e woman s u c c e e d e d i n c o n c e i v i n g a n d t h e j e a l o u s w i f e w a s b a n i s h e d . C o u n t e r a c t i o n o f t h e A z e n T h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t t h e a z e n a r e c o n s t a n t l y t r y i n g t o d i s r u p t t h e i r l i v e s l e a d s t h e E d o t o s e e k w a y s a n d m e a n s o f c o u n t e r a c t i n g t h e m . - 217 -T h e f i r s t m e a n s b y w h i c h t h e E d o may o b t a i n p r o t e c t i o n f r o m t h e a z e n i s t o i n t e r a c t w i t h t h e d i v i n i t i e s O g u n a n d E s u . I n t h e c h a p t e r o n O g u n we e x a m i n e d a n u m b e r o f c a s e s i n w h i c h O g u n w a s s a c r i f i c e d t o i n o r d e r t o c o u n t e r a c t w i t c h a c t i v i t y . My i n f o r m a n t t o l d me t h a t i n n i n e t y o u t o f o n e h u n d r e d c a s e s t h e d i v i n e r w i l l l e a d t h e p e r s o n t r o u b l e d b y t h e w i t c h e s t o s e e k p r o t e c t i o n f r o m O g u n who i s b e l i e v e d t o b e g r e a t l y f e a r e d b y t h e w i t c h e s . T h e ' i m p o r t e d ' d i v i n i t y , O r u n m i l a , i s a l s o b e l i e v e d t o b e e s p e c i a l l y ' g o o d ' a t d e t e c t i n g w i t c h c r a f t . O b s e s s i o n w i t h t h e a z e n a n d t h e i r a n t i - h u m a n a c t s h a s r e s u l t e d i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f a n u m b e r o f c u l t s i n t o t h e M i d - W e s t . One s u c h e x a m p l e i s t h e A z e l u c u l t i n t r o d u c e d f r o m t h e A f e n m a i D i v i s i o n . S y n c r e t i s t c h u r c h e s s u c h a s t h e C h e r u b i m a n d S e r a p h i m a l s o c l a i m t o h a v e t h e p o w e r t o c o u n t e r a c t w i t c h e s . T h e E d o may g a i n s p e c i a l p r o t e c t i o n f r o m t h e a z e n b y b a t h i n g w i t h s p e c i a l l y p r e p a r e d m e d i c i n e s . T h e o b o n o y a d a , s k i l l e d i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f l e a v e s , p r e p a r e s a s p e c i a l m e d i c i n e . He t h e n a s k s t h e o n e i n n e e d o f p r o t e c t i o n t o b u y a g o a t . T h e b l o o d f r o m t h e g o a t i s t h e n s p r i n k l e d o v e r t h e l e a v e s a n d e v e r y t h i n g i s p l a c e d i n a l a r g e c l a y p o t . T h i s i s g e n e r a l l y k n o w n a s O s u n . T h e p o t w i l l b e p l a c e d s o m e w h e r e i n t h e b u s h . T h e o n e s e e k i n g p r o t e c t i o n w i l l b e a s k e d t o t r a v e l t o t h e b u s h a n d b a t h e w i t h t h i s m e d i c i n e . No m e d i c i n e , s a y t h e E d o , c a n w o r k w i t h o u t t h e a i d o f e r i m w i n b e i n g s . B y b a t h i n g i n t h i s m e d i c i n e , o r o t h e r s l i k e i t , t h e E d o c a n b e p r o t e c t e d f r o m a z e n a c t i v i t y . A n o t h e r m e a n s o f c o u n t e r a c t i n g t h e a z e n i s t h r o u g h t h e u s e o f t a l i s -m e n . T h e d i v i n e r may m a k e o n e o u t o f a t a r r y s u b s t a n c e i n t h e s h a p e o f a s i l v e r d o l l a r . My i n f o r m a n t s h o w e d me o n e h e w a s u s i n g - - h e k e p t i t t u c k e d i n h i s w a t c h p o c k e t . I h a v e a l s o s e e n a n u m b e r o f b r o o m p i e c e s s t u c k t o -g e t h e r w i t h a t a r r y s u b s t a n c e a n d p l a c e d o n t h e . i n s i d e o f t h e f r o n t d o o r . - 218 -Once someone is known as a witch, he is expelled from the intimacy of face-to-face contact and participation in the daily round of ac t i v i t i e s . This limits their e v i l powers considerably since they are denied the necessary intimate knowledge needed in order to work their e v i l against the Edo. Their power becomes limited to that of directing e v i l upon particular individuals as a result of a nocturnal v i s i t by an individual desirous of directing e v i l against some enemy. C H A P T E R X E H I : D E S T I N Y I N THE EDO T R A D I T I O N A L R E L I G I O N I . T H E EDO R E P R E S E N T A T I O N OF E H I T h e E d o b e l i e v e t h a t e v e r y i n d i v i d u a l c o n s i s t s o f t w o p a r t s : t h e l i v i n g p e r s o n i n a g b o n a n d t h e s p i r i t u a l c o u n t e r p a r t E h i w h i c h i s i n e r i m w i n . I t i s a common b e l i e f t h a t w h e n a p e r s o n i s g o i n g t o b e b o r n i n a g b o n h e g o e s b e f o r e O s a n o b u a a n d t e l l s h i m w h a t h e p l a n s t o d o w i t h h i s l i f e o n e a r t h a n d r e q u e s t s t h e m a t e r i a l a n d s p i r i t u a l f a c i l i t i e s f o r a c c o m p l i s h i n g t h i s . T h i s a c t i s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e w o r d I i i . I f a man i s u n s u c c e s s f u l i n t h e w o r l d h e i s s a i d t o h a v e d o n e t h i s b a d l y o r t o b e f i g h t i n g a g a i n s t t h e f a t e w h i c h h e h a s d e t e r m i n e d f o r h i m s e l f a n d w h e n p e o p l e a r e b u r i e d t h e m o u r n e r s c a l l a f t e r t h e m t o h i w e l l n e x t t i m e ( B r a d b u r y 1 9 5 7 : 5 8 - 9 ) . O s a n o b u a h a s c r e a t e d a l l E h i a n d h a s g i v e n t h e m a n u m b e r o f f u n c -t i o n s . A n E h i a c t s a s i n f o r m a n t t o O s a n o b u a . T h e E d o s a y : A g h o g h o n o r s o e  omwan v b a s e r i m w i n . 'When we s h a l l g e t t o e r i m w i n , E h i w i l l b e my w i t n e s s T h e w o r d u s e d h e r e f o r E h i i s a g h o g h o n w h i c h m e a n s s h a d o w . A n E h i i s l i k a s h a d o w , c o n s t a n t l y o b s e r v i n g i t s a g b o n c o u n t e r p a r t . A n i n d i v i d u a l ' s E h w i t n e s s e s a l l a c t i o n s a n d w h e n a n E d o e v e n t u a l l y g o e s b e f o r e O s a n o b u a f o r j u d g m e n t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o c o v e r u p , f o r h i s E h i w i l l b e a r w i t n e s s . - 220 -T h e d e s t i n y o f a n E d o i s s e t b e f o r e h e c o m e s i n t o t h e w o r l d . ' ' " T h e e l e m e n t o f f a t e i s o p e r a t i v e h e r e f o r i t i s c o m m o n l y b e l i e v e d t h a t o n e c a n n o t r i s e h i g h e r t h a n o n e ' s E h i . I f a n E d o h a s a ' p o o r ' E h i , t h e n h e i s d e s t i n e d t o b e ' p o o r . ' U p o n o b s e r v i n g a n i n d i v i d u a l ' s u n f o r t u n a t e b e h a v i o u r , a n E d o m i g h t r e m a r k : E h i e r e i m a . ' T h a t p e r s o n ' s E h i i s n o t g o o d . ' T h e name E h i m w e n m a (My E h i i s g o o d ) r e f l e c t s t h i s a t t i t u d e a s • • • w e l l . T h i s p a r t i c u l a r name n o d o u b t r e f l e c t s a n a t t i t u d e o f t h a n k f u l n e s s b e f o r e o n e ' s E h i : p o s s i b l y t h e b i r t h o f a c h i l d i s a t t r i b u t e d t o E h i ' s * • 2 i n t e r c e s s i o n a l a c t i v i t y . A n u m b e r o f o t h e r n a m e s r e v e a l a s i m i l a r a t t i t u d e t o E h i . T h e name E h i o r o b o ( E h i i s a g o o d d o c t o r ) i s a p r a i s e name i n d i -c a t i v e o f a b e l i e f t h a t E h i i s c a p a b l e o f i n t e r c e e d i n g o n o n e ' s b e h a l f . T h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t g o o d d e s t i n y i s a t t r i b u t a b l e t o E h i i s f u r t h e r s e e n i n t h e name E h i z o g i e ( E h i h a s c r e a t e d me t o b e l i k e a k i n g ) . T h e h a p p i n e s s o v e r g o o d f o r t u n e i s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e name g i v e n t o t h e n e w l y b o r n c h i l d . I t i s o b v i o u s , t h e n , t h a t a p a r t f r o m t h e s h a d o w i n g f u n c t i o n , a n o t h e r o f a n E h i ' s f u n c t i o n s o r s p h e r e s o f i n f l u e n c e i s t h a t o f g i v i n g a s s i s t a n c e t o h i s h u m a n c o u n t e r p a r t . T h i s t a k e s t h e f o r m o f i n t e r c e s s i o n b e f o r e O s a n o b u a . I t may b e t h a t i f a n E h i i s s u c c e s s f u l O s a n o b u a w i l l s e n d t h e o t h e r d i v i n i t i e s o n a m i s s i o n o n t h e s u p p l i c a n t ' s b e h a l f . One i n f o r m a n t I n a n e s s a y " E z o m o ' s I k e g o b o a n d t h e B e n i n C u l t o f t h e H a n d , ' R . B r a d b u r y s t a t e s : ' A t o n e l e v e l t h e E h i r e p r e s e n t s t h e i n n a t e p o t e n t i a l i t i e s f o r s o c i a l a c h i e v e m e n t w i t h w h i c h e a c h i n d i v i d u a l i s b e l i e v e d t o b e e n d o w e d . P r e d e s t i n y i s s e e n a s a l i m i t i n g f a c t o r o n t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s c a p a c i t y t o a c h i e v e s u c c e s s t h r o u g h h i s own a c t i o n s ( 1 9 6 1 : 1 3 3 - 4 ) . 2 B r a d b u r y s t a t e s ( 1 9 6 1 : 1 3 3 - 4 ) ' I n o p e r a t i o n t h e c u l t o f t h e E h i c a n b e s h o w n t o h a v e a p a r t i c u l a r a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h t h e a b i l i t y t o . b e g e t , o r b e a r , a n d k e e p h e a l t h y c h i l d r e n . T h o u g h o n e w h o h a s a s t r o k e o f g o o d '.; l u c k s h o u l d , a n