MEDIATIZATION OF NDOKWA MASQUERADE PERFORMANCES: THE AESTHETIC DYNAMICS OF AN AFRICAN INDIGENOUS CARNIVAL
Palabras clave:Aesthetics, Cultural product, Cultural exchange, Ndokwa masquerade performances, Nigeria, Mediatization
This article examines the mediatization of the aesthetic dynamics or dimensions in the masquerade performances of the Ndokwa people in Delta State, Nigeria. Masquerade performances and carnivals are spectacular indigenous theatrical activities or forms that involve the impersonation of fictive characters by costumed performers in Nigeria and across Africa. These art forms share similar elements that make them culturally significant in terms of creativity and social commentary. The Ndokwa masquerade performances during festive celebrations have been on for over two decades but have virtually not been given the deserved publicity to project them as fine tourist events. Deploying Etop Akwang’s “Medialization” model, this study uses historical-analytic, key informant interview (KII) and direct observation to consider the uniqueness of the Ndokwa masquerade performance. It holds that the masquerade performance is a valuable cultural product that combines the characteristics of carnivals and celebrations of fluid cultural exchange that appear to have led to hybridized cultural performances amongst the people. It highlights some of the aesthetic dimensions of the Ndokwa masquerades and how they could be made more culturally viable and economically appealing through the use of new media outlets. This article, therefore, advocates for the use of social media as a trendy form of mediatization or media production to give visibility to Ndokwa masquerade performances in the global cultural space.