THE DRAMATIC MEMORIALIZATION OF SIGNIFICANT HISTORICAL LAND MARKS IN AFRICAN FESTIVALS. A CLOSE EXAMINATION OF THE CORONATION OF THE 40TH OBA OF BENIN

Peter O. AIHEVBA, tohan E. EKHATOR

Abstract

This paper is a critical examination of the major significance of the cultural institution called festival. African festivals provide a document that aesthetically, skillfully and ostentatiously preserves a peoples shared beliefs, custom, values and historical heritage. This study utilized the analytical methodology which furnished the researchers with useful information from books, journals and other printed and electronic materials. Several interviews were also conducted to gamer information from historians and cultural icons. The active involvement of the researchers as observers and participants in Benin festivals also aided the researchers in this endeavour. The focus of the paper was a careful study of the memorialization practice artistically employed in the preservation of historical and cultural heritage of the Benin Nation for centuries as expressed in the 40th coronation of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare, Ogidigan II. In this festival, the Binis were able to historize document and express the history of their greatness, survival wealth and stability in an electrifying atmosphere of pomp, celebration and pageantry.

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