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The Cultural Wealth of Nigeria, Part 2 of 2

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Today we invite you to join us as we explore the traditional music, dance, art and festivals of magnificent Nigeria.

Nigeria has a wide range of folk music styles, as each ethnic group has its own instruments, songs and techniques. The folk music of the Yoruba people is one of the most popular styles of West African music. It comes in Afro-Latin and Caribbean styles and has influenced the music of Cuba.

The Yoruba folk dance is called “ijo-ibile,” which means “local or traditional dance.” Yoruba dance steps are always in harmony with the drum beats, and the movements of arms and legs are in an emphatic style. The Igbo people are talented dancers and they have created many folk dances. The Mmanwu dance is for masquerades and is considered the most popular and widely featured dance in Igbo culture. The Koroso dance is a vibrant and athletic dance of the Hausa people and is also one of Nigeria's most popular folk dances. Its name comes from the rattling beads that make up the anklets the dancers wear together with bracelets and colorful costumes.

In the field of modern fine art, Aina Onabolu, Ben Enwonwu, and Bruce Onobrakpeya are among the most prominent Nigerian artists of the 20th century who first introduced the beauty of Nigerian art to the world. They are known as the pioneers who created a cradle for the younger generations.

All year round, there are plenty of festivals and holidays in Nigeria. Five major book festivals, such as the Nigeria International Book Fair, promote literature, art, and culture. Film festivals such as the annual Africa International Film Festival and “Lights, Camera, Africa!” are held to promote the visual arts and cooperation among the film industry of Africa. More than five music festivals and 50 cultural festivals are also held annually. Additionally, Christian holidays such as Good Friday and Easter Monday, as well as Muslim holidays such as Mawlid, Eid al-Adha, and Eid al-Fitr, are part of the cherished religious heritage of the land and celebrated nationwide as public holidays.
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