Ordinarily, a moat is a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle, fort, or town, typically filled with water and intended as a defence against attack.
So, what makes the Benin Moat (Iya) great?
• Do you know that in 1974 the Benin Moat was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s second largest man-made structure after the Great wall of China?
• Do you know that the walls and Benin tribal marks on the forehead helped to ensure that no Benin person was ever enslaved for the purposes of the Transatlantic Slave Trade? (Amazing in @mc_lively voice)
•The walls had ramparts as high as 66ft, covered distance of 16,000km and enclosed 6500km² of community land.
• It was constructed by the Edo people around 800AD to 1460AD, took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to construct.🤯
• Oba Oguola (1280 – 1295) and Oba Ewuare the Great (1440 -1473) started and completed the initiative. (Visit kingdomofbenin.com for more gist)
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝗿𝗼𝗻𝘇𝗲 𝗖𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻
In the palace of the Oba lived guilds of specialists such as hunters, and craftspeople who produced brass, ivory, wood sculptures, etc. for the Oba, his chiefs.
Oba Oguola in 1280AD established the guild system, and the guild of bronze casters were tasked with the responsibility of preserving the history of the kingdom in bronze for posterity sake.
In the 1897 expedition of the Benin Kingdom by the British Colonial forces the ancient Kingdom was raided, and thousands of antiques, rare brass/bronze sculptures, and carvings dating back to the beginning of the Kingdoms’ existence were looted.
• After the invasion, the guild was reinstated in 1914 to rebuild. Igun street is the traditional and ceremonial home of the guild of Bronze casters for the great Benin Kingdom
• The street consists of 31 guilds that have pledged their allegiance to the Oba of Benin
• Igun Street is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and cultural and traditional headquarters for Bronze craft masters of the Benin Kingdom.
𝑾𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒔𝒉 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒓𝒆𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒍𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒔?🤔