The festivals of Nigeria

In Nigeria, festivals like the rituals carried out by the Ekpe are exemplary of the vast and eccentric cultural landscape it holds.

Festivals are ceremonies held regularly in a city or location, dedicated to life, but also to art and creativity. Music and dance are an integral part of Nigerian culture, and the most diverse feature is its people, hundreds of languages, and specialties of the array of ethnic groups, which is the most intriguing to me.

The ancient Nok culture built terracotta sculptures that were unearthed  in 1928. Its people raised crops and cattle and have paid particular attention to personal adornment which distinctive features include naturalism.

The vibrance of these festivals is accentuated by the flair that local dresses have.
Image: Khalid on Flickr

Nigeria has many attractions that are of interest to tourists. There is an array of coastal beaches, wildlife reserves, and many museums that house artistic treasures. The diversity of costumes is often visible in the crowds that gather in the country’s frequent yearly celebrations.

The masquerade festivals are always a sight to see. Known locally as the Ekpe festival, this event is usually packed with dynamic movement from masked dancers, as well as the cutting of a goat.

I do not know the main aim of its celebration, but the most important fact is that it brings people together to observe and capture culture. Different customs, stories, and music are characteristic of such festivals, but their goal is the same, right? To bring people closer, present one’s self and preserve heritage.

The Ekpe festival.
Image: TRANSAFRICA TOGO on Flickr

Interesting to know!

  • Umuahia is the capital city of Abia State in southeastern Nigeria. It is well known as an agricultural market since 1916 and a railway collection point for crops such as yams, cassava, corn (maize), taro, citrus fruits, and palm oil and kernels. Local governments are also composed of clans, with vastly diverse origins.

 

  • Umuopara is generally regarded as the cradle of Umuahia civilization, presently known for the famous Ekpe Festival and one of the beliefs regarding the origin of Umuopara people. Umuopara people did not migrate from anywhere…It has been suggested that at least sections of the people of Umuopara came from the Obowu and Mbaise regions.
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