GASPRO International Journal of Eminent Scholars

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Nigeria is one of the largest, socially and culturally most diversified countries in Africa. Because of its diversity of people and culture, Nigeria over the years has been distinguished in the field of arts. The diversity of the country is reflected in the fact that the country has over 250 identified ethnic groups and three large ethno-linguistic entities. The cultural life in Nigeria is marked by tradition and traditional form of cultural events like festivals, arts exhibition, music and dance. This paper will examine the historical trends of arts and festivals as a manifestation of the people’s culture. It will identify several festivals among the different cultural groups in Nigeria and also reveal the hidden treasure of Nigerian culture, its existence and diversity. It will analyze the different events that make up the festivals and survey its contribution to national development. At the end, the paper by contributing to knowledge, will present vivid account of cultural life in Nigeria both at the states and national levels. It will present festival as a tool for the promotion of culture, arts, national unity, and personal interaction, the coming together of different ethnic groups. Equally, the paper will identify culture as continuous and ever changing. This paper made use of both the primary and secondary sources of data collection which includes personal experiences and observations, use of library; published and unpublished materials, life histories, government reports, historical data and information along with previous research. It presents both historical and present form of happenings in the society today and the world at large. One of the findings was that cultural festivals aid the promotion of national unity and stability by encouraging mutual coexistence and relationship among the people. Among other recommendations, it was recommended that there is need to encourage and promote festivals at the national, state and local levels in the country for generations to come as this will encourage cultural identity and pride among the people of Nigerians.
Ekaette Brian Edem
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