Great Benin Mystical Warriors

Mystical Warrior


My interest in warriors date back to my earliest recollections. I started practicing the martial arts when I was 8 years old learning judo at a local YWCA. Over the years I have practiced many different systems including tae kwan do, karate, shaolin kung fu, tai chi, shua jiao, wing tsun, iron palm, and excrima.
Learning about some of the great warriors of other kingdoms and nations was very interesting, but very little on Africa was written or stated. Being a critical thinker, I asked who were the warriors in Africa? Shaka Zulu or Hannibal seems to be the  favorite ones discussed, then after that the discussing grows dim. How could this be, Africa, the birth-place of humanity, civilization, religion, alchemy, kings and generals.  Home to war songs, war dances, and war drums. Home of the Amazons. A place where warrior traditions still survive today. A place where the warrior is also adept in magical alchemy.
While doing research on African magic and mysticism, and having a interest in warfare, I found a vast infrastructure of warriors and tradition as in Great Benin.  Great Benin was known for its divine warrior kings (Obas) as well as its  vast army..According to the Edo historian J. U. Egaharevba, more than 20,000 warriors could be raised in a relatively short period of time.
Many of the warriors of the Great Benin empire were also practitioners of magical medicines to enable them to be fierce and invincible in combat. This was one of the main motivating factors in embracing the Benin spiritual traditions. Its ability to assist in protecting a person physically, mentally and spiritually.
The Great Benin’s mystical warriors were oftentimes obo (native doctors) who were verse in different form of magical or alchemy sciences that included herbal, protective, magical, medicinal, incantations and divination practices. At the helm of the army would be a warrior carrying the Osunigiogio–hot and boiling Osun staff. The Osun staff primarily represented the deity of medicine and magic. However, Ogun is also associated with it because it is made out of iron.  Osun has in his possession all the power of the medicines and magic.
The Osunigiogio was magically powerful and even invincible to the king of Death (Ogiuwu). The divine warrior kings led the troops into battle and expanded Great benin into a vast empire. Some of the greatest of the divine warrior kings were Ewuare the Great, Ozuola the Conqueror, Esigie, and Eghenbuda. A few of the many great mystical warriors were Ake, Ebomisi, Emuen, Ezalugha, Ezuku, Ireghezi, Okhuahe, Oravan, Ovato, Oza, and Ogan. Many later became deified for their heroic acts.
While preparing to engage their enemies, the warriors chanted incantations, war songs and marched at a rapid pace until a trance state was attained. Many times there enemies would flee when they heard the sounds of the horns, drums and chants coming their way.
The warriors and Obas of Great Benin were known by various praise names such as;
Great Benin ruled many lands and was not defeated until 1897 by the British. However, there are many historical events that included magical warriors that could not be defeated by normal means and eluded the Bristih cannons. I have placed one of my pictures in this article because I am a Esan Chief, The Esan are fmous in Benin for their war abilities and magical knowledge, native doctor, diviner, and warrior. The magical, mystical warrior still lives!
Ogun Priest
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Read more about Great Benin magical warriors in “Kings, Magic & Medicne” on or Below are the links.
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3 thoughts on “Great Benin Mystical Warriors”

  1. Hello agin brother Chief. I bow to the great Edo mystical warrior Esan chief Daryl Peavy. what a great picture and
    example of African culture.

    Kwabena Bernard Jones

  2. Great Benin Famous Warriors and Generals

    General Asoro;
    a valiant brave man who died resisting the invading British forces during the expedition of 1897.During the siege on Benin, it was said that chief Asoro ably defended the spot where the statue now stands. He said “no other person dare pass this road unless the Oba” (So kpon Oba). It is this statement which has been corruptedo become SAKPONBA.This statue, which is a salute to patriotism and loyalty is located on the king’s Square by the beginning of Sokponba Road,Benin City. The spot where chief Asoro have died after fighting bravely.

    General Ologbose Irabor:
    Continued his resistance of the British occupiers. It was a resistance that lasted two years during which the Benin war commander defeated the Royal Niger Company private army at Okemue and prevented the British penetration of the hinterland and the European traders from establishing trading posts in Benin City. Eventually with the help of their collaborators, in May 1899 the British captured Ologbose Irabor. As expected the British occupiers, in their usual kangaroo court proceedings, the Ologbose was found guilty of being the chief instigator and perpetrator of the Benin `Massacre’. On June 27 1899 he was hanged for defending his land against a group of marauding British thieves who hands were covered with blood and hearts fill with evil intentions”.

    Prince General Obuabu:
    Led punitive expedition to Ibo-land, where he remained for many years fighting the Ibos. He was the eldest son of Oba Ewedo about 1255-1280AD.

    General Akpanigiakon of Udo:
    One of the greatest and the most powerful enemy of Oba Oguola about 1280-1295AD. The Benin moat was dug to fortify the City against General Akpanigiakon and his Udo invaders.

    General Ogiobo:
    Led the punitive expedition that killed General Akpanigiakon and conquered Udo.

    General Iken of Uselu:
    A very powerful chief at Uselu. He led the punitive expedition that fought and conquered the Owos during the reign of Oba Ewuare the Great about 1440-1473 AD.

    General Oronmuza the Ogia of Umelu:
    He led the punitive expedition that conquered Akure during the reign of Oba Eware the Great 1440-1473 AD.

    Queen Idia the mother of Oba Esigie about 1504-1550 AD:
    She took the people of Uselu to war against Idah before she was joined by the Benins Royal warriors and the portuguese missionaries. Idah was conquered.

    General Origbo:
    A powerful chief at Ejide in Siluko during the reign of Oba Ozolua about 1481-1504 AD.

    General Elekidi Of Ogbelaka:
    Betrayed by his wife to the hands of Ozolua about 1481-1504 AD.

    General Ogierunmwanbo:
    A powerful warrior at Oka and father of General Ise of Utekon.

    General Ise of Utekon:
    Opposed Oba Ozolua about 1481-1504 AD for the killing of his father Ogierunmwanbo. In a fierce battle in Utekon general Ise killed Oba Ozolua’s warriors in great numbers and the few that survived fled. Oba Ozolua owed his victory over Ise, to Orinmwioria who betrayed Ise into the hands of Oba Ozolua to be killed.

    General Enowe of Ughoha from Esan clan:
    A very powerful warrior, fought many wars with Ozolua about 1481-1504 AD and Oba Esigie about 1504-1550 AD.

    General Prince Aruanran, chief of Udo:
    A man of great stature. He fought many wars against is Brother Oba Esigie about 1504-1550 AD before he was finally defeated.

    General Osemwughe the Iyase of Udo:
    Led rebellious warriors against Oba Esigie. They were called Emwan N’ Udo (Udo deserters) now known as Ondo. Their chief rebel, chief Osemwughe is what is now known as Osemawe of Ondo.

    General Aile and General Odobo:
    Led expedition against Osemwughe and his rebels. Ikale town derive it name from Eko Aile (Aile camp) and Akotogbo town from Eko-Odobo (Odobo camp).

    General Ekpennede:
    The Iyase of Benin during the reign of Oba Ehinguda about 1578-1606 AD. He led the Benin royal army against the Oyos and after many battles, a treaty of peace was made which set the Benin and Oyo boundary at Atun in the Ekiti Kingdom. He also warred against the Ibos subdued various towns and villages.

    General Agban:
    The Ezomo of Benin during the reign of Oba Orhogbua. Led a successful expedition, Igidi the first town he captured was renamed agban corrected to Agbor.

    General Ehennua:
    Commander of the royal army during the Benin civil war of 1712 AD.

    General Imanran Adiagbon and General Emokpaogbe the Agboghidi of Ugo:
    Led the punitive expedition against Oboro-Uku, to avenge the killing of Adesuwa the daughter of Ezomo of Uzebu, by the Ogie of Oboro-Uku, during the reign of Oba Akengbuda about 1750-1804 AD.
    General Imadiyi, General Oyodo and General Omemu: Conquered Ekiti kingdom during the reign of Oba Osemwende about 1816-1847 AD.

    General Laisolobi:
    A Brave and faithful general under Oba Ozolua about 1418-1504 AD.

    General Ebikinmwin:
    Fought the invading British forces in Gwatto Ughoton during the expedition of 1897 many British were killed. Please Click on the link below to continue

    General Laisolobi:
    A brave and faithful General under Oba Ozolua about 1418-1504 AD.

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