a THE PLACE OF DANCE IN ESAN WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE: A CASE STUDY OF IGBABONELIMIN OF OKPEBHO TOWN

 ABSTRACT

          The purpose of this project work is to examine the essence of dance in the life of the African using the Esan’s as a case study. Dance is valued highly because it is useful in the life circle of human beings, i.e. right from birth to death. The researcher also went ahead and investigated on how plays an important role in the life of the Africans particularly the Esan people.

          This study is so enormous, covering the whole of dance activities and celebration of all African societal. The use of musical instruments makes African dance look real. The more the musical instruments are played the better and more interesting African dance will be, thought the participants should be prayerful and be serious with their researchers.

          Dance should be performed in ceremonies like marriages, burials, birthdays, naming ceremonies, entertainment etc.


TABLE OF CONTENT

Chapter One         

Introduction

1.1         Background of the study

1.2         Statement of the problem

1.3         Purpose of the study

1.4         Significance of the study

1.5         Scope of the study

1.6         Methodology

Chapter Two         

Literature Review

Chapter Three      

The history of okpebho community

3.1.       The history of Igbabonelimin dance

3.2.       The role of Igbabonelimin dance

3.3.       The role of instruments in the dance

3.4.       Costumes and symbolism

Chapter Four        

4.1         The age limit of the dancers

4.2         The mode of recruitment

4.3         Some of the songs used in the dance and their meanings

Chapter Five         

Conclusion

Recommendations

Definition of terms

Bibliography         

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

According to Innocent Akioya (2006) he stressed that, to a typical African child, music is life. There is music in almost everything that happens around him. His mother sings when washing cloths. The sister sings while sweeping. The father whistles to tune while on the farm. When the family gathers together for a ceremony, singing is done, singing being an important part of music; music is therefore that thing that makes activities around him come alive.

According to Innocent Akinoya (2006) he defined music as sound that please the ears.  According to Abolagba J. A. (2003) he sees music as the combination of organized sounds that is pleasant to the ears. Sound, therefore, is the main source of music. It must be pleasing to the ear, if it is organized, if not it will be regarded as noise.

 

DANCE  

          Abolagba J. A. (2003) defines dance, as an act in its form, is a rhythmic movement to music either along or with a partner or in a group. Dance is also use of the body to communicate a message. However, while drama is rooted in words, music in songs, dance is rooted in body movement. There is this saying that Africans are dancers. This is because Africans dance to any music they listen to:

          Dance as an art plays various roles in an individual or group of individuals. This includes:

1.           People dance to glorify God.

2.           People dance to express their feelings

3.           Dance is used for entertainment

4.           People also dance to exercise their bodies.

5.           It is used to appease the gods.

DANCE PATTERNS

          A dancer must master the techniques for his profession, since dance has its own methodology. Also, dance differs from one culture to another. This is why Europeans dance Ballat, while Nigerians have either the Bata dance of the Yoruba, Antilogous of the Igbo or the dance of the Hausa. Each of these different dances have their own peculiarities, hence their techniques must be mastered before they can be performed.

There are some basic denominators that are found in basically all dances. They are the factors that underline techniques. Once they are mastered, the dancer has no problem in dancing. They are the dancers tool, the “body”, the place he occupies during performance either on stage, or on an open area called the “space” the way he responds to rhythm either slowly or very fast called the “time”.

TYPES OF DANCE

          Dance in Nigeria is of two main types, these are: free dance and stylized dance. In the free dancing, there are no specifications as to how each dancers move in terms of space, relationship to other dancers and body movement. Rather, each dancer expresses his inner feeling independent of what other dancers or other parts of the body do.

          Stylized dance on the other hand, is concerned with purposeful and uniformity in movements. The movements are planned in such a way that body relationship and individual relationship are all meaningful examples is the atilogwu dance.

CATEGORIES OF DANCE

          Dances can also be categorized along functional line.

1.           Occupational dances

2.           Social dances

3.           Ritual dances

OCCUPATIONAL DANCES

          They are associated with or staged or reflect different aspects of Nigerian professions, such as hunting, divination, fishing, farming etc.

SOCIAL DANCES

          This include those staged for social occasions such as wedding, title taking, etc.

RITUAL DANCES  

          This include sango dances, new yam dances, masquerade dances, etc.

THE STRUCTURE OF DANCE

          Dance has three (3) basic structures. The beginning, the middle and the end.

DANCE FORMATIONS

          There are different mathematical formations, which provide the framework for the organisation, position, space and movement of the dancers and the music orchestra or ensemble. These formations are as follows:

a.           Circle formation

b.           Parallel lines formation

i.     Double parallel lines

ii.  Triple parallel lines

iii. Quadruple parallel lines

c.           Single line formation

d.           Semi-circle formation

COMPONENTS OF DANCE

          Dance contains the following components: Music, drama, costume, language and mimes. Music is indispensable in dance because the dancer dances to the rhythm and tempo of music including sudden and planned musical variations. 

          Drama is used in the form of acting or behaviour or farmers during planting and harvesting activity, paddling a canoe as in EGWU-AMALA of women dancers in Delta State, and in cante dancers of the Efik, Ijaw and Ibibio people. Costumes provides and expressed the external body beauty and gives colour of joy, sadness, gallantry, war, peace, smartness or worship to the dancers and the dance depending on the type of social functions and objectives of the dance.

          Language is in the form of words and statements in the vocal line including, commitments, creative speech and recitations associated with a particular. Mime is in the form of gestures by different patterns of facial expression, arm, head and eye movement and signs with the intention to analyze some ideas.

ASPECT OF DANCE

          The following are those aspects we considers as we dance.

1.           Awareness of space; in any dance the spacing of dancers are taken into consideration. The kind of dance determines the interval between the dancers.

A good dance; leader should space the dancers, so that they all we be free when dancing and will not hit one another when displaying a particular skills. Spacing of dancers also helps the audience to have a free view of the dancers and be able to identify the best dancer. Also spacing of dancers, gives room for air ventilation. As well as helping the dancers to be able to breath in fresh air for strength in then process of doing this act.

2.           Awareness of time: This is very important to every good dancer. The dancers should be very sensitive, watchful and vigilant in order to know when to come in with the dance. It is when the dancers have the awareness of time, that they will know how many beat to follow and when to stop. They must all stop at the same time and start together.

3.           Awareness of weight: When we talk about weight, we mean the weight of every dancer. Whether they are suffering from obesity or no, it must be considered. This is because the size or weight of a particular dancer will determine the kind of dance he or she can participate in e.g. somebody that is suffering from obesity cannot be chosen for the Esan dance called “Igbabonelimin”. The average people are mostly chosen.

4.           Body awareness: This talk about the physical appearance of people that are involved of an individual will determine what he or she can do better. This is the most important aspect among the others. For example, the disability of a particular person will disturb him or her from doing what his or her mates are doing.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

A great number of Africans do not know much about their cultures. They are being influenced by civilization today. Africans now sing like the white men and even dance western dances, neglecting their great cultures. Even in search of books that we can use for research is very difficult to get. Most authors (Africans) do not write books on their different cultures any more because of civilization. This is the reason why there are limited sources of information.

In this study, the researcher would like to create the awareness in Africans to be proud of their culture and to protect their culture for identification.

1.3       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study are as follows:

1.           To create awareness of the acrobatic dance called “Igbabonelimen” to the public.

2.           To examine the role of music in Igbabonelimin dance.

3.           To identify some of the songs used in Igbabonelimin dance and their meanings.

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

A survey into the problem of dance with regard to Igbabonelimin. In Esan West local Government of Edo State is much significant to Esan West (okpebho) but to Nigeria in general. The importance of carrying out this study is that, at the end, it could serve as a resource materials to many who want to gain deeper knowledge about the problem of dance and also the benefit of this measure.

This study will encourage the people of Esan West and Africans in general to be more interested in dance and also, to be actively involved. Above all, this piece of work will offer very useful information on dance, and also act, as a source of information to Af4ricans and parents, who are keen in studying or understanding more of African culture or cultural heritage. 

1.5       SCOPE OF STUDY

This study would have covered the entire Esan part of Edo state. But due to time and finance, the researcher has decided to restrict her study to Igbabonelimin dance of Okpebho community of Edo State.  

1.6       METHODOLOGY

In carrying out this study, various research techniques were adopted in the collection of data,. This section looked at oral inter view, field trip and library research.

ORAL INTERVIEW

          The researcher employed oral interview to ascertain the information portraying in this study. The researcher visited some communities and villages in Esan West Local Government.

FIELD TRIP

          For the purpose of this study, the researcher paid visit to four villages in Esan West Local Government Area. In order for her to watch the Igbabonelimin dancers as they displayed their skills live in the scene. The villages covered were; Irrua, Ogwu, Egoro and Ewu.

This helped the researcher to gather more information for her research work.

LIBRARY RESEARCH   

          For the purpose of this study, the researcher made use of some books written by different authors for research. The research visited different libraries to get more facts.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Using our service is LEGAL and IS NOT prohibited by any university/college policies

You are allowed to use the original model papers you will receive in the following ways:

1. As a source for additional understanding of the subject

2. As a source for ideas for your own research (if properly referenced)

3. For PROPER paraphrasing (see your university definition of plagiarism and acceptable paraphrase)

4. Direct citing (if referenced properly)

Thank you so much for your respect to the authors copyright.

For more project materials

Log on to www.grossarchive.com

Or call

+2348130686500

+2348093423853

 


CHAPTER TWO

2.1       LITERATURE REVIEW

This section reviewed some selected literature based on the definition of dance. Effective response to music may be shown outwardly in verbal or physical behaviour. The values of African societies do not inhibit this. On the contrary, it is encourages, for through it, individuals relate to musical events or performing groups and interact socially with others in a musical situation. Moreover, motor responses intensified one’s enjoyment of music through the feelings of increased involvement and the propulsion that articulates the beat which physical movement generates.

The important attached to the dance does not lie only in the scope it provides for the release of emotion stimulated by music. The dance can also be used as a social and artistic medium of communication. It can covey thoughts or matters of personal or social importance throughout the choice of movements, postures, and facial expressions. Through the dance, individuals and social groups can show their reactions to attitudes of hostility or cooperation and friendship held by other towards them.

Abolagba J. A. (2003) defines dance as any organized body movement in time and space to express human feelings, ideas, images, and beauty in relation to a musical performance before an audience or spectator”. There is difference between music and dance. Although it is music that leads one to dance. The act of listening to music for the sake of enjoyment is music, but when one tends to enjoy it further by moving any part of the body to rhythm with the music is dancing.

J. H. kwabena Nketia (1979) stress ‘that the basic movements used in traditional dances may be either simple or somewhat intricate in conception”. The ideal dance of the frafra of Ghana a relatively slow dance compared with other frafra dances, is made up of simple movement done in columns. Each dancers wears a set of buzzers on the right ankle and holds a sword in his right hand”. “as the dancers sing, they stamp the ground with the right foot on the strong beat of the music and take a short light step forward on the weak beat. “ the dancers look ahead they do not dance towards the earth. In contrast with this are the basic movement of the dances of the Akan of Ghana. Here we have a complex pattern of basic steps against seemingly independent movement of various parts of the body, which may be combined simultaneously with hand and leg gestures. While the feet are moving regularly in duple beats, the body may be tilting side ways in similar or shorter durational units, with the hands or arms perhaps moving at a different pace”.

According to Christy Omorogbe (2005) dance is defined as moving about rhythmically alone or with a partner or in a set usually in fixed steps or sequence to music. In dancing has existed either as a recreation or as a religious manifestation, or both the body is involved in a dance, the like the mind.

According to roger Copeland (1983) he declared that dance is in general terms, human movement with an implied purpose such as the communication of an aesthetic or emotional idea, participation with music, or the achievement of certain mind body states, sometimes as simple as physical fitness. In this way, dance is contrasted to utilitarian movement such as walking, hammering, typing, lifting, weight etc. that has a direct ‘materialistic’ purpose. There are other forms of human activities that can be classified as not strictly utilitarian, such as pantomime and sports.


CHAPTER THREE

        THE HISTORY OF OKPEBHO

According to the ministry of information and culture, it was stressed that, the people of Okpebho, just like their kit and kin neighbouring agbazile to east, are Esan. They are descendant of Bini migrants who fled the famous Bini empire at the height of internal disorder between the 12th and 14th century A. d. as the fleeing bands moved north east of the empire, they began to settle down in groups in scattered location, they developed into clans at the head of each of which is an Onojie: (traditional-ruler). Each clan is organized into villages, which, themselves are made up of lineages. A group of related families constitutes a lineage.

          Okpebho people are, therefore, Edo by tribe whose language has undergone only slight medication, over the centuries, to create minor dialectical differences from, pure Bini language. The close cultural and historical relationships between the Esan’s and Bini are demonstrably illustrated by the name “Esangbedo” meaning Esan do no harm.

          In Okpebho, members of the communities are functionally stratified into these broad groups. Social stratification, therefore, allocates a particular responsibility to a particular group for instance, the (Egbonughele) environmental sanitation groups, is responsible for keeping the streets and hamlets clean. This group is made up of male adolescents in the society. People graduates from this groups into the next which is the (Igene). This sound group, the active labour force, forms the physical background of the society. Made up of the adults and stronger male persons, they the “Igene” are quickly summoned to execute communicable projects including the defence of the community at wars. The third and final group is the (Edion) senior citizens groups. There is a limitation apart from being qualified by age, one must have performed the burial ceremonies of one’s late parents before being accorded an Odion Status. One of the rites which must be performed by a man is the Iruen Ceremony.

          Iruen which marks the attainment of manhood is a ceremony during which the celebrant will reap a flamboyantly woven wrapper round his waist. He will then move from house to house to house and from one village to another announcing his manhood status to the public and receiving cash gifts from appreciative well-wishers. At the apex is the Odion who is a single most elderly man in the communities called the Odionwele who presides. Over all community meetings and carries out all sacrificial duties.

CULTURE

Okpebho is a land of rich cultural heritage which can be manifested in various behavioural patterns. For instance, before the advent of western civilization, the women used to and still produce woven cloth. A particular type of this is called “Igbulu’ in Esan language. Rectangle in shape with two opposite fringes terminating in loose threads, Igbulu is wrapped under and across the right arm pit and folder on the left shoulder. The Igbulu is the traditional dress of the Esan male adult worn on occasion like marriages ceremonies, anniversaries of important events, festivals and courtesy calls on important people.

Igbulu has continued to withstand the relentless on slaught of modern fabrics from the numerous textile mills across the country. Today, the kind of gesture and sentimental expression of goodwill of the people is manifested in the presentation of the Igbulu to visiting dignitaries as souvenirs. An aspect of the culture of the people of Okpebho is that which recognizes the conferment of chieftaincy titles on deserving people. The traditional ruler of the clan is vested with the responsibility or prerogative of identifying and conferring on such people appropriate chieftaincy titles as a reward for their contributions to the socio-economic development of the area.

On such occasions, the recipient, clad in large white wrappers and bedecked with beads, dancers, in the midst of members of his family, friends and well-wishers, go to the palace to be formally invested with the honour. Back at home; he receives guests in sumptuous entertainment. Conferment of chieftaincy titles on worthy citizens allows such people to be closer to the traditional rulers. It also confers on recipient’s privileges and responsibilities. Another manifestation of the people culture is the presentation of kolanuts at socio-cultural gatherings. At such gathering summoned to celebrate an even to resolve longstanding disputes or to deliberate on common issues affecting the people, the presentation of kolanuts is to involve the gods and spirits of the ancestors to shower the occasion with abundant successes and blessing.

Another aspect of the people culture is burial ceremonies of late parents. The people believe that when a parent dies, he or she remains restless, in the spirit world until the children here on earth, particularly the eldest male child performs the burial ceremony. Traditionally, burial ceremony means calling members of the lineage of the deceased (Egbele) to offer prayer and blessings to the dead in order to find a restful place in the spirit world. The burial ceremonies of ones late parents are very expensive.

They are usually occasion, which involve the slaughtering of animals like cattle’s and goats. Feasting and lavish entertainment of relations, friends are usually a part of the ceremony in the community by the children of the deceased is looked upon as disrespect for the dead. Infact, after a sufficient time-long, if the dead is not properly and peacefully rested through burial ceremony, the community could attract sanctions of snub and condescension on the children. And such children can never assume odion status in the community because the people will not accept their iruen (manhood) ceremony until they have performed burial ceremony of their late parent(s).

FESTIVALS

          Okpebho is a land of traditional feasts, which are celebrated to commemorate great historical land marks of the past. By far the most important and widely celebrated feast in the land is “Ihuan”, the new yam harvest festival. Ihuan is celebrated clan by clan and in each clan it is held in one village after another which involved entertainments and event which involves entertainments and a lot of eating, drinking and general merriment particularly if the harvest in any particular year is really bountiful. Friends and relations from other places are welcome to a lavish feasting for three to four days.

          Various dances mark the celebration. But the traditional ruler of the clan would normally signal the commencement of the festivals when he, accompanied by top traditional chiefs who handle various palace affairs, dances to the shrine of the particular deity responsible for the rich harvest to offer prayers and sacrifices to appease it. Such sacred dances by the Onojie are usually accompanied by [pulsating drumming with a large crowd of people at the background, all wishing the traditional ruler success (Iyare) as he proceeds to play homage to the deity.

TRADITIONAL DANCES    

          In Okpebho, traditional dances come in various forms. There are for instance, hunters dance, Iloh, ikhinabogie, Oleke, Asono, Ijeleghe and Igbabonelimin. Traditionally, the original concept of Igbabonelimin is recreational. In Okpebho, there is usually one day of the four-day traditional week which is set aside for resting and pursuit of creative activities. Such a day, called Edeze, affords an apple opportunity to stape Igbabonelimin in dance before town folks and villages elders purely for entertainment. The dance has fascinating and intricate acrobatic stunts and tumbling by which Esan are prominently identified nation-wide. An exclusive male dance, it is not unusual for the elderly female to be initiated into the cult. If this happens, the women stay at the background to participate.

RELIGION  

          Three types of religious practice are observable in okpebho. These are modern religions which comprises Christianity and Islamic. The traditional or indigenous religion is also practices by a large number of people in the area. Christianity, which made it debut in the area early 19th century, is now posing a serious challenge to traditional religion. it is very prevalent among youths and educated adults.

          Christianity, which is of various denominations, has been consolidating its coming of the whitemen. For instance, at Ewu, the cradle of assemblies of god Church, there is an institute for advanced theological studies. And ironically, this medium sized northern town of Okpebho, Ewu, happens to harbour one of the largest concentrations of Moslems in the area. This is because of its geographical location being very close to Agbede in Etsako, a predominantly Moslem community. Also at Ekpoma the Catholic Church has a brother Roman Renewal Central and a branch of saints Peter and Paul major seminary a preparatory institutions for the training priests. The propagation is marked by doggedness and unwavering zealotry as pastors and priest penetrates deeply even into community that are far flung for evangelical mission.

OCCUPATION

          The people of okpebho like other communities across the state, are primarily farmers. They grow such major staple crops as yams, cassava, maize, and plantain; others include tomatoes, pepper, okro and melon. Fruit crops widely harvested in the area include kolanuts, pears, bananas pepper fruit and oranges. Also grown is pineapple. There is extensive cultivation of rice at Ekpoma and its environs popularly called “Ekpoma rice”, it is very tasty and harvesting period usually witnessed many traders. From many places particularly fro Benin and east of the Niger coming to Ekpoma to trade on it. Iruekpen, another industrious community on the outskirt of Ekpoma town is noted for cocoa production.

          Palm nut harvesting is a major aspect of agriculture in the area. The men climbs the tall oil palm trees that are part of the luxuriant vegetation of the area to harvest the palm nuts and the women work on the nuts to produce sweet red oil. Also in okpebho, modern economic development and the growing complexity of modern administration have generated some professional occupations participating in the area of public service and teaching.       

        THE HISTORY OF IGBABONELIMIN DANCE

According to Nosa Omorodion (2008), “traditionally”, the performance (display) of the Igbabonelimin is in two stages. The first stage is the introduction of the respective elimin (spirit) as they enter the arena. This stage is called ‘Oye”. What happens here is that in a burst of energy the elimin shows themselves by brief acrobatic gestures. They take turns to form a circle or a semi-circle. Meanwhile the instrumentalist plays in the background to prompt the performing elimin.

The second stage of the performance is the proper individual displays of the Igbabonelimin. This is called “Oyegue’. During the Oyegue the performers display their individual skills in the spirit of competition. The Igbabonelimin performance does not consist of acrtobatic alone. It also involves dance and mimicry. The mimicry is very interesting because of its symbolic illustration. This is the aspect where the nature of the originators of the performance is revealed. The Igbabonelimin, here attempts to demonstrate the mannerism of the apes. This usually stires up so much mirth from the spectators.

In concluding, it is pertinent to state that every Igbabonelimin assumes a name and a character upon introduction. Thus, you hear them being referred to as “Aeroplane” “jet” or some graphic local name. This nomenclature is supposedly consistent with their assumed performance character.”      

        THE ROLES OF IGBABONELIMIN DANCE

According to Sunday Usionbaifo (2009), he declared that the acrobatic dance known as Igbabonelimin, play several roles in our present day society. They are as follows:

1.           To protect out cultural heritage

2.           It is used to welcome aliens into the land.

3.           It is used to create awareness to the public.

4.           Igbabonelimin dance is used for social activities.

5.           Its plays economic role.

TO PROTECT OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE: The acrobatic dance popularly known as Igbabonelimin is what the Esan people is known for. This dance has been I existence for years and it is still existing today. The Igbabonelimin dance protects the culture from generation to generation. The Igbabonelimin dance is what Africans recognize the Esan people for, anywhere they go.

IT IS USED TO WELCOME ALIENS INTO THE LAND: If the Onojie has a visitor, the Igbabonelimin dancers will be called upon to display their skills. This act is to welcome the visitor into the esan land. These dancers most times get support from some wealthy visitors, after displaying their skills.

IT IS USED TO CREATE AWARENESS TO THE PUBLIC: Occasionally, the igbabonelimin dancers attend great occasions to create awareness to the public. They use this medium to advertise their skills for people to recommend them in any occasion.

IGBABONELIMIN DANCE IS USED FOR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES: During social activities like marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies etc, the Igbabonelimin dancers display their skills to entertain the audience. In Esan land, no social activity is complete or interesting without the display of the acrobatic dance popularly known as the Igbabonelimin.

IT’S PLAYS ECONOMIC ROLE: The Igbabonelimin dancers that have engaged themselves in this acrobatic dance took it as a profession to fetch money for their daily living. Although some of them still engage themselves in other jobs like farming, fishing, etc as another means of assisting themselves financially. They also travel from one place to another such as schools, villages and cities to display their skills and they are being paid.

 

 

        THE ROLE OF INSTRUMENTS IN THE DANCE  

In any dance, the instruments stand as a backbone that makes up the dance. The important of instruments used in Igbabonelimin dance cannot be over emphasized. That is, no Igbabonelimin dance is displayed without the use of instruments. The use of various instruments in the dance is to give intro of the dance accompanied with some music in African rhythm.

          Another vital role the instruments plays in the dance, is the beat. The instruments are used to produce different beats that guides the dancers. The dancers are not expected to dance outside the rhythm produced with the instruments. Again, in the dance, the instruments perform the duty of a leader and conductor to guide the dancers. The various instruments used in the dance are mostly played by some men and women in the background. But the person who plays the flute is always a male.

          Some of the instruments used in Igbabonelimin dance are;

Flute – Ufiere

Drum – Ekegan

Gong – Agogo    

        COSTUMES AND SYMBOLISM

There is no dance that is performed whether African or western dance without the use of costumes. In the acrobatic dance known as Igbabonelimin, costumes such as mask and clothes made of wool are being used in the dance. The dressing code in the dance is quite different from other acrobatic dances. The costume used in the dance is for identification and to promote the culture of Esan land.

SYMBOLISM

          The costume used in Igbabonelimin dance symbolizes spirit (elimin). The costumes these dancers put on make people to recognize them as spirit and not an ordinary people.


CHAPTER FOUR

        THE AGE LIMIT OF THE DANCERS

Sunday Usiobaifo (2009) declared, “that the age limit of dancers in Igbabonelimin dance is not specified. But from a teenager and above, one is qualified to be a dancer of the Igbabonelimin dance”.

        THE DANCE FORMATION

Sunday Usiobaifo (2009) asserts, “that the dance formation in Igbabonelimin dance, could either be semi-circle, or a free one. In the semi-circle formation, the dancers arrange themselves in a “c” curve shape and the instrumentalists are sitted by the side of the dancers.

          There is no leader in this dance formation. While in the free dance formation, the dancers are not arranged. Each dancer is free to take any position that is convenient for him. The instrumentalist still maintain their position at the background.   

 

        THE MODE OF RECRUITMENT

According to Sunday Usiobaifo (2009), “the mode of recruitment is very easy. The criteria for the recruitment are:

1.           The individual must be an indigene of that land.

2.           You must understand Esan Language and be able to speak clearly.

3.           Physical fitness also matters.

4.           Education is not a barrier.

5.           Complexion is not a barrier.

6.           Dwarf people are not qualified into the dance

A person who has the following criteria is already qualified to be a member of the dance. The qualified person immediately, starts to undergo some training and he is being taught all the songs used in the dance by the leader of dance. The qualified dancer does not display his skills immediately, its takes a gradual process. On several occasions the leader of the dance will have to test his ability to see if he is capable of displaying his skills. If he is capable, then he is allowed into the scene to display his skill.

        SOME OF THE SONGS USED IN THE DANCE AND THEIR MEANINGS

OBHEN LOLO

Obhen lolo dughu ghe

Any person with eyes come and see    

jetin nojie alimindughere

Jet the king of masquerade is out

obhen lolo

Is good for our look.

ONONBHEN IGHO 

Ononbhen igho

If you do not have money to spray

Quani keke ewa

Look under your bed.

NO WE REGBE MEN.

No we regbe men

Instead of problem to kill me

Ogbor obadan noghele

Let it kill the centre tree of the community.


PLATE 1

A CROSS SECTION OF THE IGBABONELIMIN GROUP WITH SOME OF THEIR INSTRUMENTS


PLATE II

A PHOTOGRAPH SHOWING THE IGBABONELIMIN DANCER ON DISPLAY

 

CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS, DEFINITION OF TERMS AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

          The indigenous dance traditions of the okpebho’s are practiced by the societies. They observed their own dancer, norms and do not have to enter into agreement with others into in turning systems or any aspect of dance practice. Dance is organized as a concurrent activity in the variety of settings in which social events takes place. It may be performed for sheer fun of it, or for the message that is communicates and interaction, sharing of community sentiments, or the tribute to an individual or offering scarifies to their gods.

          The performance group may be spontaneous or organized, as a concurrent activity in the variety of settings in which social events takes place. It may be performed for sheet fun of it, or for the message that it communicates and interaction, sharing of community sentiments, or the tribute to an individual or offering sacrifices to their gods.

          The performance group may be spontaneous or organized, consisting of people of either the same age, sex, occupation or other social dance, group, or religious association from their own dance. The musical instruments found throughout Okopebho are numerous but I restricted my self to few ones with the few major classes, and they are commonly found among the Okpebho’s most especially that of the Aerophon, Idiophones, chordophone and membranophone, which are widely used among the people, e.g.   maracas (Okese), Idiophone, Animal’s horn (Ubu) Aerophone band (Ekanga) membranophone, musical bow (otagba) chordophone.

          Traditional dance is valuable, been that culture is the total way of life of the people. Again one should adequately take care so that ones traditional dance is not wiped out totally with the influence of western dance; because where institutions and associations cease to be active, their dance and ceremonies ceases to be performed and continue to live only in memory of those who use to practice it.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

          From the answer given during the interviews, it can be deduced that only few old or young ones know much about their culture.

          Inspite of western civilization and western forces and forms of acculturation, there is still a continuity of African cultural heritage that has been passed on from generation to generation by our fore fathers. This is clearly shown or is manifested in various ceremonial occasion which is celebrated in almost all parts of the continent, such occasions like festival, naming ceremonies, birth and puberty rites, funerals celebration and entertainment, exercise and so on. All these occasions for traditional dance are not left out.

1.           The significance of our folk songs in promotion of our culture cannot be overemphasized. I recommend that, the government should encourage the youth as much as possible by financing them to enable them have enough training that will acquaint themselves with their cultural values that will soon go in extinction if not properly handled.

2.           It is therefore, good that the teachers and the curriculum planners make it possible for the young ones to have some knowledge about their traditions.

3.           Traditional dance should not be left out, so that all the folk songs from our rich culture will be documented so that it will be useful for posterity and future research.


DEFINITION OF TERMS 

Norms: Standards of behaviour that are typical of or accepted with in a particular group of society.

Alien: Somebody from another country or society.

Clan: A group of families who are related to each other.
Lineage; The series of families that somebody is descended from.

Kit: A set of tools or equipment that you use for a particular activity.

Kin: Your families or your relatives.

Migrant: A person who moves one place to another, especially in order to find work.

Empire: A group of countries or states that are controlled by one ruler or government.

Dialectic: The way in which two aspect of a situation affect each other.

Backbone: The most important part of a system, an organizing, that gives it support and strength.

HAMLET: A Very small village

Stratification: The division of something into different layers or group attached to the edge of something to decorate it.  

Heritage: The history, tradition and qualities that a country or society has had for many years and that are considered an important part of its character.

Fabric: Materials made by weaving wool, cotton, silk, etc used for making clothes.

Relentless: Not stopping or getting less strong.


REFERENCES

Abolagba, J. A. et al (2003): A New Approach to the Study of Music, Nigeria: Joint Heirs Publications.

Innocent, I. A. (2006); Basic music Studies. Nigeria: Akioya ventures.

Nketia,  J. K.H  (1979); the music of Africa, London:  Victor Gollancz Limited.