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8 Things Visitors are Forbidden to do at the Benin Palace

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Paying-homage-to-Oba-of-BeninThe royal house of Benin is one of the most famous in Africa and the world at large. Yearly, tourists and visitors troop to the ancient city located in Edo state, Nigeria to see the palace which holds the rich history of ancient royalty.

Although not all are granted audience with the Oba – Omo N’Oba N’Edo, quite a number of people are allowed to tour specific areas of the Palace. While paying a visit, it is important to check with your tour guide for regulations which govern movements around the palace.

However, if you are set to visit Benin City in a bid to tour the Oba’s Palace alone, Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking portal has put together a list of 8 things visitors are encouraged not to do at the Oba’s palace.

Pointing

Pointing fingers at either Oba or his chiefs are not allowed at the Oba’s palace. The Oba himself does not point fingers at anyone as well, except in a bid to bless or curse another individual.

Pointing is seen as an act with deep spiritual meaning and so, anyone who does this is promptly arrested by the security guards of the palace known as the Ifienwenro for questioning and possible punishment. The Ifienwenro is a ‘spiritual’ guard whose major duty is to wade off spiritual attack against the Oba. These guards are usually clad in brown wrapper skirts with armlets around them. After arrest, the offender is usually compelled to take an oath before confessing or giving explanations for pointing fingers at the Oba. In dire cases, the offender might be asked to present certain animals for sacrifice.

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