In Edo State, there are five major ethnic groups- Bini (Edo), Afemai, Esan, Owan and Akoko-Edo. However, Bini-speaking people occupy the most local governments in the state- seven out of 18 LGAs. There are also other minor ethnic communities that exist within the town such as Ijaw, Igbira, Itsekiri, etc.
The Edo-speaking people are divided into 11 clans which are Bini, Esan, Afemas, Akoko-Edos, Owans, Ekas, etc.
Tribes in Edo State
1. BINI: Bini is derived from the word Benin for people living in and around Benin City, in Edo State. People living in and around Benin City, are gradually accepting the word BINI, as descriptive of their clan.
The Binis occupy Oredo, lkpoba-Okha. Ovia North – East, Egor, Uhunmwode Ovia South-West and Orhionmwon Local Government Areas of Edo State of Nigeria with Benin City as the State headquarters as well as its traditional headquarters.
2. ESAN/Ishan: For the immediate neighbor to the north are people living in around Irrua, Orhodua, Uromi, Ubiaja, Ewu, Ewatto, Igueben and the almighty Evbohimwin (Ewohimi))” the city by the big river ” or ” the city of Ikhimwin trees ” etc.
Ishan/Esan is the closest to “BINI” ie the dialect of those who live in and around Benin City. If you understand Bini, Ishan will be very easy for you. In fact, when the people of Benin sneezes, those in Ishan/Esan caches cold.
3. The Afemais: The Afemais are known as IVBIOSAKON by those living in and around Benin City to the north of Ishan/Esan clan.
The Afemai people, also spelled Afenmai are a group of people living in the northern part of Edo State south geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
Afemai people occupy six local government areas of Edo state: Etsako West, with headquarters in Auchi, Etsako Central, Etsako East, Owan East, Owan West and Akoko Edo. These make up the Edo-North Senatorial District.
4. Akoko-Edos The Akoko Edos are based in Igarra, Ibillo and its environs to the north of Afemais.
5. Owans: The Owans-ORAS occupying Eme, Sabogida-Ora, Afuze, etc. Uhobe (SOBE) and Ifon in Ondo State.
6. Ekas: Ekas-to East of Benin. A sizeable chunk of the Edo speaking people flow across River Niger and ending at ONITSHA.
7. Isoko, Urhobo, Itsekiris and about 70% percent of western Izon (Ijaws) in Ndegeni and its environs
8. A sizeable chunk of the Edos is found in River States and Balyesa States e.g. Ogba land and Diobu, Port Harcourt.
9. A sizeable chunk has been ” Yorubanised in Ondo, Ekiti, Lagos and Ogun States. The descendants of Edo soldiers stationed in Akure are referred to today as ADO-AKURE.
10. The ILAJE community at OKITIPUPA and its environs.
11. The Edos who conquered and settled far way land like Dahomey, Togo and Ghana.
Facts About The Edo Tribes
- The Edo language is part of the Kwa-Niger group of languages according to Linguist
- The monarchy centered in Benin City is about 6000 years old, including pre-ogiso and Ogiso era of history
- The Ishans/Esans were principally the medicine men and warriors of the ancient empire.
- The chieftaincy groups responsible for the Oba’s well being are dominated by Ishan/Esan descendants.
- The Ivbiosakon (Afemais) were the dental surgeon of the palace.
- The Owan/Ora people were the propitiators of the physical earth for the Oba of Benin. It was their responsibility to prevent things like earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes and anything associated with geological disturbance to occur in Benin.
- It was their responsibility to prevent things like earthquake, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes and anything associated with geological disturbance to occur in Benin.
5 Wrong Information About Edo State
Edo state is the home of the Oba of Benin and has produced many prominent figures in Nigeria, dead or alive. However, there are many misconceptions about the state.
1. Boring: Many people outside Benin believe that the state is boring. Edo State is not boring at all; it is a place of enjoyment. If you have money, you will enjoy Edo State. There are many places of interest in Edo State.
2. Not safe: Many think that Edo state is riddled with cultists, witches, and kidnappers. Rumors like flying witches or all “Edo men are cultists” or all “Edo women are witches” are very commonly spread about the people of this great state. This is however very untrue.
3. Oba of Benin is the only king in Edo: Oba is not the only King in Edo State. There are many local government areas in Edo state and almost all of them have kings. However, the Oba of Benin is usually seen as the royal father.
4. Bini is the Only Tribe in Edo State: As you have seen above, Benin is not the only tribe in Edo state. We have the Ishans, Afemas and so on.
5. The people are very rugged: Not all Edo people are rugged. We have many calm persons in Edo State. They just do not like to be cheated and will not stand for it.
6. Edo is rough and Ancient: Edo state has changed from an ancient city to a modern city.
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