Just below their eyes, the Esan people have a tribal mark in the shape of a cow’s foot.
The Esan are a sizable ethnic group who speak the Esan language and live in Central Edo state – in southern Nigeria. They are a unified group with a strong desire to follow their traditions and customs. The Esan people are also known for being skilled warriors, hunters and herbalists.
It is also well known that the Bini and Esan peoples have a close kinship. Folklores such as the igbabonelimhin and akhue were utilized to educate and entertain the Esan.
Here are some more incredible facts about this beautiful group:
1. Their Origin
Since the 15th century, the Esan people have been in existence. Their princes and nobles fled the Benin empire and founded new kingdoms in the northeast. Eguares were the names given to these new kingdoms and towns.
It is also worth noting that despite their homogeneity, 35 established kingdoms in Esan land fought against one another.
2. Their language
The Esan language, spoken by the Esan people, is closely related to Delta’s Urhobo and Isoko languages, Edo’s Owan language, and Delta’s Anioma language (also known as Delta Igbo).
As a result of colonization, some names and meanings of words were completely altered. This may be seen in the way the British spelt and pronounced Esan; the correct pronunciation is “Ayssan“, but because the British couldn’t pronounce it correctly, they spelt and pronounced it as “Ishan“.
4. The Esan are firm traditionalists
Despite the influence of Christianity, the Esan still revere their traditional rulers. They have profound faith in ancestral spirits and gods, and they continue to practice their traditional beliefs.
5. Names of their gods
The Esan people have several gods, here are some of them:
- Osonobua – This is the most powerful Edo God. It is now commonly used to refer to God in the Christian faith as a whole. The British masters were the ones who made the switch.
- Esu – This is the deceptive Esan God, who is now known as Satan.
- Osun – This is the Esan God of Medicine, from whom the famous surname ‘Okosun‘ which means God of Medicine, was derived.
It’s also worth noting that, as a result of Christianity’s spread, the Esan people have a sizable Christian population; they worship in a variety of denominations, but the majority of Esan Christians are Catholics.
In conclusion, the Esan ethnic group is a lovely ethnic group with generally hardworking people who are passionate about their culture and customs.