A study of the Portuguese-Benin Trade Relations: Ughoton as a Benin Port (1485 -1506)

Michael Ediagbonya

Abstract


The study examined the Benin – Portuguese Relations: Ughoton as a Benin Port (1485 – 1506). It further examined the coming of the Portuguese through the Benin port, Ughoton to Benin City. It also analyzed the articles of trade to Ughoton. It accounted for the factors responsible for the decline of Portuguese trade in Benin and Ughoton and the significance of the relationship to Benin and Ughoton.

The study relied on both oral interviews and documentary data. The oral data were based on unstructured interviews with the Odionwere (Oldest man in Ughoton), Ohen –Okun (The Chief Priest of Olokun temple) and other elders in Ughoton. The documentary data were sourced from intelligence reports, divisional reports, colonial letters, dispatches, government reports and correspondences. The data were subjected to internal and external criticisms for authentication and then to textual and contextual analyses.

The study found that Prince Ekaladerhan, the only child of ogiso Owodo, the last Ogiso of Ogiso dynasty was the founder of Ughoton in about the eleventh century. The study also found that from the fifteenth century Ughoton was the port of Benin kingdom during the period of Benin Portuguese trade relations. The study demonstrated that this trade brought a lot of benefits to the people of Ughoton, Benin kings and the Europeans. It was discovered that, the trade declined due to bad climatic conditions, the Benin’s refusal to accept Christianity fully and that the trade did not bring the expected returns.

 


Keywords


Trade, Diplomacy, Relations, Port, Decline.

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