History and Origin of Okpe Kingdom: Customs and Traditions of Okpe People

Nuelson Penuel Wednesday, June 7, 2023 Basis


what is the history and origin of Okpe Kingdom
In this blog post, we are going to discuss the history of okpe kingdom. it also covers the origin, customs and traditions of the okpe people.

overview of okpe

okpe kingdom is a historical and cultural kingdom located in delta state, nigeria. it was founded in the 17th century by orhogbua of benin who was sent to establish a new kingdom in the present-day delta state. the kingdom is made up of 12 towns and is rich in culture and traditions. the okpe people are known for their love for the arts, music, and dance. they are also known for their prowess in the production of handicrafts such as pottery, basketry, and wood carving. the okpe people are predominantly farmers and traders and are blessed with natural resources such as oil and gas. one of the most prominent features of okpe kingdom is the orodje of okpe palace, which is the traditional home of the okpe monarch – the orodje of okpe kingdom. the palace is situated in orerokpe, the capital of okpe kingdom, and is a center of attraction for tourists who are interested in history and culture. the okpe people are also known for their festivals such as the oboh festival, which marks the end of the okpe calendar year and the beginning of a new one. the festival is known for its colorful displays of music, dance, and traditional costumes.

history of okpe kingdom

the okpe kingdom was established as early as the 17th century. it has a traditional ruler with the title orodje of okpe. the okpe people are known to have migrated to found the present day sapele and the orodje of okpe still exercises authority over the land of sapele. h.r.m esezi i is believed to be the founder of the esezi dynasty, which is considered the first dynasty in the history of the okpe kingdom. he is said to have established the okpe kingdom and became the first king of the okpe people. during his reign, he is credited with laying the foundation for the kingdom's cultural and traditional practices. there is little known about esezi i, including his birth and death dates, but it was believed that his sovereignty was around the period of 1770-1779. however, he is considered a significant figure in the history of the okpe people, and his legacy continues to be celebrated to this day through various cultural and traditional practices in the okpe kingdom. h.r.m. esezi ii was indeed the second orodje (traditional ruler) of the okpe kingdom. he was indeed a pioneer advocate of democracy in the land of okpe and played an important role in the establishment of regional governance in nigeria. h.r.m. esezi ii was a member of the western nigeria congress of traditional rulers and was instrumental in advancing the interests of the okpe people within the larger nigerian society. he was also known for his efforts to promote education among his people and to modernize the infrastructure of okpe kingdom. during his reign, new roads were constructed, and the kingdom saw increased economic activity. overall, h.r.m. esezi ii is remembered as an important figure in the history of okpe kingdom and of nigeria as a whole. he ruled the kingdom around the period of 1945-1966. h.r.m. orhoro i was indeed the third orodje of okpe, serving as the traditional ruler from around 1972 until his passing in 2004. during his long reign, he played a significant role in promoting the development of okpe kingdom. one of his major achievements was the establishment of the okpe union, which is a socio-cultural organization that serves as the umbrella body for all okpe indigenes both within and outside nigeria. h.r.m. orhoro i was also known for his efforts to promote education, healthcare, and economic development in the kingdom. under his leadership, the okpe people saw significant progress, including the expansion of infrastructure and improvements in living standards. overall, h.r.m. orhoro i is remembered as a wise and visionary leader who worked tirelessly for the betterment of his people. h.r.m orhue i orodje of okpe , is the fourth and current king of okpe. he served as a high-ranking major general in the nigerian army. he was officially crowned on 29 july 2006.

customs and traditions of okpe kingdom

okpe kingdom has a rich cultural heritage with several customs and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. here are some of the notable customs and traditions of okpe kingdom: 1. respect for the orodje: the orodje is the traditional ruler of okpe kingdom and is highly revered by the people. it is customary to show respect and deference to the orodje, and his authority is recognized in all aspects of okpe life. 2. the odogwu festival: this is the most significant festival in okpe kingdom and is held every two years to honor the ancestors of the okpe people. the festival is marked with cultural performances, masquerade displays, and feasting. 3. the ofi festival: this annual festival is held in honor of the itsekiri people who live in okpe kingdom. the festival is celebrated with song, dance, and the wearing of traditional attire. 4. marriage customs: in okpe kingdom, marriage is regarded as a significant event, and there are various traditions and customs associated with it. for example, it is customary for the bride's family to present a dowry to the groom's family, and for the couple to undergo various rites and ceremonies before they can be declared husband and wife. 5. traditional music and dance: traditional music and dance are an essential part of okpe culture, with various local instruments like the akpola and isenwebe being used during performances. 6. respect for elders: respect for elders is a crucial part of okpe culture, and it is customary to show deference to the elderly and seek their counsel. overall, okpe kingdom has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and its customs and traditions play a significant role in the daily lives of its people.

what language does okpe people speak?

the language spoken in okpe kingdom is okpe, which is a niger-congo language spoken by about 700,000 people, primarily in delta state, nigeria. the language has several dialects, including okpe, sapele, and ekrerhavwe. okpe language is also sometimes referred to as “uduophori” or “upkili”.

politics and government system of okpe kingdom

okpe kingdom is a traditional kingdom located in delta state, nigeria, with its own system of government headed by the orodje of okpe, who serves as the traditional ruler and custodian of the okpe culture and tradition. the orodje is advised by a council of chiefs and elders known as the okpe council of chiefs. the council is responsible for making important decisions on traditional matters such as the installation of chiefs, settlement of disputes and the promotion of the welfare and development of the kingdom. in terms of modern politics, okpe kingdom is part of the isoko/sapele/uvwie/okpe federal constituency and the okpe local government area in delta state. the kingdom is represented in the nigerian legislature by a member of the house of representatives and a senator. the government of okpe kingdom, like other traditional kingdoms in nigeria, has no direct control over government policies or resources at the state and national levels, but it plays a crucial role in the promotion of the welfare and development of its people, especially in matters of culture, tradition, and community development.

religious beliefs of okpe people

okpe kingdom has a diverse religious landscape, with christianity, islam, and traditional african religions all coexisting in the kingdom. christianity was introduced to the kingdom by european missionaries in the 19th century and is currently the dominant religion in the area. most okpe people are christians, with the anglican, catholic, and pentecostal denominations being the most popular. islam was also introduced to the kingdom through arab traders in the 12th century, and there is a significant muslim population in some areas of the kingdom, especially in the urban centers. traditional african religions, which predate the arrival of christianity and islam, are still practiced by some in the kingdom, particularly in rural areas. these religions are based on the worship of ancestral spirits, nature gods, and other deities. traditions such as the masquerade festival and the use of traditional medicine are also still practiced by some in the kingdom.

economy system of okpe kingdom

the economy of okpe kingdom is largely based on agriculture, small-scale trading, and crafts. the region has fertile land that supports the cultivation of crops such as cassava, yams, maize, vegetables, and fruits. fishing and hunting also contribute to the local economy, with the nearby river providing a source of fish for consumption and trade. small-scale trading is a significant component of the economy, with markets and trading centers found in various parts of the kingdom. people engage in small-scale trading of goods like foodstuffs, clothing, and crafts. crafts such as weaving, pottery, and carving are traditional industries in okpe kingdom. the production of pottery, for example, is an ancient tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. palm wine tapping is another age-long practice for some in the kingdom. in recent years, modern industries such as oil exploration have also become increasingly important to the economy of the kingdom. the oil exploration and extraction industry is a major employer of labor in the area, providing jobs and contributing to the development of infrastructure in the region.


in conclusion, okpe kingdom is a region in nigeria that has a rich cultural heritage and history. the kingdom has been able to maintain its identity through traditional customs and practices, and it has also adapted to modern changes in society. its economy is largely based on agriculture, small-scale trading, and crafts, with modern industries such as oil exploration providing additional opportunities for growth and development. despite its challenges, okpe kingdom continues to persevere, and its people remain proud of their heritage and cultural traditions.

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