ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ohafia War Dance: The Traditional War Dance of Ohafia People

Updated on February 10, 2020
tony55 profile image

This author loves to research and write about traditional cultures.

The Ohafia People

The Ohafia people are found in the Eastern part of Nigeria in Ohafia local government located in Abia State. The ethnic population are Igbo people renowned for their brave warriors. They have unique tradition, music, dances and attire.

On festivals days they showcase the best of an ancient traditional for an excited audience. People that witness the dance glimpse a thrilling performance of rhythm, beat and sound of an ancient tribe. Only men are permitted to perform the dance and beat the drums.

Ohafia traditional dancers

Ohafia traditional dancers
Ohafia traditional dancers
Ohafia traditional dancers
Ohafia traditional dancers

History of the dance

The Ohafia tribe of Abia state were renowned fighters in ancient warfare. The dance reminiscent of celebrations after a successful battle as a victory dance to honor warriors of the tribe. Notable head hunters a warrior was honored in for the number of human heads he brought back from war. Proven fighters they were also known as mercenaries who fought for the oppressed.

The Entrance

On a modern stage a contemporary audience waited patiently as the season offered trappings of fun and enjoyment. They see a well-lit stage with assortment of traditional musical instrument, flutes, traditional drums, trappings of an unfolding thriller.

At a corner dancers in different attires standby eagerly waiting their turn to perform. lights deem giving an eerie feel only a small light illuminates the stage. Suddenly a sounds sent a chill through the audience a fearful shriek in the still room to test the faith of strongmen.

The hideous sound reverberated through the terrified audience as a distressed call of a tortured embattled soul. As the continuous wailing waned some people stood in anticipation while others sat rigid, frozen to the spot.

The esoteric moment sustained then appeared a frightful wild-faced old man stripped to the waist in loin cloth tied to one side of his hip. Like the bloodthirsty warlords of old he brandished a long machete in a menacing purposeful way. Some made straight for the exits while a few fainted at the spectacle others clapped in anticipation.

History of Igbo People

The Dancers and Attire

The old man seeming lust to kill was obvious with purpose and meaning. Children burst into tears holding tight to mothers. Suddenly a wave of melodious sounds filled the theater as drumbeats reached an alarming crescendo within minutes.

The attire

Then more men bare chested with loin cloths entered the stage their faces especially the eyes covered with goggle-like chalk markings. Some had two short chalk marking on either side of the chest.

Apart from the loin cloth sometime tied at the waist they wore local cap. On their elbows they had raffia and all were bare footed. One man on his head carried a long heavy laden structure full of ritualistic items. While another held a live chicken by the legs in one hand brandishing it with reckless abandon.

The outfit

  • bare chested
  • loin cloths
  • eyes covered with chalk markings
  • two short chalk marking on either side of the chest
  • local muffler cap
  • elbows with raffia
  • bare footed
  • long heavy laden structure

Ohafia War Dance

The Dance

As the drums roared with purpose the able bodied men dance to the beat. They wriggle their bodies in a mesmerizing muscular dance. They one carrying the laden wand of concoction dance as though he carried a feather. The one with the cock danced to the tune waving the cock at the dances.

Instruments

  • drums
  • flute
  • gongs
  • sticks

The dance

Who are not permitted to perform the War Dance?

See results

Instrument

Primary instrument used in the performance are the drums and flute. The collocation of drums, gongs and sticks complimented the trilling sound. They trilled the audient transporting them to an ancient culture of their forefathers. The audience watched transfixed spell-bound in awe of the ancient dance. For those that exited at the sight of the machete holding old-man they missed an unforgettable performance.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 femi

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      This is an interesting account of a traditional tribal dance.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)