Benue receives UNESCO Certificate of Inscription of Kwagh-Hir theater


By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Benue state government has received the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, Certificate of Inscription of Kwagh-Hir theater.

Making the presentation Thursday in Makurdi, Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation, NICO, Mr. Muhammad Yahuza explained that the nomination of Kwagh-Hir was adopted during the 14th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Bogota, Colombia 2019.

Yahuza explained that with the Kwagh-Hir inscription, Nigeria now had five cultural heritage on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.

He further disclosed that with the Inscription “Kwaghhir Theatre can now enjoy the support and protection of UNESCO.”

He commended Governor Samuel Ortom and the Government of Benue State for their unending support to the promotion of the Nigerian cultural heritage.

According to him, the “inscription will also increase visibility for the element and at the same time enhance the dignity and pride of the performing communities.

“Besides, Kwagh-Hir theatrical performance has earned international recognition as a tourist destination and as such a potential foreign exchange earner for Nigeria and the State.”

He said other cultures earlier inscribed in Nigeria on the UNSECO world heritage map were: Oral Heritage of Gelede (2008), Ifa Divination System (2008), Ijele Masquerade (2009), and Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival (2016).

Receiving the certificate Governor Ortom who was represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu said “Kwagh-Hir theatrical performance reinforces our unique traditional beliefs, upholds our culture and behavioral attributes of the Tiv people.”

The Governor described Kwagh-Hir as a cultural heritage performance of Tiv-speaking people of North Central Nigeria which dramatists conveys deep meaning, with some kind of mysteries.

He said the Kwagh-Hir artists through animated characters in some cases express the deep-rooted cultural heritage of the Tiv people which deserved world recognition

Vanguard News Nigeria

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