/ed"oh/; Japn. /e"daw"/, n.a former name of Tokyo.1. a member of an indigenous people of western Africa, in the Benin region of southern Nigeria.2. the Kwa language of the Edo people.
* * *Japanese city that was renamed Tokyo at the Meiji Restoration (1868), when the imperial capital was moved there. In the 1590s Edo became the headquarters for Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Tokugawa shogunate and henceforth was Japan's political centre. See Tokyo.▪ peoplealso called Binipeople of southern Nigeria who speak a language of the Benue-Congo branch (Benue-Congo languages) of the Niger-Congo language family. The Edo numbered about 3.8 million at the turn of the 21st century. Their territory is west of the Niger River and extends from hilly country in the north to swamps in the Niger Delta. Edo is also the vernacular name for Benin City, the centre of the Benin kingdom (Benin), which flourished from the 14th to the 17th century.The Edo live in compact village settlements ranging in size from small hamlets to towns of several thousand people. They subsist primarily on yams, supplemented by corn (maize), plantains, cassava, and other vegetables. Livestock includes goats, sheep, dogs, and fowl, used mainly for sacrificial offerings. Brass casting, wood carving, leatherworking, and weaving ceremonial cloth are traditional crafts.The village is the basis of Edo political life. In each village the males are divided into three age-sets (age set). Boys enter the junior age grade in their early teens and perform communal tasks, such as clearing paths and caring for public buildings. The middle grade of adult males do more difficult tasks, such as roofing houses, and perform executive functions for the village council, which consists of the oldest age grade. The council decides on matters related to tax collection, collective tasks, religious festivals, relations with central authorities, and other community concerns.The nonhereditary village headman is usually the oldest man in the village; he also serves as priest of ancestral and earth spirits. A sacred king, the oba, was formerly the political, economic, and ritual head of state; succession to this office is determined by primogeniture.Many Edo are Christians or Muslims. Traditional religion includes belief in a remote creator, lesser gods, mythical or semimythical village heroes, and spirits of the dead.state, southern Nigeria. It is bounded by the states of Kogi to the northeast and east, Anambra to the east, Delta to the southeast and south, and Ondo to the west and northwest; the Niger River flows along the state's eastern boundary. Benin City is the state capital and largest urban centre.Edo state was formed in 1991 from the northern portion of Bendel state, the southern portion becoming Delta state. Prior to this, in 1963, the citizens of the territory had voted to separate from what was then the Western region, and the Mid-West region was created. This became Mid-Western state following the federal reorganization in 1967; from a second reorganization in 1976 until its division in 1991, it was named Bendel state.Edo state lies at elevations between 500 feet (150 m) in the south and more than 1,800 feet (550 m) in the north. Tropical rain forest covers most of the area. The state is inhabited largely by the Edo (Bini) people, who are linked to the historic kingdom of Benin.Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. Yams, cassava (manioc), oil palm produce, rice, and corn (maize) are the major subsistence crops, while rubber, timber, and palm oil and kernels are cash crops. Mineral resources include limestone and lignite. Industries produce pharmaceuticals, rubber, plywood, beer, sawn wood, and furniture. A network of trunk roads in the state and an airport at Benin City facilitate transportation. The Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research, the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, and the University of Benin (founded 1970) are located at Benin City, while a state university (founded 1981) is at Ekpoma. Pop. (2006) 3,218,332.
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