Traditional Religion among the Owe People

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Department of History & Int'l Studies, Kogi State University, Anyigba


From time immemorial, Africans have celebrated various traditional festivals as part of their religious activities. That is why Chinua Achebe' noted that culture as a way of life plays a prominent role in the cultural and religious life of Africans. Owe (Kabba) people are no exception. In the light of this fact, this paper seeks to shed light on the Aboh Egungun, masquerade festival celebrated annually by some Owe(Kabba) people of Kogi State in North-eastern Nigeria since 1900. Using both primary and secondary sources, the study takes a cursory historical and theatrical look at the various processes of the Aboh festival including the different Egungun masquerades, their colourful costumes, dance steps, dramatic expressions and general aesthetic qualities. It discovered that the Aboh Egungun festival serves as a unifying factor among the owe people as all and sundry troupe out to Ala, the open field where performances are usually held. In addition, despite the religious connotation, spectators are entertained and enlightened. The study concludes that despite the influence of Western education and foreign religions, the festival remains an important cultural festival even in the 21st century because of its significant contributions to the socio-cultural and religious development of Owe society. As it is celebrated every December, it is hoped that with some modifications, its tourism potential could be enormous.



Aboh Egungun, Masquerade, Owe, Festival