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.
AN EXCLUSIVE INSIGHT INTO THE BENIN CULTURE
Culture can be defined as the total way life of a particular people. It is unique and peculiar to them. Culture is what makes different ethnic group distinct from each other. The elements of culture includes; language, music, drama, literature, beliefs, moral standards, folklore, dance, norms n values. Culture is said to be symbolic because it rests on symbols thus it is a medium for the storage and transmission of valuable information that constitute the culture. it is learned, transmitted from one generation to another. It is also universalistic because it is found everywhere. In fact culture is adaptive, dynamic and also shared.
The people of Benin are found in the South south region of Nigeria, in Edo state, which is home to many ethnic group including Bini, Akoko-edo and Esan. They have a rich and well preserved culture and also their skilled artistic work expressed in ivory carvings and bronze casting. Merely looking at the sculptures and carvings, a lot of information and communication is passed. They were that skilled. The Benin art works constitute the largest body of sculpture of Nigeria’s heritage. Although a lot of these sculptures were stolen and shipped abroad. In a way, the works revealed the wealth of the Oba of Benin because he had to maintain these bronze smiths and ivory carvers. He also used some as gifts to those of his subjects he wanted to honour.
I represent the Benin culture as displayed in my contest photo. I am beautifully and elegantly dressed as a Benin bride. The most important part of the look is the hair. The hair style is called Eto-okuku.it is peculiar to the Benin people. It is in form of a bun that is typically made with a black gel. Coral beads which are prestigious and beautiful are used to adorn the hair. It is sewn into the bun to form a crown. The crown on my head is called Okuku. It represents royalty. I’m also wearing hand bead which is called Ivie-eb, the earrings is called Emi-ivie, the beaded top over my wrapper is called Ewu ivie.My wrapper is the famous kente wrapper. The choice of wrapper depends on ones taste and choice.george, velvet and lace is also used. This type of attire is meant for brides, they wear it on their traditional marriage. Edo brides are known for their elaborate bead for the bridal wears.
Apart from their dressing another feature I love about the Benin culture is their food. Meals in Benin food are incomplete without sauce. A favourite of the Benin people are “iamounoudes”; which is made with fish smoked shrimp vegetable (okra) and pepper. In southern Benin, they eat a lot of sea foods like shrimps, prawns, crabs, lobsters etc. it should be noted that the sauce is usually used to accompany a meal. Another example is pilipili, which is a local dish stew from tomatoes, onions and hot chilly.Futher more the Benin people have rich and well rooted tradition. Benin is still regarded as the cradle of voodoo. It started from here and spread to the Caribbean, Haiti and b Brazil. Voodoo is the worship of spirits, it is accompanied by a peculiar dance, music n feverish drumming. It is elegant and scary at the same time. Songs and dances are part of the social life of the Benin people. Celebration of joyous occasions and events like festivals, marriage, rites of passage, masquerade ,child birth,mournings etc. examples of festivals include;obazu festival,ukpe ,igue festival,iko festival etc
In conclusion, the Benin people are warm and welcoming, they are very hard working. They are known for their skilled craftsmanship, they also engage in agriculture. They cultivate maize, yam, cassava, rubber, plantain, palm produce, cocoa etc the land is blessed with rich soil and the climate is very favourable.Benin city is the home of arts and culture in the country. Some interesting sites to visit are; Cotonou, a museum that proudly displays skilled sculpture and casting. Grand popo a good place to fish.Abomey,a city that has all the history of the people and a royal museum ancient things are preserved there. Ovuidah etc.
COMMENT FROM THE CREW
Photo Attitude: Excellent
Presentation: Very Good
SCORE: 1900 Votes / 2000
This score will be added to your final votes
Miss Monalisa Owhondah, we must commend on your photo, this is beautiful. Keep it up.
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VERY GOOD: 400