Culture And Tradition Of Igede People Of Benue State Nigeria.

 Culture And Tradition Of Igede People Of Benue State Nigeria – By OKANGA IGO PHILIP

Culture And Tradition Of Igede

Igede culture (Ohoho ny’igede) are the customs, practices and traditions of the Igede people of southern Benue, Nigeria. It comprises archaic practices as well as new concepts added into the Igede culture either by cultural evolution or by outside influence.

These customs and traditions include the Igede people’s visual art, music and dance forms, as well as their attire, cuisine and language dialects. MUSIC: IGEDE MUSIC Oje, an Igede instrument: The Igede people have a melodic and symphonic musical style, which they designed from forged iron.

Other instruments include Opike, a wind instrument similar to the flute, Ogirigbo, Uba and Icheke. Another popular musical form among Igede people is highlife, which is a fusion of jazz and traditional music and widely popular in West Africa.

The modern Igede highlife is seen in the works of Mark Eje, Ochi Igbudu, Ogbu Eworo who are some of the greatest Igede highlife musicians of the twentieth century.

There are also other notable Igede highlife artists, like Benson Ida Owuru, Onah Aba etc. IGEDE ART: Igede Art is known for various types of masquerade, masks and outfits symbolising people animals or abstract conceptions.

Igede art is also known for its bronze castings found in the town of Igede from the 9th century. Igede art is any body of visual art originating from the people of the Igede.  Culture And Tradition Of Igede

Igede culture is a visual art and culture. IGEDE MYTHOLOGY: While today many Igede people are Christian, the traditional ancient Igede religion is known as Akpan.

In the Igede mythology, which is part of their ancient religion, the supreme God is called Ohe (“great spirit”); Ohe created the world and everything in it and is associated with all things on Earth.

Ohe is also a solar deity. YAM: The yam is very important to the Igede as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igede Agba) which are held for the harvesting of the yam.

The New Yam festival (Igede Agba) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. The festival is practiced primarily in Benue State and other states in Nigeria. TRADITIONAL ATTIRE: Traditionally the attire of the Igede generally consisted of little clothing as the purpose of clothing then was to conceal private parts, although elders were fully clothed.

Children were usually nude from birth till their adolescence (the time when they were considered to have something to hide) but sometimes ornaments such as beads were worn around the waist for medical reasons.

With colonialism and the Westernization of Igede culture, Western styled clothes such as wrapper, shirts and trousers over took traditional clothing. WOMEN: Women carried their babies on their backs with a strip of clothing binding the two with a knot at her chest. This baby carrying technique was and still is practiced by many people groups across Africa along with the Igede who still carry their babies this way.

This method has been modernized in the form of the child carrier. Maidens usually wore a short wrapper with beads around their waist with other ornaments such as necklaces and beads.

Both men and women wore wrappers. MEN: Men would wear loin cloths that wrapped around their waist and between their legs to be fastened at their back, the type of clothing appropriate for the intense heat as well as jobs such as farming.

Men could also tie a wrapper over their loin cloth. MODERN TRADITIONAL ATTIRE: Modern Igede traditional attire is generally made up, for men and women of the top which resembles the African Dashiki. (usually blue, white and black stripe).

It is worn with trousers and can be worn with either a traditional title holders hat, or with the traditional Igede stripped men’s hat (which resembles the Bobble hat). Culture And Tradition Of Igede

For women, an embodied puffed sleeve blouse (influenced by European attire) along with two wrappers (usually modern Hollandis material) and a head scarf are worn. IGEDE MASKS AND MASQUERADES. (Okwumu) There are two basic types of masquerades, visible and invisible.

The visible masquerades are meant for the public. They often are more entertaining. Masks used offer a visual appeal for their shapes and forms. In these visible masquerades, performances of harassment, music, dance, and parodies are acted out.

The invisible masquerades take place at night. Invisible masquerade can be liking to Achukwu secret cult. Sound is the main tool for them. The masquerader uses his voice to scream so it may be heard throughout the village.

The masks used are usually fierce looking and their interpretation is only fully understood by the society’s members. These invisible masquerades call upon a silent village to strike fear in the hearts of those not initiated into their society. Igede Ihio! Let’s have your say!

Leave a Reply