The famous “Odum Festival of the Okrika people would be a high avenue of culture and tourism” in Rivers State.
Celebrated by the Ijaws of Okrika in the Okrika Local Government area of Rivers state. It is celebrated once in 10years or at major occassions. The festival which displays a Boa constrictor masquerade on water, is very colorful, flamboyant and quite expensive to celebrate.
Just like the reverence “Chinese Dragon masquerade celebration” , structured into the festivities of the Asian culture,
You will be amazed at the kind of things that captures my fancy, The History I read, beyond fictions),
Especially, when I know that we have not scratched the surface of our cultural heritage and traditions to the world scenes.
The Odum masquerade, according to Nwibani (1977), grew out of the
mythology of the Rivers people of the nineteenth century.
Reflecting the majesty and aquatic dexterity of the Boa-Constrictor, the Odum developed in an era when popular beliefs in the existence of water spirits, sea gods and mermaids were rampant; in an era when fishermen were frequently reported as seeing strange happenings on their fishing sprees.
Two fishermen from Ayungu-Biri in Okirika had reportedly witnessed the water display of a Boa-Constrictor on one of their fishing expeditions. On their return, the display was recreated in the form of a giant multi-coloured aquatic masquerade.
In the passing of time, this display was recognized as a major cultural event illustrating the aquatic disposition and traditional belief of the people of Okirika (Nwibani 1977).
The Odum has since become one of the most sensational and spectacular traditional performances among the Rivers people. In the twentieth century, it was performed five times to mark major traditional, religious or state fiesta, with tremendous success in 1916, 1942,1954, 1974 and 1977 (Nwibani, 1977). Ereso (2012) reveals that the masquerade performance also took place in 1992.
1992, was the first Time I had the privilege of watching it, so Thought of keeping the memory is ever green.
Imagine if we put our sentiments aside, respect religion and traditional believes (without castigating or judging people for their paths) , we can project this state in to an amazing tourist attraction with revenues that can sustain this state.
What do Brazil have?? (when comparing to our unique culture)
We have too much potentials in this state that has not been harnessed, yet it seems as though politics is what we are worth.
God Bless Okrika, Rivers State, Nigeria and her people.