EJLLS Publication

Title: Iria Costumes as Cultural Identity in the Port-Harcourt Carnival, Rivers State
Author(s): Rita Sani INE-ERE
Abstract: Many cultures or people in the world have been able to express their cultural values by the use of dresses or costumes at one occasion or another. Most of the traditional dress patterns are held in very high esteem among various traditional societies. Africans use indigenous dress patterns and textiles as an expression of cultural heritage in many occasions to promote and preserve the traditional culture. Textiles serve as enabling materials in the hands of Textile and fashion designers who use them to create various dresses, costumes and ornamentals in the Port-Harcourt Carnival. The Iria cultural troupes display a lot of dress patterns with ornamentals in their performances with music and dance. The Iria dance serves as a cultural folklore with dignified steps that are breathtaking in any occasion. It is a special ceremony in womenfolk as it pertains to the rites of womanhood and cultural identity. However, there is no research that focused on the Iria costumes as cultural identity in the Port-Harcourt Carnival. The objectives in this study are to identify the symbolic importance of Iria costumes and to ascertain its essence as a social force and cultural identity. The methodology of this study is based on qualitative research procedures which draw on both the descriptive and illustrative approaches.
Keywords: Iria, Costume, Identity, Carnival, Port-Harcourt