AFEMAI PEOPLE & LANGUAGE
The Afemai are also known as the Afenmai, Etsako, Etsakor, Iyekheeor Yekhee people. The Binis call them Ivbiosakon people.Previously the name used by British colonial administration was Kukuruku, supposedly after a battle cry “ku-ku-ruku”.
Afemai is one language fragmented into 15 dialects in the Six local government areas of Edo North Senatorial district which are: Etsako East, Etsako Central; Etsako West, Owan West, Owan East and Akoko Edo. There is none of the 15 dialects that can claim to be the original because all are fragments of the main language. The Afemai language was spoken in Benin kingdom before the emigration to the present geographical area.
Afemai is made of several kingdoms and clans (large villages/townships ruled traditionally by monarchs). Historical accounts claimed that they migrated from Benin, during the tyrannical rule of Oba Ewuare, the greatest warrior legend and the most outstanding king in the history of Benin Empire. “The title Ewuare (Oworuare), meaning “all is well” or the trouble has ceased and as a result the war is over. The title symbolizes an epoch of reconciliation, reconstruction and the return of peace among the warring factions in Benin between 1435-1440 AD.
Shortly after this critical period of war, Akalaka and his two sons Ekpeye and Ogba migrated further southeast to first settle at Ula-Ubie, and subsequently other groups moved out of Benin City and migrated north. However, it has recently become clear that there were people living in Afemailand prior to the migration from Benin City.
ETSAKO CENTRAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Avhianwu, Ekperi and Uneme Clans are the three prominent clans that made up the thirteen clans in AFEMAI.
- Avhianwu Clan
Avhianwu clan is situated about 165km north-east of Benin City, and of about 143 square kilometers. The clan is made up of four districts. These are Ivhiunone, Ivhiarua, Ivhiraokho and Ivhimhakhena also called Ogbona. The people of these four districts are the descendants of a Great Ancestral Father and Founder, called Anwu…READ MORE
2. EKPHEI (EKPERI) CLAN
Ekphei corrupted as “Ekperi” is one of the thirteen clans that make up AFEMAI land. Ekperi occupy settlements dispersed over 400 square miles west of the River Niger in the southeastern corner of Etsakoland.They are located in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State.
COMMUNITIES IN EKPERI
- Ugbekpe (the headquarters)
3. UNEME PEOPLE
The Uneme clan is one of the clans that makes up AFEMAI people. Currently there are ten Uneme towns or communities scattered in three Local Government Areas of Edo State. We have Uneme-Anegbette is the headquarters of South Uneme Clan, Uneme-Udochi and Unemeh-Imiava, located in Etsako Central Local Government Area; Uneme-Uzanu is the headquarters of South East Uneme Clan located in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State of ; and Uneme-Nekhua, Uneme-Akiosu, Uneme-Erhurun, Uneme-Akpama, Uneme-Ekpedo and Uneme-Ayetoro, located in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, all in the Northern part of Edo State, Nigeria. The Uneme Tribal house was the greatest blacksmith in the early Benin Kingdom before the Portuguese and the British invaded. They were a people of like minds, united and powerful in the earliest Benin Kingdom known for iron crafty works, producing weapons of war and farming implements, a gift credited to them brought from their God known as (orisanabulah)…READ MORE
The Afemais do not have a central traditional ruler, but some of the prominent traditional institutions and rulers in Afemai land are the Okumagbe of Weppa Wanno (Agenebode), Ogieneni of Uzairue (Jattu), Aidonogie of south Ibie, Otaru of Auchi, Oba of Agbede, Otaru of Igarra, Ukor of Ihievbe, Oliola of Anegbette, Okumagbe of Iuleha clan, Okuopellagbe of Okpella etc. Afemai have produced many illustrious personalities in both national and international levels.
Tourist attractions, which span the expanse of Afemai, are exemplified by the Ise Lake in Agenebode (Weppa Wanno clan) Etsakor East, the Ososo hills (featured in an edition of Gulder Ultimate search), the famous Kukuruku hills and the Somorika hills in Akoko Edo, Somorika hills consist of an extended expanse of hills crowned by massive boulders perched precariously on the summits of hills and alongside seemingly inadequate locations on the sides.
Some of the most important towns/clans in Afemai land are Agenebode(Weppa-Wanno), Weppa, Oshiolo, Emokwemhe Iviagbapue, Auchi, Ihievbe, Afuze, Warrake, Iviukwe, South Ibie, Agbede, Sabongida Ora, Igarra, Ekperi, Jattu, Fugar, Aviele, Okpella, Uneme Ehrunrun, Uneme Osu, Iviukhua, Ososo, Uzanu, Uzebba, Iviukhua, Weppa, Okpella, Okpekpe, Somorika etc. The autonomous clans, towns, villages and kingdoms in Afemai land are currently administratively arranged as follows under the current six local government areas:
- Etsako East LGA, Agenebode:
Agenebode, Oshiolo, Iviagbapue, Imiakebu, Afana, Imiegba, Itsukwi, Emokweme, Ekwothor, Iviukhua, Okpella, Okpekpe, Iviebua, Ibie, Weppa, Uzanu
- Etsako Central LGA, Fugar:
Fugar, Ekperi, Ogbona, Anegbette, Udochi
- Estako West LGA, Auchi:
Auchi, South Ibie, Agbede, Awain Community( Ewora, Eware, Ibvioba, Ama, Idegun, etc.) Jattu, Afashio, Ayogwiri, Aviele, Iyorah
- Owan East LGA, Afuze
- Owan West LGA, Sabongida Ora:
Sabongida Ora, Iuleha Clan
- Akoko Edo LGA, Igarra:
Igarra, Ibillo, Uneme Osu, Uneme Ehrunrun, Ososo, Somorika