Idia was the mother of Esigie; Oba (king) of Benin who reigned from 1504 to 1550. She played a very important role in the rise and reign of her son. She was a powerful warrior who fought tirelessly before and during the reign of her son. She became the first iyoba (Queen Mother) of Benin, a title created and conferred by her son in gratitude for her help.


Sources :

ALEXANDER Ives Bortolot women Leaders in African History: Idia, First Queen Mother of Benin

DOMAIN, Public. Queen Mother Pendant Mask: Iyoba, 16th century.

KAPLAN, Flora Edowaye S. Iyoba, the Queen Mother of Benin: Images and Ambiguity in Gender and Sex Roles in Court Art. Art History, 1993, vol. 16, no 3, p. 386-407.

NZEGWU, Nkiru. Iyoba Idia: The Hidden Oba of Benin. JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies, 2006, no 9.

ODI, Christine. Women empowerment in Nigerian drama: a contextual study of Irene Salami-Agunloye’s heroines. AFRREV LALIGENS: An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies, 2018, vol. 7, no 1, p. 13-23.

OLASUPO, Fatai A. Women’s Association Life within Traditional Institutions in YorÙbÁ States. In : Contesting the Nigerian State. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2013. p. 173-198.             

SALAMI-AGUNLOYE, Irene Isoken. Idia, the Warrior Queen of Benin. Saniez Publication, 2008.