The Esan people are an ethnic group in Nigeria, primarily located in Edo State, in the southern part of the country. They are one of the largest ethnic groups in Edo State and are known for their rich history, culture, and contributions to Nigerian society.

Historically, the Esan people are believed to be descendants of the ancient Benin Kingdom. They migrated from Benin City, the capital of the kingdom, to their present location in the 13th century. Over time, the Esans developed their own distinct identity and socio-cultural system.

The Esan people predominantly inhabit Edo Central Senatorial District, which is made up of six local government areas: Esan West, Esan Central, Esan North-East, Esan South-East, Esan South-West, and Igueben. They share borders with the Afemai and Owan ethnic groups to the north, the Etsako people to the west, and the Benin people to the south.

The population of the Esan people is estimated to be around two million. They are known for their high population density, with many Esan communities having a significant number of inhabitants.

Traditionally, agriculture is the main occupation of the Esan people. They are skilled in farming, cultivating crops such as yam, cassava, palm produce, and cocoa. Fishing, hunting, and trading are also common economic activities among the Esans.

In recent years, there has been a diversification of occupations among the Esans, with many engaging in various professions such as medicine, law, engineering, academia, business, and politics. They have made significant contributions to these fields both within Nigeria and internationally.

The Esan people have a rich and vibrant culture. They have a unique language called Esan, which belongs to the Edo-Idoma subgroup of the larger Benue-Congo language family. Esan language is widely spoken across the Esan region.

The Esans are known for their artistic skills, particularly in sculpture and woodcarving. They have a strong sense of community and celebrate their heritage through various cultural festivals and ceremonies. Notable among these is the Ugie festival, which is celebrated annually to honor ancestors and seek their blessings.

Religiously, the Esan people have diverse beliefs, with Christianity and traditional African religions being the predominant faiths. Christianity, introduced by European missionaries in the 19th century, has gained significant followership among the Esans. Traditional religious practices still coexist with Christianity, and many Esans maintain a syncretic form of worship.

In conclusion, the Esan people of Edo State, Nigeria, have a rich history, vibrant culture, and strong community ties. They primarily depend on agriculture for their livelihoods but have made significant advancements in various professions. The Esans continue to preserve their heritage while embracing modern influences.

Osezua Stephen-Imobhio

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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