Ekoko N’Ute masquerades made a historic appearance at the 2022 annual Ugie also known as Igue festival, ahead of the new year in Oba palace, Benin City, Edo State.
The masquerades from N’Uteh in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, performed for the first time since the Benin monarch, HRM. Oba Ewuare II ascended the throne of his forebears six years ago.
The cultural troupe, which started performing at the palace during the reign of Oba Ewuare, the first Century in the Benin Kingdom, added an extra charge to the joy of spectators during the Otue-Iguoba ceremony.
The performance’s high point was a special parade with ancestral staff (Ukhurhe Ekoko N’ Uteh) Community (Ancestral staff), which symbolizes peace, unity, and blessings in Benin Kingdom.
Earlier, Oba Ewuare II prayed to God and his ancestors at the Ceremony which involves traditional solutions by the various ranks of Chiefs and Dukes as a mark of recognition, identity and love for another, began.
He gave kola nuts to Chiefs, Royal Guilds, Dukes and prominent individuals in order of seniority during the Otue-Iguoba which afford title holders to celebrate the Igue festival in their various homes on December 26, 2022.
During the row call of traditional title holders across the various Guilds in the palace. As a mark of appreciation, the beneficiaries pay obeisance and thank the Oba for the honour and recognition.
Queen mothers led by Eson’erie, Her Royal Highness, Oloi Iroghama Ewuare II, witnessed the ceremony alongside the monarch’s eldest daughter, Princess Ikuoyemwen Ewuare II Aimiuwu and other members of the Benin Royal family.
Royal drummers led by Chief Nosakhare Omuemu gave a good account of themselves during the event.
Paparazzi flocked around to catch a glimpse of the sights and sounds of the Royal treat, under the watchful eyes of Ewaise (Diviners), and Ifiento (Royal soldiers in the palace who clears the way for the monarch.
Meanwhile, the Oba marked this year’s Igue-Oba rite on Thursday night in his palace in line with Benin Customs and Tradition.