Oba of Benin: Shave your heads or face the wrath of the ancestors

Oba Erediauwa of Benin

Late Oba Erediauwa of Benin

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Late Oba Erediauwa of Benin
Late Oba Erediauwa of Benin

The Benin Traditional Council has warned that all male citizens of Benin Kingdom, both at home and in Diaspora, who fail to clean-shave the hair on their heads, in obedience to Benin traditional burial rite of the transited Monarch of the Kingdom, will face the wrath of the ancestors.

The Council gave the warning on Wednesday in Benin while announcing to journalists that the burial rites for the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Oba Erediauwa, who recently joined his ancestors, would soon commence.

The Prime Minister and Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, who the Council, said while no one would be forced to comply with the directive, all male citizens of the Kingdom are expected to respect the custom and tradition of Benin Kingdom as they are expected to clean shave their heads with effect from 29th April, 2016.

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“All our friends and well-wishers, including all those who live with us and work for their livelihood within our kingdom, may wish to join us in this action,” he said.

When asked if there was any sanction against those who fail to shave their hair, the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri said for true Benins, the sanction is between them and their ancestors.

‎Speaking further, Igbe said all funeral rites would be prohibited in Benin Kingdom from the date the funeral rites of the Monarch is announced, till the end of all ceremonies.

He therefore urged all those who have funeral ceremonies to perform to do so before the Oba’s burial rites are announced.

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