We promote our unique traditional attires through trade fairs,cultural competitions,says Benue Govt.

The Benue Government says it is promoting the unique traditional attires of the three major tribes in the state,Tiv,Idoma and Igede,through trade fairs and cultural competitions.The Special Adviser to the state Governor on Culture and Tourism,Mr Tahav Agerzua, stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Makurdi.Agerzua said that all the three major tribes had their unique attires that made them stand out from the crowd.He said the different traditional attires represented symbols of unity and peace among the different tribes in the state.our correspondent reports that the Benue attires have different names attached to them-the Tiv traditional attire is called Anger Ivavtyo; the Idoma traditional attire is known as Ili K’ Idoma,while the Igedes have Ogodogodo.“The government tries to boost these cultures by organising trade fairs, cultural competitions in and out of the state to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state,” the special adviser said.He further said that the tribes had different festivals where their attires were being showcased and celebrated for all and sundry to see.He said the Tiv people showcased their attires mostly when there was a traditional marriage ceremony.“The Idoma people showcase their attires when they worship their deceased ancestors to reinforce contact between the deceased and the living.“The Igede people showcase theirs when they have their yam festivals which attract tourists from all over the world,” Agerzua said.He also said that the Benue dance troupe had been invited to grace occasions both in Nigeria and abroad to exhibit its unique dance steps called ‘Swange’ and had won many awards even at the international level.“People who travel into the state capital, Makurdi, when entering the state, stop at North Bank road to buy our colourful attires which look very attractive,” he said.Also speaking to our correspondent, a resident of Makurdi,Mr Terfa Wende,said that the state could boost its people’s cultures by encouraging its citizens to wear these attires to different occasions.“I know that that the State Government has put up trade fairs and exhibition to showcase the Benue attires and its rich heritage thereby attracting tourists to the state,”Wende said.Meanwhile, Mr Amos Terseer, a Weaver, said that he had been weaving and selling the state traditional attires for 12 years, and that the patronage had so far been good.“We usually get most of our customers from outside Benue especially those who are either travelling to the East or coming to visit friends in Benue.“At times I make up to N20,000 to N30,000 in two weeks and maybe more when sales are really good,” Terseer said.He,however, appealed to the state government to support weavers,especially to acquire modern machines to enable them to boost their production.Another resident,Mr James Agbo,said he felt good and very proud of his tribe when he wore his Idoma attire.Agbo further said that people were visiting the state to buy either the Tiv,Idoma or Igede attires to take back home.“These attires are unique and this attracts people from far and wide to Benue who buy them for their loved ones at home,” he said.

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