Etsakọ people are one of the major ethnic groups in Edo State, Nigeria. They presently occupy three local government areas of Edo State; these are Etsako East, Etsako West and Etsako Central, with Agenebode, Auchi, and Fugar, as their administrative headquarters. In some quarters the people of Owan are also referred to as Etsako. The Etsakos,Owans, and Akoko-Edo people are often referred to as the Afenmai. This is due to their close linguistic and historical relationship. Local tradition of origin often trace their migration from Benin due to the tyrannical desposition of the Oba of Benin. Which many oral traditionalists attribute probably to the 14th century. It is believed their ancestors must have settled in South Ibie before groups started moving to populate the other area they occupy. It is one of the three major ethnic groups in today’s Edo State, and the most populous ethnic group in Edo North. The loyalty of an Etsako man firstly is to His home/homestead, Village, Clan, and ethnic group. Also strong affinity between the Etsako people and their neighbors can be deduced in some customary rites, borrowed words, and even migration pattern. A good example is the “Ajinebode” myth of the Idah Igala who believe that the early founder or ruler of Idah was “Ajinebode”. This coincidence is worthy of further Historical elucidation since the mighty River Niger divides Idah in present-day Kogi State and Agenebode in Edo State.
The Etsako people practice Animism, Christianity and Islam. Oghena, Osinegba, and Oshio are the words for God in different communities of Etsako people.
Etsako People are widely known for their Etsako Music, with artists like Hon.Vincent Ugabi, Sir Alh. Waziri Oshoma, Late Gen.Bolivia Osigbeme, Late Madam Agbaobesi, Benji Igbadumhe, Agbi Dance Groups of Weppa Wanno and Omoake Oshiomha a.k.a. (Omowinsone of Imiegba aincludedare the late Bolivia’s son popularly known as constantinopos Bolivia osigbemhe (avi no pie), ekpe young,etc., that entertain a wide spectrum of Nigerians both in Edo & Delta states to Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and to the northern states of Nigeria and Abuja in general.
Etsako Music can be arguably described as the biggest influence the Etsako people have over their neighbours, as some of these neighbours adopt Etsako Music as their known and acceptably traditional music.
Etsakor people are predominantly into farming with very fertile land and produce groundnut, yam, maize, Rice in large wide range, and cassava with some nutritious vegetable to go with them like the green leave known as the Efor, ugu leave and water leaves, and host of many other fruits produce. Etsakor is a place to be where u can get all u ever wished for and get entertained with it, because they have a wide range of land and some mineral resources that can make your day a pleasant one, with area of tourism on natural and God given talents people that are full of peace of mind to take u around and treat you like one of them always. When you are looking for peace in your land come and ask an etsako man he will tell you how peace has been maintain in the area for the past 150 years. Etsakor a peace keeping people. Mineral resources such as Coal, Limestone, Gysum, Potassium, and Precious Stones of large commercial quantity are found in Etsako land, and with a beautiful landscape and vegetation that can give tourism a whole new dimession. Compare to other parts of Edo state, Security in Etsakoland is better, and the people are great hosts of visitors.