Festivals And Traditional Dance in Esanland

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Esanland is a land of traditional feasts which are celebrated to commemorate great historical landmarks of the past. By far the most important and widely celebrated feast in the land is “HUAN”, the new yam harvest festival. Ihuan is celebrated clan by clan and in each clan. it is held in one village after another The new yam festival is an annual event which involves entertainments and a lot of eating drinking and general merriment particularly in 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 festival 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 (lyare) as he proceeds to pay homage to the deity.

Esan Acrobatic Dance Exchanges: A Case Of Eroding Culture

Ukpe Festival

Ighele Festival

Oto Uromi Festival

Traditional Dances
In  Esan traditional dances come in various forms. There are for instance hunter’s dance, iIoh, ikhinabogie. oleke, Asono. ljeleghe and lgbabonehimhin. Traditionally, the original concept of lgbabonelimhin is recreational. In Esanland, 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 ample opportunity to stage lgbabonelimhin dance before townsfolk and village elders purely for entertainment. The dance has fascinating and intricate acrobatic stunts and tumbling by which the Esans are prominently identified nation - wide. An exclusive male dance, it is not unusual for the elderly female to be initiated into (he cult. lf this happens. the women stay at the background to participate

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lgbabonelimhin (Esan Acrobatic Dance)ere
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