Ekpe is an age -long traditional, sacred institution which served as an agent of cultural dispersal during the slave trade.
Ekpe is open to men in Calabar, and has over many centuries been a part of the hinterland, stretching from Akwa-Ibom to Abia, Imo and Ebonyi states.
Not too long ago, it was reunited with its Cuban counterpart, the Abakua.
These hand crafted cultural representations are carefully handcrafted by the villagers using dyed raffia and wool to create a true representation of the masquerade.
Only men are allowed to wear the elaborate masquerade costumes and in some cases, women are not allowed to look at the masquerades.
The masquerades are displayed at ceremonies, while songs and dances are usually accompanied by cultural drama.
They also come out during chieftancy title presentation and coronations, seasonal celebrations and other important events. It is an important cultural event and its roots are deep in traditional religion.
The Ekpe masquerade, the folklores (known as Ekong-Nkeh, Nke Ekon Abasi) and the Ikombi dance have won international recognition; they have become a form of entertainment to welcome important dignitaries to the state and at other events outside the state.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
EKPE & ABAKUA: LINKING NIGERIA & CUBA.
Posted by cultural tips at 6:49 AM
Labels: 2009., Written by Adie Vanessa Offiong in Tambari a publication of Sunday Trust newspaper of 5th July