Benin Kingdom Leadership Regalia
by Kathy Curnow
Cleveland State University
The titleholder shown here, Chief Ima, is one of only about five current chiefs who have completed a final chieftaincy investiture, known as iyanehien. This fourteen-day ceremony requires even more lavish expenditure and entertainment, and puts those chiefs who go through it into a highly-admired and enviable category. An abbreviated version of the rituals involved will be conducted at all loyal chiefs' deaths, enabling them to enjoy full honors in the afterlife.