Home of Chief Isekhure

The Remodeling of a Traditional Chief's Home and its Destruction

The Oba's chief priest, educated in Canada, remodeled his traditional home in 1995. Stripped of his title in January, 2017 for offenses against the new monarch, Oba Ewuare II, his house was reduced to rubble.

Chief Nosa Isekhure, the hereditary chief priest of the Oba, belongs to the Ihogbe guild, the palace group that tends the royal ancestors. The Erimwi-Idu royal ancestral shrine was erected in his home for convenient prayer centuries ago, as was an altar to his own ancestors. Newly-made chiefs stopped at the royal shrine when celebrating their titles in a procession through the city.

In 1995, he gave his home a facelift, employing sculptors to add a figurative balustrade and adorn the roofline with relief sculpture. He incorporated his title, as well as an item associated with him--the ukhurhe, or ancestral staff, covered with red ododo cloth. Chief Isekhurhe held the staff in ceremonies when he prayed for the Oba.

When Oba Ewuare II was crowned in October of 2016, Isekhure refused to participate in some key rites and offended the monarch. Some months later, the Traditional Council carried out the Oba's will and stripped him of the privileges and responsibilities of his title. In January of 2017 the palace took control of the royal shrine, destroyed part of the facade, and sealed the front entrance to the home.



Figurative balustrade, Chief Isekhure's Hometif / 2.41 MB Download
Medallion on the Roofline of Chief Isekhure's Housetif / 2.49 MB Download
Bell to Call the Ancestorstif / 4.90 MB Download