The Efficacy of Women’s Musical Performance at Childbirth Events Among the Mhiship of Plateau State, Nigeria
From time immemorial, music has been the core of all cultural activities in most Nigerian communities as well as an indivisible component of events in such cultures. The musical tradition of the Mhiship of Plateau State is functionally rich and diverse because of its connection with songs, chants, dances, worship, rites of passage, occupation, and rituals among others. This notwithstanding, the traditional music practices by Mhiship women during childbirth are particularly on a decline towards extinction. Hence, the need for urgent documentation of the birth songs of the Mhiship natives to preserve them for progeny is, therefore, necessary. The focal point of this paper is to examine women’s music-making at childbirth events among the Mhiship of Plateau State, taking into cognizance the relevance of music, chants and dance in happenings revolving around childbirth, including the musical components and performances at such events. The ethnographic method was utilized with interviews employed for data collection. The study reveals the importance of childbirth among the Mhiship people, the accompanying welcome ceremony, the invaluableness of chants, music and dance as well as the impacts of the childbirth folksongs performance in the aforesaid culture.
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