REVEALED: Why the new Oba of Benin and his wives covered their mouths during coronation

On 20th Oct, 2016, Prince Eheneden Erediauwa was crowned the 39th Oba of Benin kingdom "Oba Ewuare ll N’Ogidigan".

During coronation which had many dignitaries in attendance, the Oba and his three wives were seen covering their mouths with a white handkerchief and this got many people wondering the reason as the pictures also surfaced on social media.

Well, why was the Oba covering his mouth? It was obviously a cultural act but what was the significance. Even his wives covered their mouths. An indigene of Edo State, south-south part of Nigeria embarked on a fact-finding mission and got the feedback below:

(1) The Oba usually covers his mouth because when he talks he is the supreme authority and whatever he says is final.

(2) People talk on his behalf most of the time and whatever they proclaim becomes the law with immediate effect.

"A friend of mine who is a painter said he did a painting of the old Oba and it was rejected because it depicted him smiling. According to tradition, people are not supposed to see the Oba's teeth so he doesn't smile" the unnamed investigator concluded.

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