Idia was the mother of Esigie, the oba of Benin who reigned from 1504 to 1550. She was portrayed as a great warrior who fought tirelessly before and during her son's reign as the oba(king) of the Edo people.
Following the death of Esigie's father, Oba Ozolua, Queen Idia was instrumental in securing the title of oba for him. To that extent, she raised an Army to fend of his brother Arhuaran, who eventually defeated in combat. ASA result, Esigie becomes Benin's 17th Oba.
Esigie created the title Iyoba(Queen mother) and bestowed it on his mother. As well as Eguae-Iyoba( Palace of the Queen mother).

Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York: Benin Ivory Mask representing Queen Idia, the court of Benin, 16th century.
Following that, the neighbouring igala people sent warriors across the Benue river to seize control of Benin's northern territories. Esigie defeated the igala, restoring the kingdom's stability and military power.
His mother shared much of the credits for these result, as her strategic advice, as well as, her magical powers and medicinal skills were regarded as vital components of Esigie's success on the battlefield.
Several artistic depiction of Idia was stolen from Benin city during the British Benin Expedition of 1897 and are now housed in museums worldwide. They've been the target of demands for their repatriation, along with other Benin bronzes.
The British museum's Queen Idia ivory mask became the emblem of the Second World Black And Africa Festival Of Art And Culture, which took place in Nigeria in 1977.

British Museum: Benin Ivory Mask Representing Queen Idia, The court of Benin,16th century.
Linden Museum, Stuttgart: Benin Ivory Mask with coral beads representing Queen Idia, The court of Benin, 16th century
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