MUSIC IN OSIEZI AND IGWE FESTIVALS OF IKA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE: POTENTIALS FOR TOURISM

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MUSIC IN OSIEZI AND IGWE FESTIVALS OF IKA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE: POTENTIALS FOR TOURISM

ABSTRACT

In the past, African Musical culture has become a subject of international attention which is masterminded by educational bodies and organizations and African Musical Societies.  Since it has become a tradition for researchers to document different musical and cultural facts which the society may not regard with the growth of ethnomusicology, as a destitution, African scholars and researchers are sharing in this experience of documentation.  It suffixes us to know that this write up is to investigate music in Igwe and Osiezi festival of Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State and its potentials for Tourism.  The Osiezi festival performance is generated consciously with the community’s lore serving as guiding principles for other researchers.  Although, our case study of the Osiezi and Igwe festivals among the Owa people is largely exploratory.  Since this research is hinged on indigenous art forms, especially the oral variety.  During these festivals, especially the Osiezi, the royalty is seen attempting to attain super-human appearance and image.  First, the physical image of the King is elevated as he appears in special costumes, during the festival.  Secondly, various acts of submission to the king are enacted by his Chiefs and subjects, this is followed by praise songs or chants which tend to raise the Monarch to the Pedestal of a deity.  The festivals are designed not to present royalty as an all rosy affair.  Aspects of it portray the King as the Chief risk bearer, who carries the responsibilities for the peoples’ sins and pays for them.  The present day study therefore, is an attempt to explore and examine the artistic qualities and possibilities of Osiezi festivals.  This we hope to achieve through the analysis of the dynamics in the performance of Igwe and Osiezi festivals, the rituals and dance performances.  The study therefore is aimed at documenting and popularizing the unique artistic and literary characteristics of Igwe and Osiezi festival performance of the Owa, which had largely remained ignored and unacknowledged with its musical performance which when viewed critically, could be potentials for tourism.  The data for this study was collected through interviews of resource persons orally and through descriptive and historical approaches with a view of authenticating the findings.  Only the Igwe festival was observed life for the purpose of present research, however, in considering the shortcomings in recording the Osiezi festival, the colourful reality associated with the festival was not revealed physically because it has moved into extinction.  But some of the festival dances were observed and recorded, this enabled the researcher to gather sizeable field data enough to test the research hypothesis, despite the long time lag since the main Osiezi festival was last performed.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page                      ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       i

Approval page               ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       ii

Dedication                     ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       iii

Acknowledgement        ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       iv

Abstract                         ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       vi

Table of Contents                   ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       viii

 

Chapter One:  Introduction

1.0     Introduction                            ::                 ::                 ::       1

1.1     Purpose of Study ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       1

1.2     Aims and Objectives              ::                 ::                 ::       3

1.3     Significance of Study ::                   ::                 ::                 ::       4

1.4     Statement of Problem            ::                 ::                 ::       6

1.5     Scope and Limitation of Study                 ::                 ::       7

1.6     Methodology                 ::       ::                 ::                 ::       8

 

Chapter Two: 

2.0     Literature Review         ::                 ::                 ::                 20

  • Definition of Festival ::                 ::                 ::                 20
  • The Origin and Historical Background of Igwe festival 25
  • The Preparation and organization of Igwe Festival 29
  • Musical Activities of Igwe festival :: ::                 33
  • History of Osiezi festival and its celebration ::                 36
  • The Role of Music in Osiezi festival :: ::                 43

 

Chapter Three: 

  • Ethnography of the Ika People ::                 ::                 46
  • Historical Background of Ika people ::                 46
  • Geographical setting of Owa Kingdom ::                 47
  • Origin of Owa People ::       ::                 ::                 48
  • Socio-Cultural Relations in the land ::                 49
  • Festivals in Ika Local Government Area of Delta State 50
  • Religions ::                 ::       ::       ::                 ::                 51
  • Historical Background of Delta State ::                 55

 

Chapter Four:

  • Definition of Tourism ::                 ::                 ::       97
  • Delta State Tourism Agenda ::                 ::                 ::       98
  • Musical Activities in the Festivals that could serve

as Tourism potentials             ::                 ::                 ::       98

  • Songs and Translations ::                 ::                 ::       99
  • Melody and Melodic structure
  • Rhythm ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       102
  • Musical Instruments/Instrumentation ::                 ::       103

 

 

Chapter Five:

  • Summary ::                 ::                 ::                 ::       105
  • Recommendations ::                 ::                 ::       107
  • Conclusion                    ::                 ::                 ::       110

References                              ::                 ::                 ::       111

Definition of Terms               ::                 ::                 ::       114

Appendix                                ::                 ::                 ::       115

Igwe Festival Pictures            ::                 ::                 ::       116

Osiezi Festival Pictures                   ::                 ::                 ::       116

Instruments                             ::                 ::                 ::       117

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Music is as old as the human race. History, music has always been one of the sources of man expression of his emotions, feelings and sentiments. The Nettle,(1992:6) in Floyd (1998:136) defines music as an aspect of the culture which it is part and understood, it can in turn help us to understand the world’s culture and their diversity.

Music as a collective art in which everybody participates is seen as a motivation in our various cultural settings and helps in conveying and putting of our musical heritage of both the past and the present into proper perspective as it relates to man. In light of this fact therefore, music in Igwe and Osiezi festivals are seen as potentials for tourism because of the role it plays during the performance of these festivals in question. It brings out some aesthetic, cultural, psychological, mystical, religious philosophical and metaphysical values. As the people sings songs, performs their music and the royal head takes his regal dance steps with his titled chiefs, all these put together promotes the cultural value of the people and all these musical expressions serves as potentials for tourism.

Music plays such an important role in our society that it is impossible to imagine a society could exist without it. Infact there has not been any society, ancient or modern, without some form of musical expressions udofia (2009:119), defines music, aesthetically, as ‘‘organized sounds by an individual or a group of individual based on experience and belief’’

It should be recognized that those who have equipped themselves with power to understand and appreciate music literature and art have achieved one of the greatest fundamentals of happy and successful life.

Music is the most widely practiced and accessible of all arts. It is so easily available and associated with entertainment and relaxation that some people hardly pause to ponder its implication in the social and economic development of a country. There are countries, which earn a lot of revenue through culture diversity of Nigeria is a huge potential for the export of music and dance.

 

According to Nettle (1956:6), Music is seen as a phenomenon, present in all culture, primitive and civilized. This assertion indicates how ancient it must be, only a few other cultural trait share, its worldwide distribution. It also has great prominence within its culture because of its prevailing functionality, this implies that, the various cultural backgrounds have its own form of music and that their functions varies from place to place.

Like in most geographical enclaves and demographic entities in Africa, festivals are seen as cultural trait or a pluralistic composition of the people. Where everybody man, woman or child is involved in a form of acting, dancing which is embedded in the festival. Eventually every individual irrespective of their status, could be seen performing carrying out a function to promote the cultural fiesta.

Furthermore, according to Udoma (2002:3) he highlights that music and dance is an activity carried out by every individual, it surrounds every human activity and all events of his life. He says that the life of the people is punctuated and saturated with religious and secular performances and music is a very prominent and indispensable feature because of the position it occupies and the major role it plays in the people well being. The melodies produced by the songs used and the instrumentation could be described as the virus of contagious conviviality that spread without restriction with the colourful processions associated with these festivals, it could also serve as musical repertoire which other nationalities could build on as it serves as agents of tourists attraction to state.

Therefore as we view the role of music in these festivals it should be internalized in the lives of the people and the already forgotten ones should be recalled back and documented for future purposes.

 

1.1       Purpose of Study

The present study attempts to re-establish the socio-cultural significance of the Igwe festivals by highlighting the intrinsic values of its great carnivals as a functional indigenous administrative tool and its attributes as a genial oral form of the Owa people in general. The study, most significantly attempts to reveal the stabilizing effects of the festivals on indigenous governance and community administration.  In these days of sporadic socio-political turbulence and post-election disputes expressed in ethnic clashes religious intolerance and anarchy, the present day Nigerian Society has a lot to learn from this indigenous festivals.

The various levels of government in Nigeria which comprise of the Federal, State, Local and Community levels, may exploit the festivals potentials in stemming the ever-raging storm.  It also treats in details the cultural, as well as literary qualities of the festival, especially its performance and songs, which provide a take-off point for a serious literary research.

Moreso, this study is to bring out the detailed account of the festivals in Ika land, particularly Owa community and its musical organization and why music plays a vital role, hence it constitutes all the aspects of the festival.

Finally, it is to put together the detailed account of the activities performed during the festival and the role played by all the members of the community in a documented form.           The tourism potentials of these festivals apart from the musical performances where the people achieve the efficacious worship of deities and commemoration of past rulers by employing theatrical arts are being overlooked, hence combining religions/sacred attributes with secular relevance comes to play during celebrations.

 

1.2 Aims and Objectives

Mankind at all times has shown a marked need for music, therefore the aims and objectives of this write up is to x-ray the role played by music in the Igwe and Osiezi festivals of Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State. To bring out the numerous artistic features vested in them and to foster its continuity and bring out the core history of these festivals which are highly knowledgeable as it concerns the cultural values of the Owa community at large. It is also aimed at bringing out the societal norms of the people, the accepted ones, the taboos and the generally accepted principles in which music cannot be separated from this culture and the ones which have been forgotten as a result of western civilization with its musical activities which are potentials for tourism.

 

1.3 Significance of Study

            The study could serve as a source of information to future researchers, ethnomusicologists, as well as anthropologists, in their quest for establishing the practitioners’ point of reasoning. As a historic and academic exercise, it is necessary for the researcher to study the behaviour, musical activities, norms and values of his people which could serve as potentials for tourism.

It will also contribute to the pool of data in music.  It would also bring to the knowledge of Nigerians in general and the Ika people in particular, how music in festival could serve as potentials for tourism.

The result of this study, is for the tourism potentials in our festival to be looked into critically and to encourage African researchers to go into an in-depth study of music in festivals and its potentials for tourism and finally arrive at a culturally acceptable way of harnessing these potentials as designed by our people and still work out modalities for its improvement.

 

1.4       Statement of Problem

            The present day study emphasizes the fact that African cultures have abundant repertoire of festival artifacts, which are evidences that festivals existed here with that of Western culture.  However, Western thought has in a way infiltrated the African view of attitudes towards indigenous traditional practices, including festivals. Akumabor (1976), identified the paucity of written records in Ika land.  He observes: “Ika historiography is thus one of the areas still to be conquered by historians and therefore, there is inadequacy of existing literature on the Ika people.

It is in the light of this that the present study is out to draw attention of Owa traditions with special reference to the rich cultural heritage expressed in the Osiezi and Igwe festivals, with a view of documenting them.  Owing to the fact that the value of the festivals and the resources have not been fully explored and such, this is an opportunity to unfold them to the admiration of the tourist before it is forgotten.  The various ethnic nationalities that make up the State, have ethnic cases, relating to cultural, traditional festivals and local artifacts which are to be harnessed through the ministry of culture and tourism with the intent to transform them into internationally accepted entertainment models for tourism.

In festivals, highly rated societal values are transmitted and through it, one gets a view into the people’s daily movement, habits, crafts, technology and art of the people.  It is also aimed at bringing out some aspects of our culture and traditions, which have been long forgotten as a result of Western civilization.  Do the musical activities which serve as the aesthetic signifier of the festival possess potentials effective tourism?

The summary of the findings would afford this researcher the opportunity of ploughing beyond surface features, to explore and delve into how some texts may offer different meanings to different readers.  It will serve as an added source of information to the generality of the nation, so that those who by one way or the other were finding it difficult to examine these festivals will view the colourful reality associated with it.

 

1.5       Scope and Limitations

This work dwells on the music in Igwe and Osiezi festivals and their potentials for tourism in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State. This study covers Ika North-East Areas of Delta State.  The festivals to be worked on are the Igwe festival which is celebrated by the Owa communities in Ika North-East Local Government Areas with its headquarters at Owa-Oyibu and the Osiezi festival respectively.

It will outline the geographical and historical background of Delta State.  The origin of Owa in Ika North-East Local Government Area, the socio-cultural relation of Owa land, the various festivals of Owa, their religion.  It also discusses the definition of festivals as seen by other resource persons the origin and history of Igwe and Osiezi festivals.  Their preparations and organizations, the role of music in these festivals.

Then the definitions of tourism as seen  by others the types, Delta State Tourism Agenda, musical activities in Igwe and Osieze festivals that could serve as potentials for tourism, the benefits of tourism, the future challenges and problems of tourism.  The music of Igwe festival and Osiezi with the musical instruments used for its accompaniment.  The songs used during the festivals which could serve as potentials for tourism.

 

1.6       Methodology

            The following research methods were employed to obtain relevant and useful information with a view of carrying out effective study. A descriptive design was used to present a clear picture of the origin and celebration of the various festivals in question and their potentials for tourism x-rayed. The approach was both historical, as it addressed the festival from its origin, preparation and celebration.

Moreso, through participant observation, in the celebration of the festivals, the researcher recorded the musical aspects to get the songs texts and uses video clips for the recording of the performance of the festival for proper documentation.  The Osiezi has not been performed for more than 19 years now.

Only oral interviews and written documents were used for the collection of useful information about the Osiezi. As a result of oral information, especially the fallibility, selection and human memories, an attempt was made to checkmate these problems through the use of more than one evidence or witness. Other resources used for this research are photographs, cassettes, tape recordings and video clips made during the field research.

 

MUSIC IN OSIEZI AND IGWE FESTIVALS OF IKA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE: POTENTIALS FOR TOURISM

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