In the depths of Ancient Benin, images of Olokun stood tall, a testament to a rich history of reverence. Legends whisper of heads journeying to Uhẹ, finding sanctuary in Olokun shrines under the watchful gaze of Ekaladerhan n’Ododuwa, who fled Igodomigodo’s embrace for the solace of Uhẹ.

The Oba of Benin, a custodian of tradition, bestowed bronze plaques upon Olokun priests at Ughoton, the heart of Olokun’s realm, and Uhẹ, where Ekaladerhan rose to prominence as Ododuwa. These artifacts, adorned with Iris or devoid of it, spoke of deities and mortals, each with a story woven into the fabric of time.

Olokun’s origins trace back to Urhonigbe, where Olo the hunter, guided by mystical forces, erected the first altar to Olokun, Obanamen of Edo land. Urhonigbe, home to the primal Olokun shrine, pulsated with the rhythms of worship, celebrating the Igue festival long before the dawn of memory.


Before Ekaladerhan’s footsteps echoed through history, Olokun’s presence was woven into the tapestry of Urhonigbe’s soul. In the pantheon of Edo, Osanobua reigned supreme, alongside Olokun, offspring of divinity, and the earthly embodiment of kingship, the Oba of Benin.

Ekaladerhan, a torchbearer of Olokun’s legacy, kindled the flames of worship by erecting shrines in Ughoton, later magnified by Oba Ewuare I. Yet, Olokun’s mantle transcended mortal realms, finding manifestation in Oba Ohẹn, who led the charge in battle, merging with the sea god’s essence.


As the waves of time wash over the shores of history, the Oba of Benin stands as Olokun’s son, embodying the essence of all mortals. In the whispers of tradition and the echoes of legend, Olokun’s legacy endures, a beacon guiding the faithful across the sands of time.


– Samuel Igbinosa Nomamiukor

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