This year, Nigeria's twelve states have organised individual festivals celebrating the country's arts and culture.?
This year, Nigeria's twelve states have organised individual festivals celebrating the country's arts and culture. The State Festivals are being held by way of preparation for the 1974 World Negro Arts Festival, to be held in Lagos.
The International Committee, preparing for the 1974 Festival, has said that about 11,000 participants and 100,000 overseas visitors are expected to attend the show, which will feature exhibitions, dances, music, drama and films.
Last week's Lagos State Festival ended on Saturday (25 November). The grand finale included a parade and dance demonstrations, as well as a special water festival. The latter featured boats with carved images representing the ancestral gods and goddesses worshipped by the people.
SYNOPSIS: The 1972 Lagos State Festival of the Arts ended last week with a grand finals on Saturday in Lagos. This year, each of Nigeria's twelve states have organised individual arts and culture festivals as forerunners to the second World Negro Arts Festival--to be held in 1974 in Lagos. Last week's Lagos State Festival concentrated on traditional dances and tribal celebrations. The grand finale featured a parade and demonstration from six different groups. But the large crowd was also treated to a special water festival with many colourfully decorated boats. Each of these ceremonies is designed to pay homage to or ask the blessing of certain gods and goddesses.
Here, the water goddess Olokun is asked to give peace and prosperity to the land. Hence, the use of a "land-boat."
This is part of a ceremony called Okosi. Many of the boats carry carved images representing gods and goddesses worshipped by the people. The beating of special drums accompanied by songs form an essential part of the ceremony, while the rhythmic paddling is also important.
It is hoped that festivals like this will attract more attention to the 1974 Festival, which is expected to draw eleven-thousand participants and one-hundred thousand overseas visitors.