A Pictorial Essay By Lindsay Barrett in Port Harcourt
The opening of this year’s National Festival of Arts and Culture hosted by the Rivers State Government in Port Harcourt had as its theme “ Our Culture, Our Heritage”, which promoted the idea that Nigerians should not forget their traditional values as they encounter a new order of modern existence.
If guests from other parts of the nation were asked to identify the particular aspects of this event that symbolised the traditions of the host state most effectively many of them would most likely point to the parade of beautiful maidens in unique traditional dress.
The utilisation of centuries old styles and traditions of feminine beautification appear to still be an important part of the lifestyle of young women in the state especially as illustrated by the team of ushers selected from various communities who were costumed in a way that reflected the influence of the past but also expressed the standards of the present.
Justice Eberechi Suzette Wike, the Governor’s wife, a notable beauty herself, reinforced the theme as she accompanied her husband dressed in full traditional attire and used understated make up that emphasized her natural grace and presence.