FUNCTIONS AND RELEVANCE OF COSTUME IN NGWAS EKPE FESTIVAL
Nigeria offers variety of festivals with sound and rich cultural heritage. The evidences of these festivals are found in all the geo-political zones in the country which serves as veritable instruments of national integration, peaceful co-existence and cultural possibilities.
A number of cultural activities exist in Nigeria, which create unique creative spaces for producers of the arts as well as conducive interactive spaces for tourists and connoisseurs. Many of these cultural activities have been in practice from time and have given the country an acclaim as being culturally super-active. The cultural activities in Cross River State are particularly outstanding from those in many other states of the federation as they showcase diverse creative packages. The state is renowned for its festivals of songs, dances and masquerades at coronation, marriage, burial, naming, planting and harvesting ceremonies. Cross River State is also popular for its hospitality and its culinary productivity – many Nigerians would want to have a taste of ‘Calabar’ food. Tourists also like to visit the numerous cultural and historical sites in Cross River State. While these ceremonies, tourism potentialities and locations have ever been present with the people of Cross River State in Nigeria, not much was done to formalize and organize their presentation to diverse international audiences until the year 1999. The administration of Donald Duke at the inception of Nigeria’s 4th democratic era evolved a dynamic policy to develop the tourism sub-sector as an area of alternative revenue for the state. Part of the plan was to develop a rich tourism calendar to accommodate more (existing) cultural events and in some cases rebrand and repackage them for better appeal. The plan was also to accommodate new events that would appeal to the emerging consumerist culture of the 21st century. So, in all parts of the state there are cultural festivals and artistic practices that appeal to diverse audiences. There is mountain tourism and recreation in the mountainous region of Obudu; there are new yam festivals in the agricultural belt; maiden outing ceremonies, water sports and other art-related events in many communities of the state.
2.1 THE CONCEPT OF COSTUME
Costume is part of actors’ apparatus. It refers to all clothing an individual performing wears in a show, festival or movie. In a broader sense, costume can be applied in many kinds of performance or media like drama and dance. The orchestra players wearing white shirt and black suit to perform in the concert hall, they are also wearing ‘costumes Theatre, television and movie are the medium often showing costume.
Indeed, costume is not garment merely. Jeffrey Kurland (2004), the governor of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, claims that “costume dominate the foreground action throughout a film, shaping the characters and thus helping to move the story forward with what one could describe as the visual narratives". This explanation fulfills the basic definition of costume. Everything wears by the actor will count on costume? This is another issue, to distinguish the accessories belongs to props or wardrobe is quite confused. Nevertheless, costume designer is often much more tend to practical-oriented. The main purpose of wearing costume is to shape and to enhance the character. Costume is not meant to cloth. Unlikely to fashion, costume is not need expensive to show how glamorous or fabulous of the people who wear it. Costume is needed to have such glamorous feeling on screen but it could cost not much. This explains the apparent difference among both of them.
Fashion works on our three-dimensional world but costume is not; film
Costume visualizes the actor and helps them to create their character. There are three key qualities in designing the film costume. Color shows the mood and taste; texture shows the economic status; and style shows personality and occupation. Audience get signal from the costume by the shape and color that can be revealed as welcomed or feared. A good costume is able to show the mentality ofthe character.