Ora

Oba Ewuare Ozolua is traditionally regarded as the ancestor of the Owans/Ora. He was known as Prince Okpame before he became known as Oba Ozolua. He had sought refuge in Uwokha in Ivbiosakon areas in c1473. From Uwokha, Oba Ozolua founded Ora and other villages. Oba Ozolua was a warlord. He beat the people of Uzea near Uromi to a pulp when there was a revolt.

He extended his carnage to Uromi when the Enogie was reported to have been rude to his messengers. He went up through Akoko land, wandering into Nupe lands where he acquired a lot of sophisticated weaponry. He attacked the Igallas and Igbirras in the present Kogi and Kwarra states.

After spending the greater part of his life in ORA, he left behind his son UGUAN and returned to Benin City. But before he left, he proclaimed everybody free men and free women, entitled to enjoy the privileges of Edo princes and Princesses, for all the services they had rendered in his military campaigns. That is why the Oras call themselves today, the

ORA AND IT’S CULTURAL BELIEFS

Major festivals and ceremonies in Ora clan are Owewe, Orimiyan, Oisa, Aselegun, Ekhae, Ukpasa and funeral rites. Sabongida is a Hausa name given to Ora by Hausa settlers who came to make Evbiobe home. Today, Ora people want to reverse the name Sabongida-Ora to Evbiobe.

It was believed that at Uokha,Okpame-Uguan associated with Obazua and Irimo at Uokha. It is already established that Irimo was the founder Iuleha clan. At Oukha,Okpamen also met Okpowewunma who later married Ororuah.Okpamen and his followers wandered south to Iregbe from where the Ora clan was founded.

Another version has it that when Okpame Uguan was banned from Benin, he moved towards Edo north with his followers and they settled in Ozalla. From Ozalla he went further and set up a camp with his cousin Obazua. They were both farmers. On one of their farming expeditions, they met some other migrant who identified himself as a prince of the Benin kingdom. Among the people they met was Akpowowuma, the father of Ororuah. They all went back together and settled at Uokha,which is further down Edo north. Ororuah stayed with them for some time ,got married and his wife became pregnant. When Okpamen visited his cousin Obazua, he met Ororuah's wife under labor. Spiritual divination revealed that the woman under labor must be removed from Uokha immediately to Iregbe, or else the baby will die. Obazua was the soothsayer who predicted this occurrence. When she got to Iregbe, woods that were used to dry leopard meat were used to set up fire to keep the nursing mother warm.

In Ora language ,leopard means Ekpen. The baby delivered was named Orai -Ekpen [in Ora language Oran Ekpen means leopard wood]. The nickname of Okpame was Uguan meaning- "I will not serve anybody'. This made Ora people not to have an Oba or King till date. Iregbe is significant in Ora history because it was the place Okpame-Uguan settled in when he left Uokha with his pregnant wife. His son Ora Ekpen, was born in Iregbe. Iregbe has ceased to exist today as a settlement and village. It was renamed Odorere and had become a burial ground for Ora people. It is a bush behind Ojavun village-[on the west side of Ojavun toward Avbiosi-Iuleha]. Because of its location,Ojavun people refused Ora people from taking dead bodies across their village to Iregbe that had become a cemetery. There is a river in Iregbe called Today River Iregbe Okpame bore Ora Ekpen in Iregbe. As the child grew up, he left them and went back to Benin following the death of his father-the Oba to inherit the Obaship as he was the next in line to ascend to the throne. Ironically, the king makers in Benin refused has ascension to this throne.


ORA AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES:

Sabogida Ora, Ukhumora, Eme, Oke old and Oke new

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