The Meaning of IGODOMIGODO - or IGIODOMIGIODO By Uwagboe Ogieva



By Uwagboe Ogieva

18 -oct-2011


Many people use this name but do not know the actual meaning or significant."igiodomigiodo" or Igodomigodo, is a combination of 'igiodo mi igiodo' or 'igiodo ọre ọh mi igiodo'. "igiodo" like  'igiogbẹ' meaning heaven, paradise,  riches or heritage. "igiodo" if further split could refers to 'igie+odo'-'igi'odo', i.e. "igie" means kings - a plural form of 'ogie, - king, head, leader, supreme, co-coordinator, oversea, etc. while "odo" is the mother mortar, a native pounder with a small deep hole use in pounding or grinding. 'odo' also represent 'the heart of it', the center, and the root, the main or mother earth. "igie+odo" or "igiodo", sometimes abbreviated to be 'igodo'  refers to 'main leaders, the key runners, the co-coordinators, pioneers, the nation's executives, the riches, the wise men, the organizers, coordinators, creators or the wealth. "`ọmi" is a combination of "ọh + mi", - he/she/they/it  + made, build, create, manage or construct. ""IGODOMIGODO  or IGIODOMIGIODO" simply means 'nation made nation, king made kings, great men made nations, great leaders build nations, wisdom made wise men or great men made great nation' as the case may be. The Edo country prior or till Oba Ewuare in the Great Benin kingdom call Igodomigodo clearly refers to the "NATION OF KING BUILDERS OR MAKERS"

Another important name or word often misunderstood  is Ogiso.  Ogiso, literarily refers to ‘king of the sky' but its connotion or significance deeply means "the ordained rulers or leaders by God" or ‘God ordained,  supreme leaders/rulers, king of kings, kings maker, main directors or managers. “Ogiso” was the name of the early parliamentary rulers of Ancient Benin Empire, similar to present day senators, governors and legistlators. though institutions and process may differ, but the functions was almost  alike, for on simple reason working for the growth and developments of the people they represent. A more or less republican government or parlamentary system of government. A council of elders, leaders, representatives and delegates from various communities, villages or groups across what is known today as Southern region of Nigeria.


Igiodomigiodo was the adopted name of the ancient Benin Empire. A sum up of civilized and advance polity that existed at a time in the history of the west African sub-region, sometimes under understated or quoted by historians and scholars alike. It was also recorded that throughout that period, lgodomingodo made steady progress especially in the areas of spiritual, philosophical and administrative development. Its efforts were largely concentrated on the arrangement of human order so that by the time Europeans made contact with the people of Benin in the 15th century, they had already established an administrative system which, till this day, baffled the Europeans and earned for the Capital of this "far flung" African country, the appellation "City". THE ANCIENT BENIN EMPIRE.



Encyclopedia of World Cultures, 1996. quote:

"Edo" is the name that the people of the Ancient Benin Kingdom give to themselves, their language, and their capital city and kingdom. Renowned for their art of brass and ivory and for their complex political organization, the Edo Kingdom of Benin is one of the best known of the pre-colonial kingdoms on the Guinea Coast of West Africa. From at least the fifteenth century, the Benin Empire held varying degrees of authority over neighbouring peoples, accross southern Nigeria  In 1897 British-colonial forces conquered the kingdom and made it part of the Niger Protectorate. Today it is incorporated into the modern state of Nigeria.



“Edoid is derived from Edo and Edo could mean Benin in the English co-relation term for Edo(Edo grammar) in some cases. The popularly known Benin Empire is Igodomigodo, Edo or Edoid Empire, which was one great nation but in diversities. Edo, in other words, is also seen as a generic name given to a group of people who have a common ancestor and have a common language, with some different variants, depending on the distance between the group and the " tap root. A land, political state, people, race, language and the principal city called Edo. The origin of the two names [Benin and Edo] have no connection in language or history. The land and people have been called Idu, Igodomigodo before any contact with the Europeans. Oba Ewuare Ne ogidigan (The great), about 1440 A.D to 1473 A.D, who changed the name of the country to Edo after his deified (servant) friend. Prior to this, the land had been called the land of Igodomigodo. Thus, the City has been known afterwards as Edo ne ẹvbo ahirre (Edo the City of love) because through love Edo (the servant friend) was able to save Ewuare from a sudden death.

According to Osamuyimen Stewart, Benin City is called Edo by its inhabitants and in certain contexts individuals from all parts of the kingdom will refer to themselves as ovbiedo (child of Edo ). Except when speaking English, no Edo person ever refers to himself as "Benin" or "Bini". These are non-Edo words of doubtful origin used by Europeans as an adjective and for the dominant people of the Edo kingdom and their language. Perhaps, this can be linked to the pre-colonial practice of naming areas after major geographic landmarks, in this case the Bight of Benin. It is on record that in 1472, the Portuguese captain Ruy de Siqueira brought a sailing ship as far as the Bight of Benin under the reign of Oba Ewuare. Egharevba provides further confirmation that Europeans named areas after major geographic landmarks. According to him, the label Lagos (the popular capital City of Nigeria) can be traced to the Portuguese because of its proximity to the lagoon.  Benin was first visited by Europeans at the end of the fourteenth century. The different close neighbors refer to the Edos by different names. For example, the Urhobos call the Edos ikhuorAka (the people of Aka), the Ikas (Agbor) use the label ndi-Iduu (the people of Iduu), etc.





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Comment by Otedo News Update on December 6, 2017 at 5:56pm

Osayande Unity @
..Igodomigodo is coined from igiodo omi igiodo...It is derived from the historical lineage of the great Benin Kingdom and empire. If you are familiar with the name #igiogbe...which means #riches, #paradise, #heaven on earth as the case may be...You can fine out more from books as recorded in Benin in history.

Samuel Igbinosa Nomamiukor:
Igodomigodo pronounced as igodo mi igodo just like my surname nomamiukor is noma mi ukor. Igodo means might and it was the name of the first ogiso of the ogiso ukuakpolokpolo omo n' ogie dynasty, ogiso idu igodo(obagodo) by name, and during his later years when he started encountering troubles they nicknamed him igodo mi igodo which means might saw might and which later stock to the land as igodomigodo(igodo mi igodo) and so igodomigodo means might saw might. I end it here.

Comment by Otedo News Update on March 6, 2015 at 10:33am

Comment by Otedo News Update on November 18, 2014 at 10:14pm

"Edo" was a Benin man who was good in traditional medicine. He may have been serving the Oba from the village not necessary was a slave. The reason he was honoured was for been able to heal the Oba of his terrible illness. Only Edo people were trained to stay with the Oba not foreigners or strangers whether slave or not. Benin Kingdom had other Benin indidgenes who were niether chiefs nor traditional authorities. Had a grandfather who was very good in traditional medicine but was not a chief. Emotan was an ordinary Edo woman that was also honoured and deified by Ewuare about same time.

The word "Bini" from Nigerians pirgin english, "Benin" from Portuguese while "Edo" for All Benin/Edo dialets and language. the word "Bini" prohibited by the palace. The right word accepted in use is "Benin". Benin are inter-use with Edo or vice visa and that's correct.

"Ubinu" was never the name of the Edo Kingdom or Country. It was Igodomigodo later change to Edo by Ewuare. don't use the Itsekiri nick name for the Edo people in the Central of the Kingdom to define the Edo Country. One thing how others call you another what your really are. "The different close neighbors refer to the Edos by different names. For example, the Urhobos call the Central Edos ikhuorAka (the people of Aka), the Ikas (Agbor) use the label ndi-Iduu (the people of Iduu). The Itsekhiri's "Ubinu".. MAY BE WE CONFUSING THE FIRST TO BE THE SECOND. THE ITSEKIRI GOT THAT CORRUPT FROM THE PORTUGUESE "BENIN" AND THE ORIGINAL NAME WAS DIRRECTLY FROM PORTUGUESE

Comment by Otedo News Update on March 11, 2014 at 3:16am

By Efosa Omuwa

I find it embarrassing when some Edo/Benin historians misunderstand the origin of the name, Oba. I wonder why they have not been able to connect the title to an Edo word and the series of events that took place in then Igodomigodo just as I have done. Sometimes ago, since I have always wondered how the name came about, I ventured into a little research on my own using the stories that took place at that time, and the meaning of Oba in Edo language to arrive at my conclusion.
Firstly, I wold like to let you know the meaning of ‘ba’, ‘O ba’ or ‘Noba ‘in Edo language.
- Baa or ba means ‘to shine’
- O’ baa means ‘it’s shining’ or ‘he/she is shining’
- Noba means the ‘colour ‘red’ or in a phrasal verb N’Oba meaning ‘the one that shines’

The last one N’Oba will be more relevant to the explanation below.

The name, title or word is not an original Yoruba word. After a series of events that led to the death of Ogiso Owodo, the departure of Ekaladerhan(heir apparent) and the emergence of Evian as the temporary head or Ogie of Igodomigodo , the kingdom was going through tough time ranging from the struggle for power amongst different groups . The Kingdom was plagued with famine, sickness and diseases. There was exodus of people from Igodo. The people attributed these to the anger of the gods as regard the injustice done to Ekaladerhan and the activities going on then. This made Oliha to lead a party to bring back Ekaladerhan who was rumoured to be alive in Uhe(Ife). Oliha and is party technically succeeded by bringing back Oranmiyan who was one of the Sons of Ekaladerhan (Oduduwa) to Igodomigodo. 

Oranmiyan met strong resistance from Ogiamien and his supporters. He relocated back to the land he was used to since he wasn’t able to cope with the ongoing turmoil in his fatherland and left behind a child he had with the daughter of Enogie of Ogida, Eweka.

After Eweka became of age to assume the throne of his forefathers, he was still being challenged by Ogiamien and his supporters. Many wars were fought between them to enforce their authority as the sole head of the Igodomigodo Kingdom. After several years of warfare, Ogiemien finally conceded the head of the Kingdom to Eweka.

Note that during the reign of Ogiamien as the head of the Kingdom, The name Oba was already being used to refer to Eweka by his supporters as ‘omo no do baa n’Igodo’ or ‘Omo n’obaa n’Igodo’ meaning ‘the child that came to shine for Igodomigo ‘ or ‘the child that shines for Igodomigodo’. Then he has not yet adopted the name Eweka as his Kingship name. Some simply referred to him as ‘Omo’ in a short form. So, after the truce reached between him and Ogiemien , the people still referred to him as the child that have come to shine for the Kingdom and brought peace and prosperity to the Land and felt he should adopt the name as his title. The name was finally adopted as his Title for the King of Igodomigodo considering the events that led to his emergence. (omo n’obaa n’Igodomigodo in Edo language and the short form, Oba). 

In view of the above, it is logical to say the word Oba was first used to describe the new king to be by those around him and the people of Igodomigodo. This was later adopted and used to refer to the King of Igodomigodo. The name was later changed from ‘omo n’oba n’Igodomigodo’ to ‘omo n’oba n’Edo’ after Oba Ewuare changed the name of the Kingdom (empire) to Edo. 
Finally, I hereby conclude that the true meaning of the word Oba is in the literary meaning and the full pronunciation of the sentence ‘Omo n’oba n’Edo’.
• Ukpon Noba (Red Cloth) was adopted to emphasize the significance of the new title of the monarchy. 
• Also note that during the Ogiso dynasty, there was an Ogiso named Ogiso Obagodo. Obagodo literarily means ‘he’s shining very bright’. This is to buttress the points raised above as regard the true origin of the word Oba. 
• I have come to understand that Edo/Benin history can best be explained in the names given to places, persons and traditional titles and idiomatic expressions which still exist up till date.

Comment by Otedo News Update on August 25, 2013 at 6:45pm

Benin kingdom Ogisos{About 40BC -1100AD}Orire 

About 66AD-100AD}

Ogiso Orire ascended the throne of Igodomigodo kingdom {Benin kingdom} in about 66AD, in continuation of the hereditary system after the dead of his father it is not clear who actually transferred the capital of Igodomigodo {Benin} kingdom from Ugbekun to Uhudumwunrun He or his Father Ere.Tradition says Orire dead childless plunging the monarchy into a period of confusion that lasted for about 3 centuries, without a royal successor.
During this period Igodomigodo, kingdom {Benin kingdom} became a republic nation and fragmented, each community was govern by their community elders {Owere} and the oldest man in the community Odionwere they manage the day-to-day affair of their various community.The ancient system of self-governance.

Comment by MATILDA ELIZABETH E. ORHEWERE on July 17, 2012 at 4:33pm


Comment by Otedo News Update on October 19, 2011 at 11:40pm
Comment by Otedo News Update on October 19, 2011 at 3:36pm

@Collins Nosamudiana Atohengbe, thanks for your comments.. please can you share with us were the writer above critisize Christianity or even had anything to do with Christianity (European religion) that warrant you comments bellow? 

Thanks and best regards.

Great Benin Bronze


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