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Relics of normal life in time past are much sought after in sacrificial preparations. Some of these objects and materials, to the uninitiated, are very hard to come by. To the uninitiated, seeing a tortoise could probably be at the zoo, but for those who indulge in sacrificial practices, they know where exactly to go, they know the right market and they know the right people to call on.
The traditional Oliha and Ekiosa markets in Benin City are the right places to go if one needs those rare animals, native chalks, coins and several other materials which have spent over two hundred years. Feathers of rare birds like ostrich, sparrow and even vulture, all of which have different connotations, as investigations revealed, you can get in these markets also.
The practice continues among Binis, according to a resident. “The practice is still very relevant here, basically, because we love our tradition which includes sacrifices”, he boasted. There was a time Bishop Margaret Idahosa of Church of God Mission was asked to comment on the proliferation of churches in Benin City, and she said, “Is it not better we have that than the usual sacrifices we see in the streets?”
At the Kemwinkemwin line of Oliha market, 76-year-old Madam Christianah Oliha explained some of the materials to Sunday Vanguard: “What I am holding now are the Azáolokun, Adá and the Ebèn, used for worshipping Olokun. This one is Uleko, someone that has had his bath with juju is the one that wears it. I have taken that bath, so I am free to wear it.
“This business has been good for me. It has improved the life of my children, it has given me all I require in life. People started the business before most of us, our mothers were in this market before they died but today it is our turn. I have spent over 15 years in the business”.