The importance of dance in African societies


By: Ima Elijah

Akwaibom, Nigeria, 2019

Dance is an active tool in African societies because it not only expresses the feelings and aspirations of the people but it also showcases the cultural values that are entrenched in the people’s culture. Interestingly, our traditional dances possess all these qualities thereby making these dances an instrument of communicating social values.

Ekombi is a traditional dance amongst the Efik people in Calabar, Cross River State – Nigeria. Ekombi dance is etymologically linked with the sea and all that is in it. The aquatic world remains the pivotal arena. The movements are derived from the motions of the ocean. The Efiks have great respect for the mermaids and there is a strong belief that her happiness or anger modulates the social conditions in the society

It is a graceful dance with incredible footwork, it’s a dance of peace and happiness. Ekombi shows a woman’s beauty and femininity, the dance is also used as a platform to choose a partner for marriage.