The Legacy of Okpameh: Unveiling the Origin and Enduring Traditions of Ora Kingdom

In the rich tapestry of Benin history, there exists a fascinating chapter that revolves around Okpameh, also known as Uguan. Banished from the Benin Kingdom for committing murder, Okpameh’s journey and the subsequent events that unfolded not only shaped his destiny but also laid the foundation for a unique legacy that endures in the present-day Ora community.

The Exile and Settlement:

Okpameh’s banishment led him to the northern part, where he established a settlement he named Odorlerene, located in what is now known as Ora. A powerful and renowned hunter, Okpameh’s prowess in killing the dreaded leopard, Ekpen, earned him respect among the people.

The Birth of Ora Ekpen:

During his time in Odorlerene, Okpameh married a Uokha Lady, and together they bore a son named Ora Ekpen. The circumstances surrounding his birth led to the naming of Ora Ekpen, who would later become a pivotal figure in the history of the Ora community.

The Call to the Throne:

News of the death of Okpameh’s brother, the Oba of Benin, reached him, revealing that the brother had died without an heir to the throne. The elders of Benin sent messages imploring Okpameh to return and take over the throne. After initial reluctance, Okpameh agreed, and he was crowned Oba of Benin, bearing the title Oba Ozolua.

The Legacy of Okpameh: Unveiling the Origin and Enduring Traditions of Ora Kingdom

The Divisive Burial:

Upon Oba Ozolua’s death, a significant disagreement arose between his first son, Ora Ekpen, and his younger brother, the crown prince Esigie. While Ora Ekpen insisted on taking his father’s body to Odorlerene, Esigie argued that the burial must take place in Benin. The resolution allowed for Oba Ozolua’s burial within the Benin Oba palace, with Ora Ekpen maintaining his position of seniority.

Enduring Traditions:

The decision at Oba Ozolua’s burial marked a pivotal moment, establishing a tradition that persists to this day. The descendants of Ora Ekpen, including Ora community members, do not bow to the descendants of Esigie, the Oba elect. This unique position of seniority remains a testament to the legacy of Okpameh and the events that unfolded during his time.

READ ALSO: The Tale of Dr. Philip Emeagwali: The Nigerian Inventor Behind the Creation of the Fastest Computer Worldwide

The story of Okpameh, his exile, and subsequent rise to the throne as Oba Ozolua is a captivating tale that underscores the intricate interplay between history, tradition, and individual choices. The enduring tradition of seniority within the Ora community serves as a living testament to the events that unfolded, shaping the cultural landscape of the region. Okpameh’s legacy lives on through the customs and traditions passed down through generations, connecting the past to the present in the vibrant tapestry of Benin history.

Leave a Reply