Benin Kingdom Leadership Regalia

by Kathy Curnow
Cleveland State University

Chief Ima at Ugie Erhoba, Benin KingdomNigeria, 1994. Photo by Kathy Curnow.

Going through the complete chieftaincy ceremonies can be an expensive proposition.  Not only are there substantial investments in dress, payments to musicians and other participants, offerings of kola, food, and drink, and feasting of guests, there are fees to be paid to other title-holders.  Once completed, however, the chief fully participates in palace ceremonies, such as Ugie Erhoba, represented here.  This ritual, which honors the Oba's own father, requires qualified chiefs to dance before the monarch.