Ekombi is a traditional dance amongst the Efik people in Calabar, Cross River State – Nigeria. The movements are derived from the motions of the ocean. It is a graceful dance with incredible footwork, it’s a dance of peace and happiness. Ekombi shows a woman’s beauty and femininity, the dance is also a good platform to choose a partner for marriage.
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The Ekombi dance is done by young maidens of indigenous people of Efik in Cross River state, in the southern part of Nigeria. The Ekombi dance is not tangled to an exact location, as we have seen the Efiks displayed this dance both in foreign and local soils.
Ekombi dance plays a key role amongst the indigenous people of the Efik tribe, as serving as a symbol for their culture. The dance mimics waves of the sea as the Efik are coastal people with, with fishery being their main occupation.
Whoever portray the Efiks dance moves, it may be that they from Efik tribe or were taught by someone from Efik tribe. It has not been stated if this beautiful dance step is attached to any particular Cultural festival, but it stands as a good stage for young men to select their partners.
Ekombi shows a woman’s beauty and femininity; therefore, to showcase the beauty, the maidens are adorned with exceptionally beautiful and colourful costumes and accessories like necklaces, brass combs, and elaborate hairdo, multi-coloured attires sewn in a min skirt and blouse, facial and body make-up.
During the cultural festival, dancers whine stylishly to the rhythmical beats of the Efik drummers mimicking the movement of ocean waves.
Indeed, the beauty of Ekombi dance is seen in a gentle flow of undulating body parts; the right balance struck between obscene eccentricity and graceful swaying.
The Ekombi dance is meant to entertain the audience and tell the story of the indigenous people of the Efik tribe and their heritage. Sound and music accompanies the dance to enrich the entertainment revealing the true nature of the Efik people
The Ekombi dance has impacted positive attribute to the Efk people, giving them a sense of pride of their origin and remind them that the ocean has been a source of income to them both in times past and now.
The ideal age groups for this dance are young maidens that are ripe for marriage. The peculiarities for this dance are the body movements and the attires.
Importantly the dance does not have any strict rules or forbidden aspect it’s mostly for entertainments.