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.
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.