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Nationalising Intangible Cultural Heritage in Nigeria for Optimised Cultural Tourism: The <i>Zangbeto</i> Model

Dominic Uduakabasi Okure


This paper evaluates developments in the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) discourse with particular reference to Nigeria, with a view to identifying  challenges to its proper conservation and management on the one hand, and projecting its potential for optimised cultural tourism on the other. Along with an overview of the ICH industry in Nigeria, the Zangbeto masked tradition of the Ogu of south-western Nigeria was proposed as an  example of the nation’s many intangible cultural heritage models and expressions that could be engineered through nationalisation for enhanced cultural tourism, national development and unity, and international collaboration. Through a triangulation of the phenomenological and case study approaches, complemented by a hermeneutical investigation of some significant themes on the subject, this paper explored the background to the UNESCO Convention on ICH and the attendant conceptual developments and critical junctures in the ICH discourse. It also examined the issue of ICH’s under representation in micro and macro strategies for social and economic development, reconceptualise nationalisation to accommodate specific anthropological concerns, and went on to propose a nationalisation-based analysis and management framework for the celebration, evaluation, effective conservation, preservation and management of Nigeria’s ICH with the Zangbeto tradition as a cultural model.

Key Words: Nationalisation; Zangbeto; Intangible Cultural Heritage; Cultural Tourism;Analysis and Management Frameworks.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2227-5452
print ISSN: 2225-8590