The South Eastern part of Nigeria is noted for unique cultural practices which serve both as symbolic activities and tourist attractions. One of such unique attractions is the Ufie traditional music.
The Ufie music is a sacred music danced by Ozo holders on special Igbo religious festivals such as the New Yam Festival.
Rural news tourism took us to Ukwulu, a town in Dunukofia Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State where we witnessed the Ufie music played at the celebration of new yam festival by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Peter Uyanwa, Ezedike of Ukwulu Kingdom.
An Ufie is an Igbo traditional musical instrument. It is a type of wooden gong with rectangular cavity ‘slits’ in the hollowed out interior. The Ufie is made out of wood most commonly a tree trunk. It produces sounds supported by sounds of Oyo to produce the unique sacred dance of the titled men.
Ufie music is a type of traditional music played with a musical instrument called Ufie. It is one of the oldest and most important music types played and performed in Igbo land, especially in towns in Anambra State, South Eastern part of Nigeria. The music is played by only two persons, the one playing the Ufie instrument, and another person handling the Oyo which combines with the Ufie sound to produce the royal music. It is performed during important ceremonial occasions, festivals, rituals and other significant communal events. The significance of this musical genre lies its use in preserving the cultural heritage of people in places where it is performed. It portrays royalty, bravery, elegance and elite economic class. Only titled men especially of the Nze na Ozo class are qualified to dance to the Ufie music.
Though the Ufie music heritage faces the risk of extinction due to lack of interest by the younger generation who find other types of music more interesting, it still carries the aura of elegance even in modern society whenever it is played.