Photograph by Reginald Kerr Granville, 1897
An Ode To The Benin Chiefs (of old)
You provide an insight into the running of,
One of the most efficient administrative systems in the world;
King and Chiefs working hand in hand with the people,
To leave a legacy for all ages.
You flaunt not your riches,
They lie buried in the dust of age in store rooms,
In compound wells and on ancestral alters;
Diamond, gold or silver, appeal not to you.
You worship your head,
Which controls all your bodily functions,
Your intelligence is held in your head; therefore,
You celebrate this annually in the Ague festival.
Your lesson to the world is,
Brains and intelligence,
Are what matter most in this life;
All earthly riches not.
You are an inspiration for,
Through all times.
All hail the Benin chiefs (of old).
1) Bacon R. H, Benin The City of Blood, 1897.
2) Benin Expedition of 1897, Benin Massacre, Wikipedia,
3) Boisragon A, The Benin Massacre, 1897.
accessed 6 January 2017.
5) Roth, H. L, Great Benin, 1903, app xiv – xv.
6) Roth H.L., Transcript of the Trial of the king, (appendix 11); 1903.
7) Roth H. L Transcript of the Trial of Ologbosheri; 27 June 1899, (appendix xviii); 1903.