MUSIC IN OSIEZI AND IGWE FESTIVALS OF IKA NORTH EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE: POTENTIALS FOR TOURISM. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON MUSIC
In the past, African Musical culture has become a subject of international attention which is masterminded by educational bodies and organizations and African Musical Societies. Since it has become a tradition for researchers to document different musical and cultural facts which the society may not regard with the growth of ethnomusicology, as a destitution, African scholars and researchers are sharing in this experience of documentation. It suffixes us to know that this write up is to investigate music in Igwe and Osiezi festival of Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State and its potentials for Tourism. The Osiezi festival performance is generated consciously with the community’s lore serving as guiding principles for other researchers. Although, our case study of the Osiezi and Igwe festivals among the Owa people is largely exploratory. Since this research is hinged on indigenous art forms, especially the oral variety. During these festivals, especially the Osiezi, the royalty is seen attempting to attain super-human appearance and image. First, the physical image of the King is elevated as he appears in special costumes, during the festival. Secondly, various acts of submission to the king are enacted by his Chiefs and subjects, this is followed by praise songs or chants which tend to raise the Monarch to the Pedestal of a deity. The festivals are designed not to present royalty as an all rosy affair. Aspects of it portray the King as the Chief risk bearer, who carries the responsibilities for the peoples’ sins and pays for them. The present day study therefore, is an attempt to explore and examine the artistic qualities and possibilities of Osiezi festivals. This we hope to achieve through the analysis of the dynamics in the performance of Igwe and Osiezi festivals, the rituals and dance performances. The study therefore is aimed at documenting and popularizing the unique artistic and literary characteristics of Igwe and Osiezi festival performance of the Owa, which had largely remained ignored and unacknowledged with its musical performance which when viewed critically, could be potentials for tourism. The data for this study was collected through interviews of resource persons orally and through descriptive and historical approaches with a view of authenticating the findings. Only the Igwe festival was observed life for the purpose of present research, however, in considering the shortcomings in recording the Osiezi festival, the colourful reality associated with the festival was not revealed physically because it has moved into extinction. But some of the festival dances were observed and recorded, this enabled the researcher to gather sizeable field data enough to test the research hypothesis, despite the long time lag since the main Osiezi festival was last performed.