Oba Esigie was an Oba (king) of Benin who ruled the ancient Benin Kingdom, now Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria (c.1504–c.1550). Works of art commissioned by Esigie are held in prominent museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum.
At the time of his father Oba Ozolua's death, Esigie controlled Benin City and his brother Arhuaran controlled Udo, a town about 30 kilometres (20 mi) northwest of Benin City that was nearly its equal in size and influence. Following a bitter power struggle with Aruaran, and with major assistance and support from his mother Queen Idia, Esigie became Oba of Benin. Esigie later fended off an attack from the Igala people.
Esigie started a tradition in Benin by investing his mother with the title of Iyoba (Queen Mother) and providing the Eguae-Iyoba (Palace of the Queen Mother) in lower Uselu for her use.
- 50 Great Africans - Oba Esigie & Oba Ewuare Accessed 10 January 2007
- The correct History of Edo Accessed 10 January 2007