The Vanishing Owambe Culture

The vanishing ‘owambe' culture

SOMETHING serious seems to be happening to the age-old "owambe" culture in Nigeria, a reflection of the dynamism of culture and of the telling manner in which economic conditions impact on socio-cultural expressions. The "owambe" phenomenon is one of the established patterns of social life, particularly among the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria. By the 70s and 80s, up till the 90s, no weekend was complete without someone throwing a lavish party: every social incident, including the purchase of a new car, even a second hand car, or a refrigerator for the household, deaths, birth, a promotion in the office, weddings, a journey- pilgrimage to Mecca or Jerusalem, or any trip overseas, or return from such trips occasioned huge celebrations; if a new house had just been completed, it had to be "warmed," and if it was a car, it had to be "washed", not with soap and water of course, but carton loads of drinks, greedily consumed by neighbours who were called upon to share the glory of success.alt

The social station of the celebrant determined the scope and richness of the celebration, but for major events like funerals, child naming ceremonies, weddings, graduation parties, there was a conventional template which social pressure turned into an obligation. The character of that template is like this: to really belong to the "owambe crowd" , a Yoruba word that means "we have it, so we can flaunt it"; no party is complete without the notorious "aso ebi" (group attire) which every invitee is expected to buy and wear as a tag of identification with the celebrant; the party itself is deliberately loud, with food and drinks generously provided, and wasted (owambe!); and there would be a musician on the bandstand, the more popular the artiste the better. The venue of such parties used to be a school field, or the streets, deliberately shut down to attract more attention, until state governments banned the holding of parties on main roads. One notorious man once shut down the Lagos-Benin expressway for his mother's funeral party! Soon, it became fashionable to rent events centres, really expensive events centres; and the party could go on all night-long.

The owambe parties became so frequent and often resulted in armed robbery attacks, and high rate of vehicle accidents the morning after; consequently, some state governments banned night parties. Still, this did not discourage the party goers and the generous celebrants. Parties held during the day-time were just as robust and showy, and the Yoruba were the most notorious promoters of this culture, with the men's expansive, parachute-like agbada, and the women's headgears of different designs, shapes and sizes, all creatively embroidered and worn with accustomed grace.

On a typical weekend, an average couple could be invited to about five parties, with five different "aso ebis", changing from one attire to the other, rushing from one end of the city to another. Usually what was meant to be a lot of fun, was invariably a lot of work and quite an expensive pre-occupation. Most persons woke up on Monday morning, completely worn out, groggy from weekend partying, and broke–celebrants expect gifts, the musicians expect to be decorated with cash: and this is a spectacle unto itself, naira plunking, later demonized by the Central Bank of Nigeria as an abuse of the national currency, but no one has listened, is a special art, easily converted into an entertaining spectacle by those who have mastered it. So common was the owambe among the Yoruba that other Nigerians who seemed to be more restrained soon began to organize owambe parties too: the oil boom had made easy money possible, and for years, Nigerians really lived it up. One contemporary English dictionary, describes the Yoruba as "the fun-loving people of West Africa!"

But the culture of ostentation was not just a product of the oil boom; it resulted in a certain madness in society, an inversion of values. Even the poor felt compelled to borrow money to throw lavish parties just so they could meet public expectations. Funerals in particular provided special excuse for indebtedness or bankruptcy. Driven by folk beliefs that it is compulsory to give one's parents a befitting burial, persons who could not afford to feed themselves took loans to feed guests - among the local people, the cow and the drinks could be purchased on credit, with the understanding that the guests will donate money to the celebrant, and after the party, careful accounting is done to settle all outstanding debts; where the guests fail to be generous, the result could be the gnashing of teeth and embarrassment by creditors. Home video producers in Nollywood have dramatized aspects of the contradictions in this owambe culture: poor people struggling hard to please others, irresponsible children who would not take good care of their parents while they were alive, preferring to bury them lavishly, how owambe parties provide fertile grounds for cuckoldry- what with the men and women dancing seductively, gyrating suggestively, all under the influence of alcohol; and how persons who choose to be restrained are stigmatized as stingy and anti-social.

These days however, the owambe culture appears to be vanishing. Perhaps, it is safer to state that it is reducing; the creeping epidemic of poverty is compelling a revision of expenditures, even among fun-loving persons. The rich, those who can afford to indulge themselves and their guests still throw lavish parties, and I guess, no one can stop the rich from having leisure. With their hard-earned money though. Government officials who steal public funds to organize owambe parties, or company executives who loot the till, just so they can be seen to belong to the "jollofing" class cannot be excused. But among ordinary people, the owambe culture is being modified, a culture of restraint is emerging, although it is difficult to predict how long this would last. It used to be a sin not to have a musician on the bandstand at an owambe party; many families these days make do with musical sets, or a one-man band, with the sole musician stealing all possible copyrights and providing entertainment all the same.

It was a sin not to buy the aso ebi: these days when you demur, and insist you'd rather wear your own clothes, people tend to understand. On many occasions, the celebrant simply announces the chosen colours for the party, all you are required to do is to wear caps or headgears of matching colour. Ordinarily, people threw parties in the past, to show off, to impress. The Yoruba used to boast: "ariya has no end, miliki is unlimited". There can be no limit to joyful celebration. You could go to a party and drink as much as you wanted. Up till the eighties, if you asked for drinks, you could be served a carton load! People attended parties, with plastic bags hidden in their pockets, to cart away food and drinks.

This still happens in well-appointed parties, but increasingly party organizers have become very vigilant. It could be difficult getting an endless flow of drinks, except you are very close to the celebrant or you are a special guest. In the past, you could join any party without an invitation card, a complete stranger, and expect to be served food, and drinks and given gift items. That trick may not work these days. Celebrants look out for their own guests, unknown guests looking for free food are politely asked to move on by fierce-looking guards with bulging biceps. For many, a party these days is even a fund-raising event, carefully designed to generate profit, not to impress anybody. A special economy has developed around the aso ebi for example; shamelessly, the celebrant inflates the cost of the material, and you are expected to oblige.

Most parties were held on weekends in the past: weddings were reserved for Saturdays and funerals on Fridays: everyone looked forward to the weekend- it was the time for parties. The weekends are still busy across the country, but the calendar of social parties is changing. People now hold parties on virtually any day of the week: weddings on Tuesdays, funerals on Mondays, during office hours! Loud house warming, "car washing" and such wasteful social events are gradually disappearing. You don't need to be told that people no longer plan to entertain the whole community with free food! You could be told: "We are Jehovah's witnesses" or "We are Methodists!"

It used to be a taboo to hold a party during the Lenten season or the Muslim fasting period: Christians kept the bodies of their departed loved ones in the mortuary until after such seasons, and held the funeral at a time when every guest would be able to eat freely. Not anymore. Most people would be glad to have a party when everyone is fasting! And when last did you see anyone at a bar, saying: "Everybody one bottle, serve them round, owambe!" Fewer people now engage in that tradition of burying the dead afresh after ten years, or as the Yoruba would say: "turning the back of the dead". With the living almost dead from hunger and the pangs of poverty, they'd rather allow the dead to remain dead!

Every weekend, so much gaiety is still seen on our streets, a sign, it may be argued that Nigerians still manage to be happy, in spite of the poverty in the land, but it is not the same; not the same owambe culture we used to know, caterers, chairs, tables and canopy suppliers, managers of party tents, and musicians still get orders for their services, but something has happened, and it is perceptible; with most parties now almost a silent battlefield between the partying crowd and the horde of area boys, and beggars, who remind everyone else of the paradox of poverty, and the potential risk of an armed robbery attack after an ostentatious party.



1 2
Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Reuben Abati posted on 06-03-2011, 12:08:49 PM
The vanishing 'owambe' culture

SOMETHING serious seems to be happening to the age-old "owambe" culture in Nigeria, a reflection of the dynamism of culture and of the telling manner in which economic conditions impact on socio-cultural expressions. The "owambe" phenomenon is one of the established patterns of social life, particularly among the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria. By the 70s and 80s, up till the 90s, no weekend was complete without someone throwing a lavish party: every social incident, including the purchase of a new car, even a second hand car, or a refrigerator for the household, deaths, birth, a promotion in the office, weddings, a journey- pilgrimage to Mecca or Jerusalem, or any trip overseas, or return from such trips occasioned huge celebrations; if a new house had just been completed, it had to be "warmed," and if it was a car, it had to be "washed", not with soap and water of course, but carton loads of drinks, greedily consumed by neighbours who were called upon to share the glory of success.user posted image

The social station of the celebrant determined the scope and richness of the celebration, but for major events like funerals, child naming ceremonies, weddings, graduation parties, there was a conventional template which social pressure turned into an obligation. The character of that template is like this: to really belong to the "owambe crowd" , a Yoruba word that means "we have it, so we can flaunt it"; no party is complete without the notorious "aso ebi" (group attire) which every invitee is expected to buy and wear as a tag of identification with the celebrant; the party itself is deliberately loud, with food and drinks generously provided, and wasted (owambe!); and there would be a musician on the bandstand, the more popular the artiste the better. The venue of such parties used to be a school field, or the streets, deliberately shut down to attract more attention, until state governments banned the holding of parties on main roads. One notorious man once shut down the Lagos-Benin expressway for his mother's funeral party! Â Soon, it became fashionable to rent events centres, really expensive events centres; and the party could go on all night-long.

The owambe parties became so frequent and often resulted in armed robbery attacks, and high rate of vehicle accidents the morning after; consequently, some state governments banned night parties. Still, this did not discourage the party goers and the generous celebrants. Parties held during the day-time were just as robust and showy, and the Yoruba were the most notorious promoters of this culture, with the men's expansive, parachute-like agbada, and the women's headgears of different designs, shapes and sizes, all creatively embroidered and worn with accustomed grace.

On a typical weekend, an average couple could be invited to about five parties, with five different "aso ebis", changing from one attire to the other, rushing from one end of the city to another. Usually what was meant to be a lot of fun, was invariably a lot of work and quite an expensive pre-occupation. Most persons woke up on Monday morning, completely worn out, groggy from weekend partying, and broke-celebrants expect gifts, the musicians expect to be decorated with cash: and this is a spectacle unto itself, naira plunking, later demonized by the Central Bank of Nigeria as an abuse of the national currency, but no one has listened, is a special art, easily converted into an entertaining spectacle by those who have mastered it. So common was the owambe among the Yoruba that other Nigerians who seemed to be more restrained soon began to organize owambe parties too: the oil boom had made easy money possible, and for years, Nigerians really lived it up. One contemporary English dictionary, describes the Yoruba  as "the fun-loving people of West Africa!"

But the culture of ostentation was not just a product of the oil boom; it resulted in a certain madness in society, an inversion of values. Even the poor felt compelled to borrow money to throw lavish parties just so they could meet public expectations. Funerals in particular provided special excuse for indebtedness or bankruptcy. Driven by folk beliefs that it is compulsory to give one's parents a befitting burial, persons who could not afford to feed themselves took loans to feed guests - among the local people, the cow and the drinks could be purchased on credit, with the understanding that the guests will donate money to the celebrant, and after the party, careful accounting is done to settle all outstanding debts; where the guests fail to be generous, the result could be the gnashing of teeth and embarrassment by creditors. Â Home video producers in Nollywood have dramatized aspects of the contradictions in this owambe culture: poor people struggling hard to please others, irresponsible children who would not take good care of their parents while they were alive, preferring to bury them lavishly, how owambe parties provide fertile grounds for cuckoldry- what with the men and women dancing seductively, gyrating suggestively, all under the influence of alcohol; and how persons who choose to be restrained are stigmatized as stingy and anti-social.

These days however, the owambe culture appears to be vanishing. Perhaps, it is safer to state that it is reducing; the creeping epidemic of poverty is compelling a revision of expenditures, even among fun-loving persons. Â The rich, those who can afford to indulge themselves and their guests still throw lavish parties, and I guess, no one can stop the rich from having leisure. With their hard-earned money though. Government officials who steal public funds to organize owambe parties, or company executives who loot the till, just so they can be seen to belong to the "jollofing" class cannot be excused. But among ordinary people, the owambe culture is being modified, a culture of restraint is emerging, although it is difficult to predict how long this would last. It used to be a sin not to have a musician on the bandstand at an owambe party; many families these days make do with musical sets, or a one-man band, with the sole musician stealing all possible copyrights and providing entertainment all the same.

It was a sin not to buy the aso ebi:  these days when you demur, and insist you'd rather wear your own clothes, people tend to understand. On many occasions, the celebrant simply announces the chosen colours for the party, all you are required to do is to wear caps or headgears of matching colour. Ordinarily, people threw parties in the past, to show off, to impress. The Yoruba used to boast: "ariya has no end, miliki is unlimited". There can be no limit to joyful celebration. You could go to a party and drink as much as you wanted. Up till the eighties, if you asked for drinks, you could be served a carton load! People attended parties, with plastic bags hidden in their pockets, to cart away food and drinks.

This still happens in well-appointed parties, but increasingly party organizers have become very vigilant. It could be difficult getting an endless flow of drinks, except you are very close to the celebrant or you are a special guest. Â In the past, you could join any party without an invitation card, a complete stranger, and expect to be served food, and drinks and given gift items. That trick may not work these days. Celebrants look out for their own guests, unknown guests looking for free food are politely asked to move on by fierce-looking guards with bulging biceps. For many, a party these days is even a fund-raising event, carefully designed to generate profit, not to impress anybody. Â A special economy has developed around the aso ebi for example; shamelessly, the celebrant inflates the cost of the material, and you are expected to oblige.

Most parties were held on weekends in the past: weddings were reserved for Saturdays and funerals on Fridays: everyone looked forward to the weekend- it was the time for parties. The weekends are still busy across the country, but the calendar of social parties is changing. People now hold parties on virtually any day of the week: weddings on Tuesdays, funerals on Mondays, during office hours! Loud house warming, "car washing" and such wasteful social events are gradually disappearing. You don't need to be told that people no longer plan to entertain the whole community with free food! You could be told: "We are Jehovah's witnesses" or "We are Methodists!"

It used to be a taboo to hold a party during the Lenten season or the Muslim fasting period: Christians kept the bodies of their departed loved ones in the mortuary until after such seasons, and held the funeral at a time when every guest would be able to eat freely. Not anymore. Most people would be glad to have a party when everyone is fasting! And when last did you see anyone at a bar, saying: "Everybody one bottle, serve them round, owambe!" Fewer people now engage in that tradition of burying the dead afresh after ten years, or as the Yoruba would say: "turning the back of the dead". With the living almost dead from hunger and the pangs of poverty, they'd rather allow the dead to remain dead!

Every weekend, so much gaiety is still seen on our streets, a sign, it may be argued that Nigerians still manage to be happy, in spite of the poverty in the land, but it is not the same; not the same owambe culture we used to know, caterers, chairs, tables and canopy suppliers, managers of party tents, and musicians still get orders for their services, but something has happened, and it is perceptible; with most parties now almost a silent battlefield between the partying crowd and the horde of area boys, and beggars, who remind everyone else of the paradox of poverty, and the potential risk of an armed robbery attack after an ostentatious party.

Read full article
Re: Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Hellofadude posted on 06-03-2011, 12:08:49 PM

The vanishing ‘owambe' culture


SOMETHING serious seems to be happening to the age-old "owambe" culture in Nigeria, a reflection of the dynamism of culture and of the telling manner in which economic conditions impact on socio-cultural expressions. The "owambe" phenomenon is one of the established patterns of social life, particularly among the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria. By the 70s and 80s, up till the 90s, no weekend was complete without someone throwing a lavish party: every social incident, including the purchase of a new car, even a second hand car, or a refrigerator for the household, deaths, birth, a promotion in the office, weddings, a journey- pilgrimage to Mecca or Jerusalem, or any trip overseas, or return from such trips occasioned huge celebrations; if a new house had just been completed, it had to be "warmed," and if it was a car, it had to be "washed", not with soap and water of course, but carton loads of drinks, greedily consumed by neighbours who were called upon to share the glory of success.alt


The social station of the celebrant determined the scope and richness of the celebration, but for major events like funerals, child naming ceremonies, weddings, graduation parties, there was a conventional template which social pressure turned into an obligation. The character of that template is like this: to really belong to the "owambe crowd" , a Yoruba word that means "we have it, so we can flaunt it"; no party is complete without the notorious "aso ebi" (group attire) which every invitee is expected to buy and wear as a tag of identification with the celebrant; the party itself is deliberately loud, with food and drinks generously provided, and wasted (owambe!); and there would be a musician on the bandstand, the more popular the artiste the better. The venue of such parties used to be a school field, or the streets, deliberately shut down to attract more attention, until state governments banned the holding of parties on main roads. One notorious man once shut down the Lagos-Benin expressway for his mother's funeral party! Soon, it became fashionable to rent events centres, really expensive events centres; and the party could go on all night-long.


The owambe parties became so frequent and often resulted in armed robbery attacks, and high rate of vehicle accidents the morning after; consequently, some state governments banned night parties. Still, this did not discourage the party goers and the generous celebrants. Parties held during the day-time were just as robust and showy, and the Yoruba were the most notorious promoters of this culture, with the men's expansive, parachute-like agbada, and the women's headgears of different designs, shapes and sizes, all creatively embroidered and worn with accustomed grace.


On a typical weekend, an average couple could be invited to about five parties, with five different "aso ebis", changing from one attire to the other, rushing from one end of the city to another. Usually what was meant to be a lot of fun, was invariably a lot of work and quite an expensive pre-occupation. Most persons woke up on Monday morning, completely worn out, groggy from weekend partying, and broke–celebrants expect gifts, the musicians expect to be decorated with cash: and this is a spectacle unto itself, naira plunking, later demonized by the Central Bank of Nigeria as an abuse of the national currency, but no one has listened, is a special art, easily converted into an entertaining spectacle by those who have mastered it. So common was the owambe among the Yoruba that other Nigerians who seemed to be more restrained soon began to organize owambe parties too: the oil boom had made easy money possible, and for years, Nigerians really lived it up. One contemporary English dictionary, describes the Yoruba as "the fun-loving people of West Africa!"


But the culture of ostentation was not just a product of the oil boom; it resulted in a certain madness in society, an inversion of values. Even the poor felt compelled to borrow money to throw lavish parties just so they could meet public expectations. Funerals in particular provided special excuse for indebtedness or bankruptcy. Driven by folk beliefs that it is compulsory to give one's parents a befitting burial, persons who could not afford to feed themselves took loans to feed guests - among the local people, the cow and the drinks could be purchased on credit, with the understanding that the guests will donate money to the celebrant, and after the party, careful accounting is done to settle all outstanding debts; where the guests fail to be generous, the result could be the gnashing of teeth and embarrassment by creditors. Home video producers in Nollywood have dramatized aspects of the contradictions in this owambe culture: poor people struggling hard to please others, irresponsible children who would not take good care of their parents while they were alive, preferring to bury them lavishly, how owambe parties provide fertile grounds for cuckoldry- what with the men and women dancing seductively, gyrating suggestively, all under the influence of alcohol; and how persons who choose to be restrained are stigmatized as stingy and anti-social.


These days however, the owambe culture appears to be vanishing. Perhaps, it is safer to state that it is reducing; the creeping epidemic of poverty is compelling a revision of expenditures, even among fun-loving persons. The rich, those who can afford to indulge themselves and their guests still throw lavish parties, and I guess, no one can stop the rich from having leisure. With their hard-earned money though. Government officials who steal public funds to organize owambe parties, or company executives who loot the till, just so they can be seen to belong to the "jollofing" class cannot be excused. But among ordinary people, the owambe culture is being modified, a culture of restraint is emerging, although it is difficult to predict how long this would last. It used to be a sin not to have a musician on the bandstand at an owambe party; many families these days make do with musical sets, or a one-man band, with the sole musician stealing all possible copyrights and providing entertainment all the same.


It was a sin not to buy the aso ebi: these days when you demur, and insist you'd rather wear your own clothes, people tend to understand. On many occasions, the celebrant simply announces the chosen colours for the party, all you are required to do is to wear caps or headgears of matching colour. Ordinarily, people threw parties in the past, to show off, to impress. The Yoruba used to boast: "ariya has no end, miliki is unlimited". There can be no limit to joyful celebration. You could go to a party and drink as much as you wanted. Up till the eighties, if you asked for drinks, you could be served a carton load! People attended parties, with plastic bags hidden in their pockets, to cart away food and drinks.


This still happens in well-appointed parties, but increasingly party organizers have become very vigilant. It could be difficult getting an endless flow of drinks, except you are very close to the celebrant or you are a special guest. In the past, you could join any party without an invitation card, a complete stranger, and expect to be served food, and drinks and given gift items. That trick may not work these days. Celebrants look out for their own guests, unknown guests looking for free food are politely asked to move on by fierce-looking guards with bulging biceps. For many, a party these days is even a fund-raising event, carefully designed to generate profit, not to impress anybody. A special economy has developed around the aso ebi for example; shamelessly, the celebrant inflates the cost of the material, and you are expected to oblige.


Most parties were held on weekends in the past: weddings were reserved for Saturdays and funerals on Fridays: everyone looked forward to the weekend- it was the time for parties. The weekends are still busy across the country, but the calendar of social parties is changing. People now hold parties on virtually any day of the week: weddings on Tuesdays, funerals on Mondays, during office hours! Loud house warming, "car washing" and such wasteful social events are gradually disappearing. You don't need to be told that people no longer plan to entertain the whole community with free food! You could be told: "We are Jehovah's witnesses" or "We are Methodists!"


It used to be a taboo to hold a party during the Lenten season or the Muslim fasting period: Christians kept the bodies of their departed loved ones in the mortuary until after such seasons, and held the funeral at a time when every guest would be able to eat freely. Not anymore. Most people would be glad to have a party when everyone is fasting! And when last did you see anyone at a bar, saying: "Everybody one bottle, serve them round, owambe!" Fewer people now engage in that tradition of burying the dead afresh after ten years, or as the Yoruba would say: "turning the back of the dead". With the living almost dead from hunger and the pangs of poverty, they'd rather allow the dead to remain dead!


Every weekend, so much gaiety is still seen on our streets, a sign, it may be argued that Nigerians still manage to be happy, in spite of the poverty in the land, but it is not the same; not the same owambe culture we used to know, caterers, chairs, tables and canopy suppliers, managers of party tents, and musicians still get orders for their services, but something has happened, and it is perceptible; with most parties now almost a silent battlefield between the partying crowd and the horde of area boys, and beggars, who remind everyone else of the paradox of poverty, and the potential risk of an armed robbery attack after an ostentatious party.



..Read the full article
Re: Abati: The Vanishing Owambe Culture
Aristarchy posted on 06-03-2011, 12:09:10 PM
Hell of a Man.
Really, do you have to go all ETHNIC on that.
Geee Weez !
Re: Abati: The Vanishing Owambe Culture
Ebulord posted on 06-03-2011, 16:10:05 PM
Thanks for this piece of yours, you brought my attention to something that has been there that i never knew of.
Re: Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Tanibaba posted on 06-03-2011, 16:47:38 PM
Dr Abati thanks for a well written piece. Although I agree with you that some negative factors such as armed robbery, bad attitude of area boys and such others mentioned in your article pose serious dangers to the full enjoyment of owambe these days, there is no reason to suggest that the cultural practice is vanishing. I don't mean this with any disrespect but I think Dr. Abati has moved up and so may not be able to properly feel owambe in its raw state.
This cultural practice has become a way of life not only for Yoruba people but for others. We just love to celebrate. Unfortunately, the Yorubas were derided and called names in the early 70s through to the 80s simply because of their strong attachment to Owambe parties. However today those who were insulting them have adopted this way of life wholesale and even do more of owambe than the Yorubas these days!
Owambe is not just about dancing, eating and merry making. It is also an economic system that ensures the redistribution of income in some ways. Drummers, meat sellers, DJs, musicians, handkerchief sellers, costume sellers, etc are guaranteed income almost on a weekly basis.
Someone once said that the birth of every new child is a reminder that God is not yet fed up with the evil ways of men. And if that is true, why should owambe vanish. The indiscriminate throwing of unplanned and ad-hoc parties may have vanished due to the harsh economic conditions and ever reducing sources of free money, however it is just inconceivable that there will be no marriage or child-naming ceremony somewhere tomorrow morning. It is just inconceivable simply because that will be one of the signs of the end time.

On a lighter note, Dr Abati is it not true that you have received more invitations in recent times to be the MC at some "corporate owambes" Afterall Owambe is Owambe? Just joking

taslim
Re: Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Emj posted on 06-03-2011, 17:59:02 PM
Eherm Reuby, na who give u permission to use that pikishur.......lol

QUOTE:
This still happens in well-appointed parties, but increasingly party organizers have become very vigilant. It could be difficult getting an endless flow of drinks, except you are very close to the celebrant or you are a special guest. Â*In the past, you could join any party without an invitation card, a complete stranger, and expect to be served food, and drinks and given gift items. That trick may not work these days. Celebrants look out for their own guests, unknown guests looking for free food are politely asked to move on by fierce-looking guards with bulging biceps. For many, a party these days is even a fund-raising event, carefully designed to generate profit, not to impress anybody. Â*A special economy has developed around the aso ebi for example; shamelessly, the celebrant inflates the cost of the material, and you are expected to oblige.


Ariya ko lopin...........owambe unlimited.......
Re: Abati: The Vanishing Owambe Culture
I Love Nigeria posted on 06-04-2011, 20:14:48 PM
Owanbe! Is Here, A Guide Book On How Life Is Lived in Nigeria
http://adujie-writings.blogspot.com/2010/05/owanbe-is-here-guide-book-on-how-life.html

Professors Abi Adegboye and Ibiyemi Dare have written a most fascinating account on how life is lived in Western Nigeria in the book, Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life. This superb "How-To" Manual details many aspects of Yoruba culture in a conversational, user-friendly manner. It is timely, prescient, and profound. It comes at a time when more and more Nigerians live in the Diaspora.

This well written, appealing, and well-documented cultural masterpiece is profound for many reasons, but two immediate reasons will suffice. The first reason is the dearth and paucity of similar writings, documentations, and recordation of how life is lived in Nigeria, and in fact, all of Africa. As a consequence, some non-Africans have in the past engaged in the blissful ignorance of asserting erroneously, that Africans have no contributions to poetries and songs, and so, poets are John Keats and John Donne and song writers and composers are Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart - all because Nigerians and other Africans did not engage in the good business of documenting and recording our poetries and songs.

This book also contains exhaustive references and sources, and is a well thought out encyclopedia of our wonderful culture, including recipes for culturally derived Nigerian-African cuisine which will delight the most discerning palate!

Owanbe! Earned my two thumbs up! It is a prodigious effort to chronicle, preserve and protect our culture and how life is lived in our part of the world. Owanbe! will rekindle and reinforce these aspects of our culture, just as it provides a window of opportunity for all global and universal citizens worldwide to partake in our vibrant, colorful and very rich and meaningful cultural practices

To Read Complete Review of the book, "OWAMBE".... follow the links below:
Owanbe! Is Here, A Guide Book On How Life Is Lived in Nigeria
http://adujie-writings.blogspot.com/2010/05/owanbe-is-here-guide-book-on-how-life.html
Re: Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Tanibaba posted on 06-05-2011, 05:36:05 AM
ILN,

Thanks for that piece. Indeed " when a new child is born it brings with it the hope that God is not yet disappointed with men" This is a very interesting topic.

Meanwhile can we enjoy the Original Owambe music


[video=youtube;jtsgHxGFXp8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtsgHxGFXp8&feature=related[/video]

by Tunde Nightingale. This says a lot about the long history of the Yorubas, writing and recording of music in Yorubaland.

taslim
Re: Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Tanibaba posted on 06-05-2011, 05:49:25 AM
[video=youtube;zYNSf4tCiVM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYNSf4tCiVM&feature=related[/video]

Please note the aso ebi , the dancing steps, the indigenous musical instruments and the positive effect of owambe on the people


[video=youtube;ZtaJjiWVs9c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtaJjiWVs9c&feature=related[/video]

taslim
Re: Abati: The vanishing 'owambe' culture
Tanibaba posted on 06-05-2011, 06:07:25 AM
One distinguishing feature in almost every Yoruba home on sundays in the 60s was the blaring of Apala/Sakara music. It is what oyibos call soul music - slow, sonorous voice, heavy percussion, danceable rhythms and rich Yoruba proverbs. This is the Yoruba man - his music defines him


[video=youtube;M4ne5e_u0Is]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4ne5e_u0Is&feature=related[/video]


[video=youtube;VgjqJX2qcp0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgjqJX2qcp0&feature=related[/video]


[video=youtube;E038kPfBFDo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E038kPfBFDo&feature=related[/video]

[video=youtube;p7VhgRL1Vtw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7VhgRL1Vtw&feature=related[/video]

memories, memories, memories.

The absence of rich cultural music may also have affected the quality of owambe these days. There are just not too many of good and dedicated musicians anymore. it is a pity

taslim
1 2
Please register before you can make new comment