Carnival Rivers: Celebration of the tribes

on   /   in Travel & Tourism 8:52 pm   /   Comments

This year’s Rivers State carnival, CARNIRIV, which ended last weekend in Port  Harcourt metropolis was many things- music, colour, movement, but above all, it was the spectacle of the tribes.

The main attraction was the “Ekere: Rhythm of the Tribes”, a display of the rich cultural heritage and glamour of the Rivers people in the 23 Local Government Areas. Each Local Government Area put up  show of glamorous costumes and captivating dance steps.

The floats of the 23 LGAs and that of indigenes of Akwa Ibom State resident in Rivers State  encapsulated the spice and  essence of the pure Rivers Carnival spirit. They showcased the diversity of the people’s  primal artistic fervor, and the glamour of  their  patrician heritage.

Former Miss Nigeria, Agbani Darego (left); Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State (second left); Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru (second right) and deputy gov’s wife, Mina, during the Garden City freestyle parade, in Port Harcourt.

Former Miss Nigeria, Agbani Darego (left); Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State (second left); Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru (second right) and deputy gov’s wife, Mina, during the Garden City freestyle parade, in Port Harcourt.

The stories behind the traditional Carnival characters lend meaning and significance to those  unusual portrayals of costumes and display with  individual playing specific persona  they have played in past editions  becoming  familiar with the traditions associated with those  roles.

With thousands of costumed revellers transforming  the landscape into a visual fantasia, the Director-General of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency (RSTDA), Dr. Sam Dede, who was part of the parade, said  “The main difference between CARNIRIV and other carnivals in the country is that CARNIRIV is mostly a display of the indigenous culture of the Rivers People. The costumes, dance and music on display are indigenous.”

The Carniriv that  is gradually evolving into  a truly all-inclusive national festival drew participants from neighbouring states as well  many expatriates from different parts of the world in attendance, even the governor of the state,  Rotimi Amaechi, was in attendance with former Miss World , Agbani Darego.

Ekere (rhythm of Tribes) performance

Ekere (rhythm of Tribes) performance

Governor Amaechi was  full of praises for the  bands presidents, band leaders, international and local designers and dancers, and all others for being part of the carnival, noting that the carnival  “ has told  the story of our past, sing the songs of our present and light the path to our future.

He added that the carnival offered the people the opportunity to their uniqueness and rich cultural heritage.” over the last  six days we  let our feet and our hearts do the talking. Yes , we danced. We  celebrated our uniqueness and our heritage. Port Harcourt was one big theater”.

For the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Nabbs Imegwu, the carnival has become one of the most sought after cultural fiesta by tourists, adding that  this year edition was  repackaged with lots of varieties ranging from cultural display, Music Concert, featuring international artists, fashion parade and best designers in arts and crafts.

The one week cultural fiesta  featured a variety of indigenous and international displays. The Black African Music Festival (BAMFest) featured Grammy Award-winning reggae star and rapper, Shaggy and fellow reggae singer, Patra, celebrated Nigerian music acts, Tuface Idibia and Duncan Mighty. The artistes thrilled the crowd with a memorable performance.

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