Starting from the top, Aghadaghada represents (symbolizes) Ikadele ene n’Osalobua ya-d’agbon yi-the four pillars with which God holds up the world. Traditionally, the four pillars represent the Four Cardinal Points-East, West, North, South to which we refer as Eken, Orhio, Okhuo,Aho, respectively. Since each of those divisions represents the name of the day, we say that the traditional Edo week contains four days. Eken(Ed’eken) is the EDO day of rest like Sunday. It does not end there though.
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The Four pillars are used by Osalobua(God) to hold up the world. But why are they Olokun’s symbols? The reason is that in Edo tradition Olokun and Osalobua are virtually co-terminus.
Indeed Olokun is to Osalobua what Jesus Christ is to God in the Christian faith. Thus the Edo saying, usually: Ta bi’omo no s’omwan, ere Osalobua na bi’Olokun.
If you compare the saying to that Biblical report about the claim of Jesus Christ that I and my Father are one.
In Edo tradition, the Oba is the human embodiment of Olokun and this is derived from the principle of Divine Kingship. As we say,agha mi Oba ami’ Osalobua(to see the Oba is to see Osalobua)So, on the whole, the Four Pillars radiate from the same center.
Finally,in the Edo tradition, Four is sacred number, and Ada n’ene posseses magical powers. Hence sacrifices to the Gods are usually offered there.
The middle symbol Owen Iba Ede Ku means the Sun never misses the day. The Symbol symbolizes SUN and therefore, the Oba,Olokun and Osalobua, covering the world with radiant light: Without the sun, there can be no DAY. The implications are obvious form the explanation of the first symbol.
The bottom symbol is more than ebe-amen although Ame or water usually symbolizes Olokun. However,the figure is another version of the top symbol, except that it represents continuity and the interrelationship between the creator and the created: From Osalobua we came and to Osalobua we return. This according to Edo tradition, there is no break between us and our maker. As we say, agha mi’edo,ami’Oba;aghaa mi’Oba, ami Osalobua In edo, we hardly ever call on Osalobua without simultaneously calling on Olokun. Thus we always say Osalobua vb’Olokun laho
by Dr Iro Eweka
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