The Olu of Itsekiri 1944.

The Olu of Itsekiri 1944.
(- d. 8th January 1949)

Ginuwa II, The Olu of Itsekiri, (the seventeenth in his dynasty) was installed on February 7th, 1936, after an interregnum of 88 years (the previous Olu Akengbuwa, having died in 1848) The interregnum was due to some disagreements during his reign.

Some say, the Itsekiris originally came from Benin; the first Olu, Ginuwa, was a son of the Oba who left Benin in 1480 and settled at Amatu on the Dodo River, south Forcados. After a short sojourn there, he migrated to Ijala, where he died.
His successor, Olu Ogbowuru ( Prince Ijijen) and his party later moved to Iwerre, referred to by the then Olu as ” Big Warri” or ” Ode- Itsekiri”.

In May 1952 the government of Western Nigeria changed the title of the Itsekiri ruler from the Olu of Itsekiri to the Olu of Warri at the request of the Itsekiri

Idah – A Bini Artist

During the ‘Punitive Expedition’ and great fire of 1897, Benin City was looted and destroyed. Few houses survived and several thousand cherished bronzes were carried away by the British.
Sadly, years after the looting, valuable antiquities were still being sold to dealers all over the world.
The few that still remain can give you an idea of the splendor that was old Benin.

The fame of Benin rests largely on its traditional culture and one of the most popular aspects of this culture is Benin carvings and brass work.

Today, there has been a decline in the numbers of traditional artists in this discipline but of those that remain, some of them still keep to tradition and an association of brass workers and wood carvers still exists, though members are few.

It is believed that the decline in traditional carvers started in the early part of last century, the constant stream and demand by foreign visitors influenced the diversion from unique pieces to more commercial works to satisfy the tourist market.
Many talented artists found their way out of the tradition all together and embraced and formally learned western techniques like Colette Omogbai and Bruce Onobrakpeya.

An exception to this influence was O. Idah. Read More