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Brief History Of Emotan Statue, Edo State

The statue of the stately woman, clad in the traditional wrapper and a headgear associated with the Benin royaity stands opposite the Oba market in Benin City. The statue was erected in honor of Emotan a patriotic woman who traded in foodstuffs at the very spot where the statue stands in the 15th century

.At that period,{11th} Oba Uwaifiokun {1430AD-1440AD} usurped the throne of the Benin kingdom in place of his senior brother,Prince Ogun who was the heir apparent. Ogun in those times of travail paid secret and nocturnal visits to Benin from his exile.

On many occasions,this market woman called Emotan warned Ogun of impending dangers and advised him against interacting with some treacherous chiefs who may reveal his presence. On one occasion Emotan actually hid prince ogun from his adversary.

The statue of the stately woman, clad in the traditional wrapper and a headgear associated with the Benin royaity stands opposite the Oba market in Benin City. The statue was erected in honor of Emotan a patriotic woman who traded in foodstuffs at the very spot where the statue stands in the 15th century.

At that period,{11th} Oba Uwaifiokun {1430AD-1440AD} usurped the throne of the Benin kingdom in place of his senior brother,Prince Ogun who was the heir apparent. Ogun in those times of travail. paid secret and nocturnal visits to Benin from his exile.

On many occasions,this market woman called Emotan warmed Ogun of impending dangers and advised him against interacting with some treacherous chiefs who may reveal his presence. On one occasion Emotan actually hid prince ogun from his adversary When PrinceOgun eventually regained the throne and was subsequently crowned as the real Oba of Benin, he took the name {12th} Oba Ewuare the great {1440AD-1473AD}.

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He did not forget the pivotal role played by this simple market woman, Emotan who saved him from glaring dangers during his exile years. When Emotan died, Oba Ewuare ordered that the sacred Uruhe tree be planted at the very spot where Emotan used to display her goods inOba market and decreed that thereafter, every person in Benin who is performing any ceremony of whatever must pay homeage to Emotan.Thus to this day every citizen,including the Oba himseif pays homage to Emotan.

During the reign of {33rd} Oba Osemwende {1816AD-1848AD} the commemorative tree fell and he replanted another Uruhe tree on the same spot.In 1951, the British colonial administration officials injected the tree with poisonous chemicals and uprooted it. This action almost led to a violent mass reaction. After which the {37th} Oba Akenzua II {1933AD-1978AD} vehemently protested the destruction of the Emotan shrine.

This had been there since the 15th century. Consequently, the colonialists acceded to the request for a replacement. A life-size statue was cast by Mr. J.A.Danfor in London from a clay Marquette modeled by Enomayo, professional brass caster from the Igun-Eronmwon.
The new Emotan statue was unveiled amidst pomp and pageantry by the Oba Benin, Akenzuall on March 20, 1954.

The National Museum, Benin City: The National Museum, Benin City contains artworks,artifacts and relics of the rich cultural history of the Bini people.Tourists can take a visual excursion through the varied collections and relish and re-live the artistic culture of thebini people.The Museum is a repository of the ancient,modern and contemporary artistic ingenuity,not only of the people of Edo state, but also of the major cultures of Nigeria.It is situated on king’s Square,Ring Road, Benin City.

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