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Traditional Theatrical Practices in a Receding Economy: A Focus on TombianaEgbelegbeFestival of Rivers State

Somieari Jariel Ikiroma-Owiye


Lack of cultural reality has often led to recession in most developing societies as perceived in cultural studies. However, traditional adaptations are often deployed to cushion and possibly reverse the severity of recession across time and space. Instances of such reversals include the Chinese reversal to Confucianism, the Indian resort to Hinduism and the traditional African invocation of ancestral myths, religious observances and festivals. From the re-enactment of the procreative Tombiana Egbelegbe festival we have seen that traditional value creates order and social cohesion in African societies. A reversal to these traditional means of social reengineering will endear these creative practices that create order and social cohesion in African societies. Thus, the theoretical position of Marxist cultural inquiry will be applied as the theoretical framework for this paper. The Methodology applied in this study is research participant observation and sources of data were primary and secondary sources. The findings revealed that consistently, festivals are efforts of man to alleviate human suffering, create order and control his environment through creativity and cultural resourcefulness in performance. It was recommended that given the reality that is subsisting in most Nigerian communities, agrarian festivals, innovative, resourceful and masked designs, costumes, make-up, craftsmanship, dance, and music, drum communication should be encouraged. It was thus concluded that continuous performance will lead to preservation, packaging, promotion and transmission of cultural values from one generation to another which will in turn lead to cultural tourism. Cultural tourism can lead nations out of recession and economic dependence as was experienced in the Indian and Chinese cultural revolutionary experience.

Key Words: Traditional theatrical practices, recession, human capacity development, TombianaEgbelegbe Festival

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eISSN: 2227-5452
print ISSN: 2225-8590