All You Need To Know About The Esan People ( Ẹ̀bhò Ẹ̀sán) Of Edo State, Nigeria

The Esan masquerades showcase their art  by dancing and entertaining during festive period in Esanland.

I decide to share the Esan people‘s culture with you guys on these post being an Esan by tribe, just for you to know more about these amazing ethnic group in Nigeria.

Agriculture is the primary means of survival for my people asuch, the average Esan person is extremely hardworking, goal oriented, strong and fit.


After independence, the Esan people have suffered from civil warpoverty, and lack of infrastructure.

The Esan people love entertainment that entertainment bloodily seems to run in their veins and Esanland have produce renown entertainers across the country and in diaspora.
The Esan language is considered a regionally important language in Nigeria, and it is taught in primary schools in addition to being broadcast on radio and television. The Esan language is also recognized in the Census of the United Kingdom.

It is estimated that the Esan people who reside in Esanland number about one million to 1.5 million
citizens in Nigeria, and there is a strong Esan diaspora. Esan-speaking communities exist in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and Italy. Pan-Esan groups such as
the Esan World Congress have kept the Esan community tight-knit.

The term Esan has been applied to the Esan people for thousands of years, and was used before contact with Europeans. It is believed by many historians that the name ‘Esan’ (originally, ‘E san fia’) owes its origin to Bini (meaning, ‘they have fled’ or ‘they jumped away’).

We the Esan People of Nigeria upholds our rich Cultural Heritage and it reflects in our lifestyle, we are royals and the beards are symbol of our royalty and culture.

‘Ishan’ is an Anglicized form of ‘Esan’, the result of colonial Britain’s inability to properly pronounce the name of this ethnic group.
One of Nigeria finest Actress Mercy Johnson-Okojie on her marriage day to an Esan Prince.
 It is believed that similar corruption has affected such Esan names as ubhẹkhẹ (now ‘obeche’ tree), uloko (now ‘iroko’ tree), Abhuluimẹn (now ‘Aburime’), etc. Efforts have however been made to return to status quo ante.

Because of the high rate of Esan people traveling abroad for greener pasture, we the Esan women as well find love with foreign men just like every other African woman.
For academic purpose, Esan refers to the ethnic group that occupies central Edo State;
(plural unchanged) a person or the people collectively from this ethnic group; the language of these people which, linguistically, is of the Kwa subdivision of the Niger-Congo language family; something of, related to, or having Esan origin e.g. uro Esan (=Esan language), otọ Esan (=Esan land), ọghẹdẹ Esan (=Esan banana).

In the pre-colonial era, Esans carried a crow’s foot tribal scar below their eyes

The Esan people (Esan: Ẹ̀bhò Ẹ̀sán) are an ethnic group of south Nigeria who speak the Esan language. The Esan are traditionally agriculturalists, trado-medical practitioners, mercenary warriors and hunters. They cultivate palm trees, Irvingia gabonensis (erhonhiele), Cherry (Otien), bell pepper (akoh) coconut, betel nut, kola nut, black pear, avocado pear, yams, cocoyam, cassava, maize, rice, beans, groundnut, bananas, oranges, plantains, sugar cane, tomato, potato, okra, pineapple, paw paw, and various vegetables.[3]

The modern Esan nation is believed to have been organized during the 15th century, when citizens, mostly nobles and princes, left the neighbouring Benin Empire for the northeast; there they formed communities and kingdoms called eguares among the aboriginal peoples whom they met there. There are on the whole 35 established kingdoms in Esanland, including Ebelle, Ewohimi, Ekpoma, Ubiaja, Emu, OgwuEsanUromi, Uzea, Igueben, Ewatto, Irrua, Opoji, Ugboha, Amahor, Ugun, Ogwa, Ewu and Ewossa

The Esan Kingdoms often warred among each other. Despite the wars, the Esans kept a homogenous culture which was chiefly influenced by the Benin Empire. However, these kingdoms were colonized, along with the Benin Empire, by the British Empire during September 1897, only gaining independence 63 years later in 1960 when Nigeria became independent from British Colonial rule. 

The Esans primarily speak the Esan language, an Edoid language related to Edo, Urhobo, Owan language, Isoko, and Etsako. and of course, the Esan people inter-marry these other ethnic groups more than any other ethinic group in the country and that’s the same reason my father is Esan while my mother is Isoko, LOL. (what a combination my friends would say, but truly that is a tough combination because of the personalities of these two ethnic group and to that I see it as a blessing that made me who I am.) *wink*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.