Culture is the total way of life of people, it includes material aspects such as the food we eat and how we get them, the dress we wear, how we get what we use for the houses we live in, the household implements such as calabashes and plates, in short, all the things we do to adapt to our environment.

This involves how we influence the environment and how the environment influences us. Culture also includes non-material aspects such as dances, music, facial marks, and so on. The non-material aspects are often symbols that communicate deeper meanings.

Both material and non-material aspects of culture are passed down from generation to generation. When we say culture is passed down from generation to generation, it is often referred to as cultural heritage, in other words, we inherited that way of life from our forefathers.

We shouldn't however forget that the culture inherited might change over time, that is, we may add to the culture we inherit or even modify it. For example, our modes of dressing have changed from what they used to be, Nigerians now wear European dresses.
Also, the types of food we eat may change.

Aspects of Nigerian Cultural Heritage

Mode of Dressing

The different ethnic groups in Nigeria have special dresses, the Yorubymwn wear Buba, Sokoto, and agbada, and their women wear iro, Buba, and gele. The Urhobo woman wears a wrapper, blouse, and headtie. Though the way the Yoruba woman's dress is down is different from the Urhobo woman's sewing, the Yoruba woman's wear is the same as Urhobo's, Yoruba woman's buba is the same as Urhobo woman's blouse, the iro is the same as wrapper and gele is the same as headtie or headgear.
Also, Hausa man wears babban Riga, Yar cikin, and Wando, these are the same as the Yoruba man's agbada, Buba, and Sokoto, the agbada is the same as babban Riga, the Buba is the same as Yar cikin and the Sokoto is the same as Wando.

Mode of Dancing

Traditional dances have symbolic meaning for all ethnic groups in Nigeria. It shows the mood of the people. Most times it is when people are happy that they dance, there are different types of Dancing which are special for the different types of dancing which are special for different people and for different occasions.

For example, the Mini people have the ugho and Agbada dances; the Hausa have the kalangu and Goje dances, the Yoruba have Bata and Etike dances, and the Ink has Nwaokorobo and Alajia dances. These are only a few of the special dances for some ethnic groups in Nigeria. The Hausa also have the popular Rawa dance which is a war victory dance and the Ibo have Ikoro dance also showing that they have won a war or that a very important (strong) man has died.

All the ethnic groups in Nigeria have masquerades for special occasions. These masquerades also have their own modes of dancing.

Facial Marks

The different people of Nigerian also have traditional facial marks, facial marks are used to differentiate different ethnic groups. In some places, the facial marks differentiate the royalty from the common. The Yoruba call facial marks Ila oju; the Hausa call them Zanni; the Info call them akara, and the Mini call them iwu.

In differentiating the Hausa people, there are Zanni Argungu; Zanni Borno, and so on. Among the Yoruba, we have Abaja, Pele, and Gombo. There is Pele Iwu as different from that of Ife, the Gambo marks are peculiar to the Pup, Ibadan, Ognomoso and Iseyin. Ognomoso Gombo marks are different from the Oyo, Ibadan, Ogbomosho, and Iseyin. Ogbomoso Gombo marks are different from the Oyo and Ibadan ones.

Facial marks differentiate the royalty from the commoners. For example, among the Mini people, the royalty has the Iwu marks not only on different parts of their bodies but especially around the abdomen. Among the Yoruba people, the Oyo royalty (People in Oyo kingship family) are the only ones with Abaja marks.

Mode of Greeting

There are also different traditional modes of greeting, most times, the type of greeting shows respect between people.

Young ones by squatting (the boys) and the girls kneel for elderly people in the traditional Hausa culture.

The Yoruba boys prostrate while the girls kneel down for older people, students should note the Similarity among traditional modes of greeting expected from Hausa girls and Yoruba girls, they kneel down. What is important in greeting is the significance of respect which means bowing down elderly people.

Arts and Crafts

Nigeria comprises people with very rich arts and crafts. This refers to people's occupations which demand highly trained manual skills. Such skills are shown in the works of art such as cloth-dyeing, leather works, raffia works (one wing threads specially grown to make handbags, baskets, hats and footmats.

Leather is also used to make these things. 
There are also traditional iron-melters and goldsmiths. Iron-melters make iron pots, hoes, and cutlasses. All these arts and crafts are found in various parts of the country.

Abuaslam is blogger and passionate about helping others succeed. I like dialoges and discussions that tech and politics related.


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