Ekpe Festival

The Ekpe festival is very popular among the Ngwa of Abia State.

Ekpe Festival

It is also widely celebrated in neighbouring areas such as the old Umuahia and Owerri Provinces. It is celebrated in the first month of the new year l. It is a lively cultural festival that attracts people from in and outside the state.

The èkpè festival has existed for millenniums and involves so many kinds of masquerades performing different kinds of cultural dance. Its roots are deep in traditional religion and rituals.

Events that Lead up to the Ekpe Festival

It is only a tragic event such as the death of a village hero, or a permission from the gods that can stop the staging of festival. During the festival, all males and females (old and young) dress in their cultural attires, the male must tie a piece of wrapper (akwa jọj) to make up for the cultural attire.

Ekpe Festival

According to Centre For Memories, Male children who have been initiated into ekpe masquerade, and are skilled in playing the cultural music, show their expertise in their culture while the masquerade performs the dancing. People appreciate the performances of the masquerade, players and other individual dancers by donating money to them while the music is on.

Ekpe Festival

The apex of this cultural festival is the moment when the masquerade will use a cutlass and behead a goat at a strike. It is worthy to point out that èkpè should not be confused with Ékpè.

Ekpe festival

The latter is a secret society which is exclusive to men, and which is also called Okonko in many parts of Igboland. This society is equally popular among the Efik and Annang people of Nigeria. But èkpè enjoys communal patronage and participation with women and children forming part of its choric force.

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