Saturday 2 October 2021

Princess Emenugo The Heroine

A King of Warri once  had a very pretty daughter who was called Emenugo. She was a beautiful princess who was in her day called the Queen of Beauty.

In those days cohabitation between the royals or children belonging to the same family tree was punishable by death. Sadly Princess Emenugo had become a victim of this law and having been found guilty of the offence was to be killed.

The Olu who was reluctant to surrender her princess daughter sort to gain the nation consent to the alteration of this law.  For the nation not to suffer from the change of such law, the King ordered consultation of Oracle to inquire for the best way of amending the law.

The Oracle decide that Princess Emenugo was to be made a living sacrifice in order to atone for the soul of future generations who might become guilty of same crime.

The following was the manner in which Princess Emenugo was to be buried alive; a robe of white cloth, half piece of a broken calabash containing water mixed with white chalk, and a broom of bamboo with an egg parcelled at the tiny end of it. These articles where get ready and a day fixed for the sacrifice.

On the day of the sacrifice, Princess Emenugo appeared on the sacrificial scene to be buried alive. As soon as the first set of ceremony was over she was ordered to enter into the grave prepared for her. As she was entering her grave she cried out in lamentation

" Akpate kuri obon di omeyin rubo na obon toli ren oooo."

Meaning "The Lady Trader now vacates the market so that the last born may market and return safely home."

The sacrifice was sorrowful concluded and the law was amended so that people that marry from the same family tree is no longer punished by death but was amenable to fines.

When someone commits a similar offence they are punished. And they'd have to atone on her grave. She is used as an intermediary to the ancestors that has been offended.


1. ITSEKIRI oral history and tradition.

2. William A. Moore

History of Itsekiri. 

Attached photo is for illustrations only.

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