As part of the task for Face Of Rhodies World Photo Contest Season 6 (My, culture, My Pride), contestants were asked to tell us about the culture they are representing in an expository essay writing. This task carries 2000 votes, and below is an unedited essay writing sent in by this contestant.
Have fun and get to know more about her culture.
NAME: ANIEBIET UMANAH (Contestant 18)
STATE OF ORIGIN: AKWA IBOM
I REPRESENT THE IBIBIO CULTURE
Akwa Ibom is one of the 36 states in Nigeria, having many tribes like; Oron, Annang , Ekid and Ibibio. In this text, I will concentrate on the Ibibio since it’s the culture I represent.
The Ibibio tribe is one of the three main tribes in Akwa Ibom State. Others include Oron, Annang, and Eket. Ibibio is the mostly recognized and respected compared to the others. This is because of how powerful indigenes from Ibibio are. The following are the core attributes of the Ibibio culture.
- MARRIAGE RITES AND TRADITIONAL WEDDINGS
The traditional rites of the Ibibio people are unique when compared to other cultures. The next step is the ‘knocking of the door’; the date for the “Nkong Udok/ Nkong Usong” is set after the ‘Ndidiong Ufok’,So after the family of the groom has gotten to know the house of the girl then they can come and knock on the door and officially ask for the lady’s hand. The “Bride Price” is first debated on by both families. The bride family then hands over a “List” containing necessary items to be purchased for the marriage. The groom’s family has the right to either accept the list, or negotiate. The argument is the fun part because it causes both families to unite after all arguments. During the traditional marriage, the bride and the groom dress in a full traditional attire which my outfit stands as a typical example of how an Ibibio bride dresses covering herself and making people to easily identify her as an Ibibio woman.
The Ibibio language is closely related to that of Annangs, Efik, Ekid, and oron. They are referred to as Ibibio dialects. About five million people in Nigeria speak Ibibio as their mother tongue and inhabit the much of the South-eastern part of the country. The Ibibio people are Kwa speaking people Benue-Congo group of Niger-Congo language.
The Ibibio people believe that there is a supreme being called “Abasi” who created all the gods and every other thing which he gives charge to all human affairs. There are so many deities which comes with different names. Example is the one that looks after land fertility which is called “NDEM ISONG”, and the one that protects the interest of those who sells at the market NDEM URUA.
History has it that Ibibio people have the best meals; meals like Afia Efere, Afang, Editan, Atama, Fufu, Garri. These dishes are served at occasions like weddings, child dedications and any other occasion one could think of. The foreigners enjoy our soup so well like; Afang soup and they talk about it so well after they might have had a taste of it.
- DEATH AND BURIAL
Worship of the ancestors is a very important part of Ibibio religious culture. When carrying out a burial ceremony, sacrifices are always made in an ancestral shrine which is kept at the house of the eldest member of the lineage group. Though some ancestors might be disturbing and causing harm until OBIO EKPO ceremony is done so that the spirit can enter the world of dead.
I decided to represent this wonderful culture (Ibibio) and I made use of;
Gele (big headtie): Gele is used for the traditional head covering but a times it can also be used as an ornament head covering or an accessory of for functionality in different settings. In Ibibio, Gele gives an Ibibio woman that gorgeous look; take for instance it’s the bride uses it to make her look exceptional.
Blouse: I wore a pink coloured blouse with light silver stones. The blouse is made from silk and is fondly called “The Lace material”. Why I wore the pink top is because my wrapper has a pink design so as to give it a perfect match.
Wrapper: Since the Ibibio women are known as well-dressed people. The wrapper signifies decency and woman-hood.
Wallet: An Ibibio woman’s dressing will not be complete if she doesn’t have a wallet in her hand. At times, this is optional, because some women use the hand bag or fan. The wallet I carried is just what an Ibibio woman carries to add colour to her beauty.
Neckpiece: This is used for adornment. An Ibibio woman use this to adore herself after she might have dressed gorgeously and this will go a long way to bring out the beauty in her dressing.
Sandals: Since the wrapper is already covering everywhere, a sandals is needed to make the woman comfortable in other to give her that smart look while going for any event.
This outfit can be worn to traditional weddings, ceremonies, child dedication or even burials because it’s what identifies a unique Ibibio woman. The Ibibio people are located in Akwa Ibom state
Finally, I love so much about this Great culture though I decided to write on few. There are so many other things that makes me love Ibibio culture;
1) Their way of life
2) Their food
3) The lifestyle of their women etc
Finally, when an Ibibio woman steps out to any occasion, she steps out with charisma, she’s always poised. Ibibio women are full definition of African women and I am so proud to represent this culture!
COMMENT FROM THE CREW
Photo Attitude: Excellent
Attire: Very Good
Presentation: Very Good
Miss Aniebiet Umanah, in case you are wondering why your attire is not rated as ‘excellent’. This is because, the neck piece and the sandals your are wearing is not traditional. That is an English sandal and cannot be attributed as your culture. All the same your presentation is beautiful.
SCORE: 1800 votes / 2000
This score will be added to your final votes.
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VERY GOOD: 400