AN EXPLORATION OF DANCE AND TECHNICAL AESTHETICS IN OBATALA FESTIVAL OF ILE-IFE, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA

Shadiat Olapeju Shuaib, Hairat Bukola Yusuf

Abstract


Festivals from African perspective can be said to be religious events in remembrance or in commemoration of a gods, spirits, ancestors, kings, historical event and so on by African communities. Interestingly, role playing, rituals, songs, chants, dances and other art forms such as costume, makeup, properties are significant elements in display during these festivals because they are perceived as instruments of   spirituality, socialization, participation and unity. To this end, this study examines Obatala festival of Ile Ife as showcased by adherents of the deity. Using both primary and secondary sources, the study takes a descriptive and analytical look at various procedural stages of the festival particularly the dances and technical aesthetics that are embedded in it. Our findings revealed that the dances performed during Obatala festival have significant styles which are believed to have spiritual, cultural, entertainment and aesthetic functions to adherents and the Ile-Ife society at large. It also discovered that the symbolic costumes, make-up, properties and songs of adherents play important roles in the success of the festival. It therefore, recommends that for originality, continuity and documentation purposes, researchers should embark on more researches on the festival in other to preserve and project this rich traditional African religion and culture to the world.


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