About Course on Edo Language:

This is a series of introductory Edo language courses in the works.  Edo is an African language that belongs to the Niger-Congo language family. Edo is the primary language spoken in Great Benin, located in southern Nigeria.

This series of lectures on Edo language and culture is intended to give non-native Edo speakers the ability to communicate in an African language with proficiency in  greetings, sentences, prayers and other ritual verbal functions.



Lecture 1A&1B: Omuhen Edonaze Aman: Lecture 1 comprises the Edo alphabet, Edo tonal pronunciations, daily greetings, meanings and vowels, as well as a brief introduction to Edo geography and culture. $30

Lecture 2A & 2B: Omuhen Edonaze Aman: Beginning Edo language Alphabet Double Consonants, and words containing double consonants. $40

Lecture 3A&B Omuhen Edonaze Aman: Human body parts external & simple sentences.

Lecture 4A&B Omuhen Edonaze: Human body parts internal & simple sentences.

Lecture 5A&B Omuhen Edonaze Aman: Nouns, persons, places, things.

Lecture 6A & 6B Coming Soon!



Brief Synopsis of Benin Religion, Magic & Art:

Prior to European arrival in Africa, craftworks served an indigenous function, they were made by African people, for African people, that had and have specific religious, ritual, spiritual, dynastic or domestic uses.

Indigenous African craftworks were not art pieces. In fact, prior to European arrival in Africa, there was no indigenous word for art.

This poses some interesting dilemmas. Are the Arfican craftworks, pre-Eruopean contact, that are in the possession of museums and private collections, religious pieces that have function for that culture, and/or family wrongfully taken?

In any case, I present a different approach than the average class on African art in viewing the craftwork from a indigenous-traditional perspective.

Looking back to recorded European history in Africa, back 500 years ago, Benin’s first encounter with Europeans—Portuguese sailors, would be the beginnings of trade for commissioned artworks that had no indigenous functions—religious, ritual, spiritual, magical, dynastic or domestic uses.

Many of these artworks—were made for the European market, and with European themes, and was taken back to Europe as gifts to nobles, as well as family members.

During the 1897 British Massacre “Punitive expedition”, British troops invaded, and artillery-shelled the Oba palace. They took most of the artefacts that they could carry back to Britain “UK”, to finance the massacre.

Some went to the British Royal museum, others were auctioned, and still others were kept in British officer’s private collections.


The Great Benin Series Lectures will cover the warrior kings of

Benin, and explore dynastic components by looking at militaristic propaganda, along with religious, ritual, spiritual, and magical roles that Benin craftworks played in helping to solidify the Oba Period rule of the empire.


This series involves commentary and a critical review of Osamaro Cromwell Ibie’s monumental work on Ifa. Although most people outside of Nigeria believe that his work was primarily Yoruba Ifa, in fact, it is a version of Iha Oronmila, the Edo people’s equivalent to the Yoruba system of Orunmila divination. I go into great detail on this subject matter. This work is in-progress. Coming Soon!

I other videos we will take a look at the following warrior kings through this Series;

Oba Ewuare Ogidigan—King Ewuare the Great of the Benin Empire (around 1440-1473).

Oba Ozuola N’Ibaromi–King Ozuola the Conqueror of the Benin Empire (around around 1461-1504).

Oba Esigie—King Esigie the boy king of the Benin Empire (around 1504-1550).

Oba Ehengbua—King Ehengbuda the wizard king of the Benin Empire (around 1578-1606).


This course will reveal one of the most dynamic cultures of the ancient world, that is still in place today. It is a place where tradition and customs are taken very seriously, and the lack of, speaks of an uncivilized person.

Will will begin our study of African art in the Great Benin Series with Oba Ewuare Ogidigan—King Ewuare the Great of the Benin empire. The Empire builder.

From birth to ancestorship, we will attempt to tell his story, as well as his descendants, in turning a small group of villages, into one of the most large-scale, centralized, nation-states in tropical Sub-Saharan Africa.


Trailer: Ogbi Nabe Ih’Ominigbon :Trailer

These lectures should be taken in series to get the most information and concepts about Benin culture, religion, ritual, magical and spirituality in regards to our story of art.

These syllabi may be subject to change. Additional optional courses may be added.


Lecture 1A  Intro., Benin kings, Art Def., Begin Funct Art

Lecture 1B Art Classification, Terms, Laws, Olokun, Guilds 

Lecture 2 Benin Queens, Naming Ceremony, Ancestors

Lecture 3A Create Bronze, Olokun, Dates, Architect, Family


Lecture 3B Oba Palace Rooms, Benin Colors, Art Lines


Lecture 001: Begining Edo Language

Lecture 002: Beginning Edo Prayers: Okaro Erhunmwun Ebo Mwen


This course has no prerequisites, though the companion text will be an aid  to digesting some of the concepts.

It will yield greater cultural familiarization, as well as the love and appreciation for Africa and its contributions of knowledge to the world’s younger civilizations.


This Series will be a combination of video lectures from 30 to 45 minutes, consisting of photos of African art objects, as well as kin-depth explaination of priests, priestess, witches, wizards, and craft guilds, along with maps and diagrams.


Sign Uhi Uyimwen noma—Honor Code Statement To Participate in-class. 

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Uruese—Thank You!


Peavy, Daryl M. (2009). Kings, Magic & Medicne. S.I


Kings, Magic & Medicine can be purchased from or

Owa Afrikan Market Inc., Brooklyn, NY, 718 643 8487
Yoruba Books Center, NY 718 774 5800
C. Jones Books, & Teas, Cleveland 216-577-4171
Book Reviews
An interesting mix for mixed audiences, September 17, 2010
“Teach” (Philadelphia, PA United States)
This review is from: Kings, Magic, & Medicine (Paperback)

This can’t be an impartial review, since the author is a friend of mine. Instead it’s meant to give those interested in Benin a sense of what the book offers. It reminds me of the contributions of an author like the Edo writer Aisien, who has published extremely useful accounts of Edo scarification, the pilgrimage route, etc. Aisien is well-educated, but trained neither as a historian nor an anthropologist. The absence of an academic perspective or theoretical approach to his work cannot deny the usefulness of the information he has recorded. For those outside Nigeria, Aisien provides invaluable data; for those inside, he draws together material that may be familiar to some but has never seen print. Aisien is one of those invaluable sources–an intelligent “local historian.”

Likewise, Peavy–trained as a lawyer with a background in anthropology–is not an academic author but, despite being an American, is, in a sense, also a “local historian.” He serves several audiences, each with differing interests. These audiences will likely value very different sections of the book, due to the relative availability or unavailability of the information they consider relevant.

For an Edo audience, Peavy provides a great service. The second half of his book looks at the medicinal highlights of the reigns of Benin’s rulers, one by one. These are extracted and compiled primarily from various local sources, many of which are out of print and unavailable in Nigeria and the U.S. By concentrating on the medicinal aspects of each reign, Peavy provides an interesting perspective that underlines the importance of medicine’s foundational characteristics.

For the non-Nigerian reader with an interest in traditional African religion, the book’s first section contains a handy compendium of Edo deities and religious practices, not easily accessible elsewhere in one source.

For the scholarly reader, some of this material is familiar, but it contains nuggets that have not seen publication before. Peavy has studied aspects of traditional Edo divination and medicine for over fourteen years, first among the Esan and then within Benin City. Although the greedy scholar may be disappointed he doesn’t expound even further regarding his personal experiences (an upcoming book is underway), the insights offered by descriptions of methods referred to in texts but never elaborated upon are priceless. While ominigbon and the adopted (and adapted) Yoruba Ifa divination methods are referred to by Benin scholars, they are not generally known. Other Benin divinatory practices have never received more than the mention of a name–Peavy is the first author I know of to discuss some of the particulars of ewawa and eziza divination (including photographs of the equipment); his data and insights in this regard are invaluable.

Book Review: Kings, Magic & Medicine

By Yamaya Cruz

Wow! If you are looking for a great book that describes the secrets of
healing and African medicine, then I suggest that you read Kings Magic &
Medicine.  It is a great book (very well researched) written by Dr. Daryl
M. Peavy JD.  He is a scholar, a Chief, and high priest, who has managed
to capture the very essence of African religions, practices, and culture.
Page after page, Chief Daryl unravels the secrets of the Edo people who
are located in modern day Nigeria.  I was fascinated to learn about the
secrets of traditional Edo medicine and found a great deal of similarities
between the Edo and the people of Yoruba.  Chief Daryl brilliantly
captures the essence of energy and its healing power by describing an
almighty God who provides remedies for “all ailments, whether physical,
emotional, or spiritual.” As well as deities that bring about good
fortune, indifference, and confusion.  This is a must read for anyone who
is looking for a very intense study of the Edo people and of African


One thought on “EDUCATION”

  1. Kings, Magic and Medicine is an excellent book. It let me get a view of Traditional Edo Culture, Medicine and Kingship. The book showed me how the Edo people think of the creator God, Subgods, Ancestors, Spirits, Preist, Sorcerers, Witches, and Native Doctors. This book let me see how the Edo think in general. Kings, Magic and Medicine also gave me a detailed history of the kings and a brief bio of them and what went on during all of their reign as kings.
    Kings, Magic and Medicine is a great book to read for anyone that wants to have a look at one of the Traditional Cultures of the West Coast of Africa.

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