OBA OF BENIN FASHION DESIGNERS UNVEILED

The Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa is always a study in sartorial elegance. His grace and the stitches of those who make his robes and other items of fashion has made the Oba as one of the best dressed royal fathers in Nigeria. The onerous responsibility of providing clothing the Benin Monarch rests squarely on the palace society known as “Iwebo”. Sources have it that the origin of the Iwebo Palace society dates back to the reign of Oba Ewuare, (1440-1473 AD) who created the society comprising some noble chiefs of Oba N’Okhua and gave them specified functions in the palace. By this function, the Iwebo Palace Chiefs are in charge of everything the Oba wears, from the crown on his royal head to the covering for his feet. This function is no doubt a herculean one, as the Oba, whom the Binis see as “God’s representative” on earth, should be admirably and spectacularly clothed each time he puts on a public appearance. Recorded have it that Oba Esegie (1504-1555) reformed the group by appointing the Uwangue (one of the Senior Palace Chiefs) as their leader. Today, the Uwague of Benin Kingdom, Chief G.O. Aiwerioba, an Engineer and a retired permanent secretary is the present head of the Iwebo society.

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