Nigeria is made up of over 350 tribes which all have their peculiar cultures and traditions of which dance is among.
The cultural or traditional dances of Nigerian tribes are used for different purposes which include: unifying the members of a tribe; telling folktales or the history and traditions of a community; showcasing the wealth and strength of a tribe; celebrating; performing religious duties; entertaining and so on.
Here are the best and most entertaining traditional dances in Nigeria:
- The Nkwa-Umu-Agbogho Dance – This dance has its origin among the people of Eboyin State. The Nkwa-Umu-Agbogho dance is also known as ‘maidens dance‘ because it is specifically meant for ladies who have just become ripe for marriage. This dance involves vigorous twisting of the chest and waist in a seductive way so as to attract suitors. The ‘maiden dance’ also help younger girls to abstain from pre-marital sex.
- The Ekombi Dance – The Ekombi dance is peculiar to the Efik people of Calabar, Cross River state. It is a beautiful and entertaining dance in which maidens are dressed in multi-coloured attires sewn in a mini skirt and blouse form which exposes their tummy. The maidens are also decorated with beads of different colours and sizes. The Ekombi dancers whine gracefully to the rhythmical beats of the Efik drummers in the movement of ocean tides. The Ekombi dance of the Efik people shows the beauty and maturity of a woman.
- The Bata Dance – The Bata dance is one of the cultural / traditional dances of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria. This dance is associated with Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder who was said to be athletic during his days. However, the bata dance remains incomplete without beats from the bata drum- a set of three drums namely: Iya-Ilu, Itotele and Okokonlo.
- The Koroso Dance – The Koroso dance originated among the Fulani and Kano people of Kano State, Nigeria. The Kosoro dance, a name derived from the rattle fastened to the legs of Koroso dancers, is a mixture of movements from the traditional dances of the Fulanis and Hausa people of Kano.
- The Swange Dance– The Swange dance is a recreational and entertaining dance performed together by Tiv men and women of Benue State, Nigeria. This dance is performed in important gatherings or during festivals. The movement of the Swange dance can be slow, fast or rhythmic all rendering the dancers shaking vigorously; this thus make the Tiv people call the Swange dance “boneless dance”. Swange dance is accompanied by beats with beautiful rhythm and a traditional horn called ‘Al-Gaita‘ which is blown throughout the dance session.