Monday, August 22, 2016

Nigeria's Ekombi Dance (information & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents information about Nigeria's (Efik) Ekombi dance and showcases three videos of that dance.

Selected comments from two of those videos' discussion threads are also included in this post.

Additional examples of Ekombi dancing are in other Nigerian videos that have been showcased in this pancocojams blog. Click the Efik tag below to visit those posts.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in that video and thanks to those who produced that video. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this YouTube video.

"The Efiks inhabit the coastal area of South Eastern Nigeria and are very well known nationally and internationally partly because of the prominence of Calabar in Nigerian history and also due to their rich cultural heritage. Among the broad culture of the Efiks are “Ekombi”, the Efik classical music, “Ukwa”, the only fencing match in sub-Saharan Africa, “Mbuk”, a collection of Efik folklore, and “Ekpe”. Abang dance is performed for entertainment and at festive occasions. The dance can be simple as well as elaborate with many interpretations behind it. The most famous cuisine “Edikangikong” is renowned as next to none in Nigeria.

There are a host of other traditional dance forms. “Nkuho”, where a young female, who is about to be betrothed in marriage, is confined, taught and molded into womanhood. Here she learns moral values of the community and how to appreciate herself. While in confinement, she is not allowed to do any chores. Instead, she eats as much as she wants; is pampered and taught the Ekombi dance in preparation for the day that she comes out of the confinement. She is not allowed any male visitors except her suitor. The length of time in the confinement has changed over the years.
Source: Akak, Okon E., “Efiks of old Calabar (1982), Vol III, Calabar; Akak & Sons Publisher.

From posted by Nigeria We Serve, Oct 19, 2013
"Ekombi Dancers. Strongly Efik cultural dancers, it is traced to Cross River State. So colourful, you need to see what an Ekombi dance looks like, it is one of Nigeria's best cultural dances. Usually this dance is done by maidens dressed in beads, holding a staff, beautifully coloured fabrics sewed in a mini blouse and mini skirt with the tummy exposed, to see how they wind their waist. The entire dance is concentrated on the waistline, and they move rhythmically to the melodic beats of the Efik drummers. Take a stroll to Calabar this December for Calabar Carnival, and you will have a taste of this rich cultural heritage."
Additional information about the Ekombi dance is given in the summary for the video given as Example #3 below.

These videos are presented in chronological order.

Example #1: Ekombi dance danayan konsept

Adebusuyi FEMI ADEOLA, Uploaded on Apr 19, 2011

Nigeria ekombi dance
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
Ikea1009, 2012
"thank you for posting this video. i'm from calabar, and i haven't been able to find a video to show my friends what our dance is like when it is done in a group."

Joshua Asuquo, 2014
"Nice one. big ups to the number one tourist destination in Africa! Calabar my Calabar."

Example #2: Efik Dance Nigeria

fulani100, Published on Oct 28, 2012

A dance that the Efiks do during the traditional wedding of one of theirs
Two commenters wrote about the Efik custom of fattening up brides before their marriage.

Another commenter wrote about a "man dropping dollar bills on his wife". This is an example of the Nigerian custom of spraying people with paper money as a sign of approval and good fortune.

Example #3: Ekombi Dance - Efik

Eyen Efik, Published on Jul 19, 2013

Ekombi is a traditional dance amongst the Efik people in Calabar, Cross River State - Nigeria.The movements are derived from the motions of the ocean. It is a graceful dance with incredible footwork, it's a dance of peace and happiness. Ekombi shows a woman's beauty and femininity, the dance is also a good platform to choose a partner for marriage.
pwetty4r4, 2015
"what are those golden decorations in her hair called????"

Eyen Efik, 2015
"+pwetty4r4 there are called "brass combs." The Efik women adorn their hair with brass combs to depict wealth and royalty"

Bodie Essiet, 2015
"+Eyen Efik
Thank you for sharing this wonderful video. Born in American of Efik parents, I would like to share with my children the customs of our people. I have been gone far too long to understand the meaning of the song. Could you please share. I am isolated from my people, so loss of language.

Eyen Efik, 2015
"+Bodie Essiet There are actually various Efik proverbs being used in different songs. We hope to welcome you back soon😊"

Mama Africa, 2015
"If you live in the United States, you should bring your kids to the annual Efik convention so that they can interact with other Efik kids"
Click for information about The Efik National Association USA, Inc. That page also includes photographs and videos that were posted by that organization.

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