Ẹyo Otọ

The aim of this space is to display the historical objects with their correct Edo designation, which creates object groups that differ from the current vocabulary used and interpreted by institutions outside of Nigeria. The object groups are displayed visually, described in written language and vocalised in spoken language. Read more
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Ada
The Ada is a symbol of authority usually borne in the presence of the Ọba by a designated holder,...
Afian
Afian (chisels) are a tool used by members of the Igun-Eronmwon for refining objects after casting...
Aga
A small number of Aga, European-style chairs with backs and armrests, are part of the corpus of...
Agba
‘Ogiso ma m’ẹmwẹn ẹ fian agba’ (When the Ogiso does not have a case to judge, he will not ask for...
Agbada
The Agbada is a short sword used during close range combat. Towards the handle it has spike-like...
Aghẹn
Aghẹn (mats) in this grouping are made from raffia, a fibre that comes from the raffia palm. These...
Ahianmwẹ-Ọrọ
The Ahianmwẹ-Ọrọ, meaning ‘bird of prophecy’ in English, is a bird with a long beak, the cry of...
Aken'ni Elao
Aken’ni Elao (altar tusks) are usually ivory tusks carved with scenes of ceremonies or spiritual...
Akhẹ
Akhẹ is the general term for all earthenware pots. Pottery is one of the oldest traditional crafts...
Akhẹ Amẹ
Akhẹ-Amẹ (water pots) are a type of Akhẹ. These pots stored water in the past, although they are...
Akhẹ Osun
Akhẹ-Osun (Osun pot) is a specific term for the pot used for storing medicinal plants at the Osun...
Akhiọn/Ukoko
Akhiọn (smoking pipe), also referred to as Ukoko, were used by both men and women in Benin Kingdom...
Ako-Ọpia
Ako-Ọpia (sheaths) are covers made from leather or other materials. They would be used to house or...
Akohẹn/Oko
Oko are side-blown horns and Akohẹn are flutes, however since the instruments look very similar...
Akpata
Akpata (bow lute) is a harp-like instrument made of wood and strings which makes a sound like a...
Ama
Ama is a pictorial combination of figures that has a historical explanation or is a visual...
Anwa/Akpoka
Anwa and Akpoka (tongs) were used by members of the Igun-Ematon and Igun-Eronmwon (Dark, 1973...
Aro Ododua
Aro Ododua are ritual masks that have two forms: male – Uwen – and female – Ọra. According to oral...
Asa
Asa (shields) were usually made from elephant or crocodile skin and were used by warriors as...
Asẹbẹrhia
Asẹbẹrhia (altar rings) are displayed on ancestral altars dedicated to the Iy’Ọba, as she was...
Asigbe
Asigbe (bolts) are used to secure doors. The ones shown in this grouping are carved from ivory,...
Asologun
Asologun (lamellophones) were used mainly for entertainment and either played solo or with other...
Asoro
Asoro (spears) were used as weapons. The tip of the long wooden shaft would either be carved from...
Aza
This knife with a bell-like handle would be used at oranmila shrine to summon spirits and...
Azuwa
Azuwa (hair ornaments) are used for decoration by the Ọba’s wives (Oloi) in their Okuku (wig). They...
Ebẹn
Ebẹn are often described as swords, however they are used more like sceptres. During ceremonies...
Ẹgba
Ẹgba (bracelets) are worn as part of ceremonial costumes and could be made of brass, bronze, iron,...
Ẹgogo
Ẹgogo (gongs) are used to summon attendees to a meeting or draw attention to important public...
Eguẹ
Eguẹ (hoe blades) are a kind of farming implement used for weeding and digging. These objects would...
Ẹguẹn
Ẹguẹn are worn by the Ọba and chiefs as part of their Ehaengbehia, the full regalia worn during...
Ẹkan
Ẹkan are beads made from the semi-precious agate stone. They look similar to the beads known as...
Ẹkhu
Ẹkhu (doors) would have been carved by members of the Igbesamwan with relief patterns of scenes...
Ekọrọkọrọ
Ekọrọkọrọ (padlocks) were used in Benin Kingdom for securing valuables and continue to be used...
Ẹkpẹde
Ẹkpede (crossbows) were introduced by the Portuguese, although the Edo people already had and used...
Ẹkpẹn
Ẹkpẹn (leopard figures) are widely featured in Benin arts. In Benin, leopards are considered the...
Ẹkpẹtin
Ẹkpẹtin describes boxes of different shapes and sizes used as storage for different articles. They...
Ẹkpo
Ẹkpo (bags) were typically made from skins or woven from raffia. The leather bags were made by the...
Ẹkpoki
Ẹkpoki were often made by the Isekpokin from leather, however the Igun Ẹronmwon made some from...
Ekuẹ
Ekuẹ (bellows) are used to blow air into the fire or furnace, increasing the temperature for brass...
Elubasẹ/Isevbere
Elubasẹ are a type of Eguen, an anklet which has integral rattles. The rattle pellet is made from...
Ema
Every drum can be divided into subcategories. The kettledrums (Obiza) consist of a clay pot whose...
Emwiegbe
Emwiegbe describes ornaments worn on the body or attached to ceremonial regalia. Although Emwiegbe...
Emwiokọ
Emwiokọ is the term generally used in Edo to describe plants and young crops and is therefore used...
Emwiurhu
Emwiurhu (neck ornament) is used to describe anything which is worn around the neck. These can be...
Ẹrhẹ
Ẹrhẹ are round stools with two intertwined serpents as the supporting column. Aside the two...
Ẹrhu
Ẹrhu describes different items of headwear which may be worn by chiefs, priests or the Ọba himself....
Ẹroro
Ẹroro are an important part of the spiritual worship of Benin people. They are lined along the...
Eseiku
Eseiku (eseiku figures), according to oral tradition, have been identified as one group of the...
Ewua
Ewua is the title of a priest belonging to the Holy Aruosa Church, also referred to as the church...
Ẹzuzu
Ẹzuzu (fans) were particularly important when it came to the comfort of the Ọba and other...
Ibierugha
Ibierugha (attendant figures) are in the first stage of being initiated into chieftaincy. They are...
Idẹnrhẹn
Idẹnrhẹn could be called a number of names in Edo, depending on the part of Benin City one is from...
Ido
Ido (weaving accessories) were used by the Owina guild. Benin cloth can be finely woven from thin...
Ifẹnmwẹ
Ifẹnmwẹ (arrows) were usually used alongside Uhambọ and Ẹkpede. Ifẹnmwẹ were part of the weaponry...
Ighẹghan
Ighẹghan (crotal bells) are small bells mostly attached to objects such as arm cuffs and bracelets,...
Igho
Igho (manillas) translates directly from Edo to mean ‘money’, and as manillas were a form of...
Ikẹgobọ
Obọ, the hand or arm, is recognised to be the seat of power of accomplishing things. Its worship is...
Ikoro
Ikoro are big wrist bands made from different materials like brass, ivory and wood. They are worn...
Ikpakohen
Ikpakohẹn (horn-blower or flute-player figures) provide entertainment at private or public...
Ikpin
Ikpin (snake figures) featured on the roof of Ọba Palace. In the Kingdom of Benin, the crocodile...
Ikpotoki
Ikpotoki means ‘Portuguese’ in Edo. Benin oral traditions claim that a man called Ogbeide,...
Isanrẹn
Isanrẹn can be used to lock up rooms such as the aza emwin arhe. This is a vault or a storage room...
Isẹ
Isẹ (game) describes any kind of game being played for entertainment, from a board game with pieces...
Ivbiotọ
Ivbiotọ (trophy heads) are thought to represent decapitated heads of former Benin vassals who...
Ivie
‘Ai yẹ ivie rue ewmin oya’ (You can’t wear Ivie if you are dishonourable) Ivie are coral beads...
Ivin
Ivin (carved coconut vessels) served as a medium for carvers who were part of the Emada (Omada,...
Iy’Ọba
The title of Iy’Ọba is conferred on a woman by her son, the newly coronated Ọba, when he ascends...
Iyeọkhọkhọ
The Iyeọkhọkhọ (hen figures) are used by chiefs and commoners on female altars. These differ from...
Ọba
Figures of the Ọba, which is the title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Benin, would be used on...
Okhiẹ
Okhiẹ (stoppers) are used to seal the contents of containers such as Uko and Uko Ẹkhaẹ. They are...
Okhua'ẹ
Okhua’ẹ (baskets) are traditionally made from natural materials such as reeds, raffia or grass...
Okhuo
Many of these Okhuo represent young unmarried women, which we know as they are naked except for a...
Ọkpan
Ọkpan (bowls and plates) were often used as household items, for eating or as kitchenware. There...
Okpia
Okpia is the Edo word for ‘male’. All figures which can be identified as male have been grouped...
Ọkporhu
Bronze cock which did not come into existence until after the introduction of the Iy’ọba title by...
Onwọ
Onwọ directly translates to ‘beeswax’ in English and can be used to describe the wax model made by...
Oroka
Oroka (finger rings) were often worn as amulets of protection. Priests or diviners affiliated with...
Osisi/Etu
Osisi (gun) and Etu (canon) are both types of firearms. Although the Portuguese developed trade and...
Osogan
Osogan (Osun staffs) are kept by the Osun priests, and they were usually fortified with medicine....
Ovazẹ
Ovazẹ (anvils) are used today as chisels by members of the Igun-Eronmwon and Igbesanmwan to carve...
Oyiya
‘Agbiyagha ẹ dẹ oyiya’ (Someone whose hair is in locks would not buy a comb – meaning, only when...
Ufere
Ufere (whistle) is an instrument blown from one end which produces musical sound used...
Ugbẹkun
Ugbẹkun (girdle) is the literal translation for ‘objects which are tied around the waist’....
Ugbudian
The Ugbudian (flywhisk) is one of the four items (Ada, Eben, Oro and the Ugbudian) that must be...
Ughavan
Ughavan (celts) are thunderbolts or stone axes usually found on Osun altars. They are obtained by...
Ughegbe
Ughegbe (mirrors) are encased in carved wooden frames with a sliding wooden panel that would cover...
Uhanbọ
Uhanbọ (bows) are usually used in conjunction with Ifẹnmwẹ and mainly served as weapons of war and...
Uhẹnhẹn/Ekuyẹ
Uhẹnrẹn is the older term meaning ‘spoon’. However, Ekuyẹ, which is a corruption of the Portuguese...
Uhunmwu elao ọghe Iy’ọba
Uhunmwu elao ọghe Iy’ọba (commemorative queen mother heads) were placed at the ancestral shrine of...
Uhunmwu-Ẹkuẹ
Uhunmwu-Ẹkuẹ (pendant masks) is a general term, however each mask has a different name depending on...
Uhunmwu-Elao
The commemorative head, Uhunmwu Elao, of an Ọba placed at the king’s ancestral shrine could be made...
Ukeke
Ukeke (strikers) are used with other instruments, in particular gongs but also some drums. They are...
Ukhuerhe
The Ukhuerhe (tables) shown here bear a similarity with other carved objects because they are...
Ukhurhẹ
Ukhurhẹ are placed at the ancestral shrine of each family. A carved wooden staff is placed in...
Uko
In Edo language, the word Uko means a kind of container used for different articles. This best...
Uko Ẹkhaẹ
Uko Ẹkhaẹ (powder keg) directly translates to ‘powder container’ in the Edo language. These are...
Ukpọn
Ukpọn (clothing) can be made from many kinds of textiles, from woollen aprons to cotton cloth. In...
Ukpu
Ukpu (cups) included in the catalogue are made from brass, bronze, wood or ivory. Some are...
Uman-ague/Ugbugbe
Uman-ague and Ugbugbe are two different kinds of crosses. Uman-ague refers to the equal-armed or...
Umọmọ
Umọmọ (hammers) that are part of the institution holdings have a distinctive L shape. They were...
Umozo/Ọhọ
Ọhọ is the executioner’s sword, and it is one of three items given to a prince being sent out to...
Unwẹnrhiẹn/Unwẹnrhiẹnọtan
Unwẹnrhiẹn/Unwẹnrhiẹnọtan (whips) can be made from tiny twigs from trees or from strips of leather....
Urhotọ
Urhotọ (altar tableau) are displayed on an ancestral altar dedicated to the Iy’Ọba, who was usually...
Urhukpa-Ẹvbi
Urhukpa-Ẹvbi (lamps) means ‘oil lamps’, and they are used to illuminate the house after dusk. Most...
Uru
Uru are used for pouring and storing palm wine (okhere) and other liquid substances like water. In...
Uzokpo
Uzokpo (lidded bowls) can be carved from wood, sometimes with brass sheeting applied to the...