His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II CFR, has commenced the 2022 Ugie otherwise called Igue festival, with Ugierhoba rites, heralding the end of the year.
Ugierhoba is the Ceremony where the Oba paid homage to the spirits of his departed ancestors (Enikaro) on Tuesday in his palace, Benin City, Edo State.
Oba Ewuare performed the rites at Ugha-Erhoba altars dedicated to the past Obas, ahead of the forthcoming year.
In solidarity, Oba Ewuare’s forebears revealed themselves with visible signs in the affirmation that his offerings and homage have been accepted by his ancestors.
During the indoor Ceremony, Oba Ewuare II assisted by close palace functionaries poured libations at the Ugha-Erhoba shrines and used kola nuts to offer prayers of protection to God and his ancestors.
He also thanked his forebears for a peaceful reign in line with the rich Benin Customs and traditions.
Palace functionaries including Chief Osuan, made supplication unto the Oba in a special performance with his Royal sword and pledged to his loyalty to the great Benin throne, while the head of Eghaevbo N’ Ogbe, Chief Ihama and Eribo – acting head of Iwebo Guilds.
The Edion group led by Chief Edionwe Oliha, the Oliha of Benin, also played various roles at the Igue festival which started in the Ogiso era, way back in 40 BC.
Also, the Ehondor (the traditional Butchers) Guild, slaughtered the animals at Ugha-Erhoba, making their impact felt at the event, which was restricted to members of the Benin Royal family (Ivbioba), and palace functionaries.
Chiefs, and other palace Guilds including Ewaise (Diviners), Ifiento (Royal soldiers in the palace who clears the way for the monarch, while a set of Royal drummers, took part in the traditional rites in honour of the departed Obas.
Oba Ewuare II who was clad in a white and red traditional regalia, led the procession from paid tributes to his ancestors at Ugha-Ozolua and Ugha-Erhoba before and after the event, in accordance with the dictates of the ancestors.
Hilarious traditional songs and performances by Ohen-Ebor Oba (Priests and Priestesses) along with Emehe (a group of elderly women usually attached to the King’s Royal court, spurred cultural enthusiasts into a joyful mood.