In the rustic and serene town of Okemesi which is located in the heart of Ekiti State, Nigeria, people gather every two years to celebrate and honour their long gone ancestors through a colourful festival known as Oladunwo. Oladunwo is the name of the most revered Egungun (masquerade) in Okemesi. It is highly respected because of its importance and the role it played in the history of Okemesi and her people.
The Igbo people are one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. They inhabit the eastern region of the country and are over 32 million in population. The Igbos (Ndi’ Igbo) are bound together by their history, cultures and traditions which include dressing, beliefs, religion, dance, et cetera. Dancing takes higher percentage of the entertainment and spiritual (religion) aspects of the Igbo culture. The Igbos believe that dancing performs more functions other than entertainment in the society, such as spiritual cleansing of the land, training of teenagers to keep fit, preserving history and so on. Of all the traditional dances in Igbo land, Atilogwu is the most popular, widely performed and one of the oldest.
The Oke’badan festival is one of the many colourful and glamorous festivals celebrated in the city of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State and the third largest city in Africa. Oke’badan festival is held annually to celebrate the founding of Ibadan and show gratitude to its founders as well; and also to unite the sons and daughters of Ibadan at home and in the diaspora.
Egungun (masquerade) is a popular practice found in the cultures of the Yourba people who dwell in the south western part of Nigeria. It is a means of connecting the people to their long gone ancestors who appear in form of human-spirit to give warnings or shower their blessings on the land. Oloolu is a very powerful Egungun/ eegun (masquerade) in the Yoruba city of Ibadan. The name Oloolu is not in any way new to the ears of any Ibadan indigene or dweller. At the mention of Oloolu, Ibadan people, women especially, shiver in cold and fear which ascertain the claim that Oloolu is the most feared masquerade in Ibadan and one of the most revered in the entire Yorubaland and Africa.
The people of Ondo inhabit the south western region of Nigeria and are one of the largest subgroups of the Yoruba ethnic group. Ondo people live as one big family because they are bounded by the same historical background, traditions and cultural heritage which defines who they are. The culture and traditions of Ondo people are very rich, fascinating and exciting as well.
The title of Oba was adopted in Benin Empire after the Ogiso rule ended. The Oba title was created by Oba Oranmiyan, the first Oba of Benin Empire who is also a grand son of Oduduwa, the first Oni of Ile-Ife. Below is a list of kings (both Ogiso and Oba) of the Benin Empire.
The Yoruba people of south western Nigeria are known for their varieties of delicious and tantalizing soups that sends the bowel yearning for a lick. The delicacies of the Yoruba people comprises predominantly solid foods (what Nigerians call SWALLOW) like: Amala, Eba, Fufu, Iyan, etc. that are needed to be eaten with soup for sweet and easy passage down the throat. One of such soups is ‘Gbegiri‘ which is prepared with beans. Are you surprised that a soup is prepared with beans?! Do not be surprised! Gbegiri is one of the best soups in Yoruba land that helps a woman construct a pathway to the heart of a man.
Here are the ingredients needed to prepare Gbegiri soup:
Nigeria is made up of over 250 tribes which all have their peculiar cultures and traditions of which dance is among. The cultural or traditional dances of Nigerian tribes are used for so many purposes which include: unifying the members of a tribe; telling folktales or the history and traditions of a community; showcasing the wealth and strength of a tribe; celebrating; performing religious duties; entertaining and so on. Below is OldNaija‘s compilation of probably the best and most entertaining traditional dances from selected Nigerian tribes.
1. The Ekombi Dance– The Ekombi dance is peculiar to the Efik people of Calabar, Cross River state. It is a beautiful and entertaining dance in which maidens are dressed in multi-coloured attires sewn in a mini skirt and blouse form which exposes their tummy. The maidens are also decorated with beads of different colours and sizes. The Ekombi dancers whine gracefully to the rhythmical beats of the Efik drummers in the movement of ocean tides. The Ekombi dance of the Efik people shows the beauty and maturity of a woman.
The act of circumcising babies in Igbo land is an ancient culture and tradition of the Igbo people which has its origin from their traditional religions. “Circumcision is the act of removing female genitalia, or a simple fold of skin (foreskin and prepuce) that covers the head of an un-erect penis”. In ancient times, the Igbos circumcise both male and female children, but as modernization set in, the circumcision or genital mutilation of Igbo female children was stopped while that of male continued till today. Continue reading Ibi Ugwu (Male Circumcision) In Igbo Land→
In Yoruba land, one of the most important things done when a child is born is to give the child a name. This comes after the child’s ritual birth, massage of specific body parts and other rites as well. Names are given to the child by the father, mother, grandparents (paternal and maternal) and some close relatives also. But sometimes, the circumstance of a child’s birth will automatically give the child a name. This name is known as ‘orúko àmútọ̀runwá’ (pre-destined or generic name) in Yorubaland. Continue reading Oruko Amutorunwa (Pre-Destined Names) In Yorubaland→