THE PALACE AND THE KOLA NUTS
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By Comr Ezomon Ak
Today i want to enlighten you on why the Kola nut is recognized almost everywhere in Africa most especially in the Benin Kingdom as something you cannot do without.
Before we begin, It is worthy of note that, the kola nut is as old as the Palace itself because it is one of the item listed in Palace Conflict Resolution between individuals or communities and it is also one of the item chosen for the king to make a decree or proclamations in the olden days.
Kola nut is always shared in the Palace for some great reasons. I may not be able to list all for now but I believe if there is any need for an update on this article, I will list more.
On one side, It is presented by the visitor to the great throne as a SYMBOL OF RESPECT and when blessed and chewed together, it stands for TRUST in any relationship. On the other hand, the kola nut is used in the palace to INITIATE A RELATIONSHIP and then to appease the gods of the FOREFATHERS who is still believed to be alive in Spirit within the Palace.
Kola nut also was distributed in the Palace to know those who WITNESSED AN EVENT.
Kola nut is also used till date as a form of BLESSING PROCLAMATION to those presenting it. In fact, it is an abominable act for you to see the Oba without the gift or presentation of Kola nut for prayers. And in those days , there is always a little part of the Kola nut that is dropped on the floor for the Spirit of the forefathers and One significant thing is that, it is never removed from the ground but you can never meet it the next day. So it is believed that spirit of the dead that means well for the Palace eat Kola nuts.
Kola nuts was also used in the palace as a form of OATH for an agreement between two parties in the Presence of the Oba.
In those days, Kola nut is only shared to adult who have come of age and can be held responsible for contrary action to the reasons for which the kola nut was broken and shared.
Another Reason for the saying ” Kola nut last long in the mouth of those who knows the value” is that when the Kola is shared for an Oath, you are expected to eat it in bits while the great Oba or Palace Priest makes proclamations and incarnations.
So for ages, Presentation of Kola nut to the palace when visiting has been a tradition that only the true sons of the soil understands. Even strangers coming to see the Oba or Palace Chiefs must be advise to come with Kola nut.
The first contact with the Oba before he starts talking is the presentation of Kola nuts. We hold our tradition dear to ourselves because the same tradition has kept us in this progressive way for centuries.
In those days, if you come to the Palace without Kola nut, you will not be allowed to see the Oba and you will be sent out of the Palace with canes and beating by the Palace Servants . If this action is repeated by same person or kindred, the palace will declared such person or Community, the ENEMY of the Palace.
It is of great importance to note that the presentation of Kola nuts stands for the word ” I COME IN PEACE” in this modern day.
May God not allow Us become the enemy of the Palace whether knowingly or unknowingly!!!