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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Meaning Of Igodomigodo

By Uwagboe Ogieva
(first published 18 -oct-2011)

Many people use this name but do not know the actual meaning or significant."igiodomigiodo" or Igodomigodo, is a combination of 'igiodo mi igiodo' or 'igiodo ọre ọh mi igiodo'. "igiodo" like  'igiogbẹ' meaning heaven, paradise,  riches or heritage. "igiodo" if further split could refers to 'igie+odo'-'igi'odo', i.e. "igie" means kings - a plural form of 'ogie, - king, head, leader, supreme, co-coordinator, oversea, etc. while "odo" is the mother mortar, a native pounder with a small deep hole use in pounding or grinding. 'odo' also represent 'the heart of it', the center, and the root, the main or mother earth. "igie+odo" or "igiodo", sometimes abbreviated to be 'igodo'  refers to 'main leaders, the key runners, the co-coordinators, pioneers, the nation's executives, the riches, the wise men, the organizers, coordinators, creators or the wealth. "`ọmi" is a combination of "ọh + mi", - he/she/they/it  + made, build, create, manage or construct. ""IGODOMIGODO  or IGIODOMIGIODO" simply means 'nation made nation, king made kings, great men made nations, great leaders build nations, wisdom made wise men or great men made great nation' as the case may be. The Edo country prior or till Oba Ewuare in the Great Benin kingdom call Igodomigodo clearly refers to the "NATION OF KING BUILDERS OR MAKERS"
Another important name or word often misunderstood  is Ogiso.  Ogiso, literarily refers to ‘king of the sky' but its connotion or significance deeply means "the ordained rulers or leaders by God" or ‘God ordained,  supreme leaders/rulers, king of kings, kings maker, main directors or managers. “Ogiso” was the name of the early parliamentary rulers of Ancient Benin Empire, similar to present day senators, governors and legistlators. though institutions and process may differ, but the functions was almost  alike, for on simple reason working for the growth and developments of the people they represent. A more or less republican government or parlamentary system of government. A council of elders, leaders, representatives and delegates from various communities, villages or groups across what is known today as Southern region of Nigeria.

Igiodomigiodo was the adopted name of the ancient Benin Empire. A sum up of civilized and advance polity that existed at a time in the history of the west African sub-region, sometimes under understated or quoted by historians and scholars alike. It was also recorded that throughout that period, lgodomingodo made steady progress especially in the areas of spiritual, philosophical and administrative development. Its efforts were largely concentrated on the arrangement of human order so that by the time Europeans made contact with the people of Benin in the 15th century, they had already established an administrative system which, till this day, baffled the Europeans and earned for the Capital of this "far flung" African country, the appellation "City". THE ANCIENT BENIN EMPIRE.

Encyclopedia of World Cultures, 1996. quote:
"Edo" is the name that the people of the Ancient Benin Kingdom give to themselves, their language, and their capital city and kingdom. Renowned for their art of brass and ivory and for their complex political organization, the Edo Kingdom of Benin is one of the best known of the pre-colonial kingdoms on the Guinea Coast of West Africa. From at least the fifteenth century, the Benin Empire held varying degrees of authority over neighbouring peoples, accross southern Nigeria  In 1897 British-colonial forces conquered the kingdom and made it part of the Niger Protectorate. Today it is incorporated into the modern state of Nigeria.

“Edoid is derived from Edo and Edo could mean Benin in the English co-relation term for Edo(Edo grammar) in some cases. The popularly known Benin Empire is Igodomigodo, Edo or Edoid Empire, which was one great nation but in diversities. Edo, in other words, is also seen as a generic name given to a group of people who have a common ancestor and have a common language, with some different variants, depending on the distance between the group and the " tap root. A land, political state, people, race, language and the principal city called Edo. The origin of the two names [Benin and Edo] have no connection in language or history. The land and people have been called Idu, Igodomigodo before any contact with the Europeans. Oba Ewuare Ne ogidigan (The great), about 1440 A.D to 1473 A.D, who changed the name of the country to Edo after his deified (servant) friend. Prior to this, the land had been called the land of Igodomigodo. Thus, the City has been known afterwards as Edo ne ẹvbo ahirre (Edo the City of love) because through love Edo (the servant friend) was able to save Ewuare from a sudden death.
According to Osamuyimen Stewart, Benin City is called Edo by its inhabitants and in certain contexts individuals from all parts of the kingdom will refer to themselves as ovbiedo (child of Edo ). Except when speaking English, no Edo person ever refers to himself as "Benin" or "Bini". These are non-Edo words of doubtful origin used by Europeans as an adjective and for the dominant people of the Edo kingdom and their language. Perhaps, this can be linked to the pre-colonial practice of naming areas after major geographic landmarks, in this case the Bight of Benin. It is on record that in 1472, the Portuguese captain Ruy de Siqueira brought a sailing ship as far as the Bight of Benin under the reign of Oba Ewuare. Egharevba provides further confirmation that Europeans named areas after major geographic landmarks. According to him, the label Lagos (the popular capital City of Nigeria) can be traced to the Portuguese because of its proximity to the lagoon.  Benin was first visited by Europeans at the end of the fourteenth century. The different close neighbors refer to the Edos by different names. For example, the Urhobos call the Edos ikhuorAka (the people of Aka), the Ikas (Agbor) use the label ndi-Iduu (the people of Iduu), etc.

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