GREAT BENIN WARRIOR MAGICIANS
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!
Read more about Great Benin magical warriors in “Kings, Magic & Medicne” on Folkcuba.com or Amazon.com. Below are the links.
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