THE NEED FOR AN EFFECTIVE CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL AREAS: A CASE STUDY OF THE LEBOOKU FESTIVAL YAKUR CROSS RIVER STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Nigeria as a nation is blessed with various ethnic group with different culture. Culture could be defined as a learned, shared, compelling, and interrelated set of symbols whose meaning provide a set of orientations for members of society Giddens (2003).
Culture is the combination of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and behaviour. It also includes the ideas, value, customs and artefacts of a group of people (Schaefer, 2002).
Culture is a pattern of human activities and the symbols that give these activities significance. It is what people eat, how they dress, beliefs they hold and activities they engage in. It is the totality of the way of life evolved by a people in their attempts to meet the challenges of living in their environment, which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious norms and modes of organization thus distinguishing people from their neighbours Henslin (2007)
According to Akinyele, (2013) stated that Nigerian culture is as multi-ethnic as the people in Nigeria. The people of Nigeria still cherish their traditional languages, music, dance and literature. Nigeria comprises of three large ethnic groups, which are Yoruba, Hausa-Fulani and Igbo. However there are other ethnic groups as well. Thus culture in Nigeria is most positively multi-ethnic which gives a lot of value to different types of arts, which primarily include ivory carving, grass weaving, wood carving, leather and calabash, Pottery, painting, cloth weaving and glass and metal works.
The growth of culture and cultural practices in most of the rural areas in Nigeria has led to various openings in the area of tourist attraction, employment and socio economic well being of the people in these rural areas; these alone shows the need for the growth and development of cultural practices in Nigeria (Okoye, 2002).
It has been established that tourism enables millions of people to gaze on their culture and other cultures at first hand. It offers ‘customized excursions into other cultures and place’ and tourists leave with merchandizing, snapshots and souvenirs that epitomize and evidence the cultural identity they have visited, rather than ‘dead’ culture, in the form of stone monuments and empty palaces, tourists today are seeking ‘live culture’, in the form of people and their ‘colourful, customs, (Wahab and Cooper, 2001).
It is to the interest of the researcher on culture that study wishes to examine the need for an effective cultural development in rural areas using lebooku festival yakur Cross River State as the case study.
1.2 THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF LEBOOKU FESTIVAL YAKUR CORSS RIVER STATE
Leboku is the annual New Yam Festival of the Yakurr people, which comprises Ugep, Idomi, Ekori, Mkpani, Nko, Nyima, Agoi and Asiga communities. The Leboku New Yam festival is peculiar to the core Yakạạ speaking communities of Idomi, Ugep, Ekori, Mkpani and Nko and the international version is unanimously celebrated in Ugep once in a year. This is celebrated to honor the earth goddess and the ancestral spirits of the land in Ugep, one of the five settlements of Yakurr. The three-week festival is the culmination of many events: the beginning of the yam harvest, a time to appease the gods and ancestors, a public parade of engaged maidens, a commemoration of events that led to the migration from the Yakurr ancestral home to the present site, and a period of holiday in the Yakurr traditional calendar (mid-August through mid-September). The Yakurr calendar runs from August to July. During the Leboku, people keep away from intense farming activities and exchange visits with their families. The Leboku is also meant to usher in peace, good health and prosperity
1.3 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
What really instigated the study on the need for effective cultural development in rural areas arises from the misunderstanding among various ethnic groups in Nigeria thereby becoming a clog on the wheels of inter-cultural practices and other forms of socialization. Despite various measures taken by successive administrations to stem the tide of economic problems, the Nigerian economy continues to manifest signs of stress and strains as a result of underdevelopment resulting from neglect of the cultural aspect of development. Development in Nigeria fails to reconcile the challenges of the needs of the present with those of future. Nigeria is yet to fully acknowledge the cultural dimension of development. Because of this there has not been adequate sensitization of her policy makers and the public as a whole to the cultural component of development; that which gave order and meaning to past generations have since been lost in Nigeria. What is left in presently is super-imposed by the colonial masters. There can be no true socio-economic development in the absence of culture.
1.4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine the need for an effective cultural development in rural areas. Other specific objectives of study include:
1. to examine the effect of cultural development on the level of crises in Nigeria
2. to examine the relationship between cultural development and social well being in leboku festival yakuur Cross River State
3. to determine the effect of cultural development on the rate of patronage in leboku festival yakuur Cross River State
4. to investigate on the factors affecting effective cultural development in Cross River State
5. to proffer solution to the above stated problems
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research question so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of study. The research questions are stated below as follows:
1. What is the effect of cultural development on the level of crises in Nigeria?
2. What is the relationship between cultural development and social well being in leboku festival yakuur Cross River State?
3. What is the effect of cultural development on the rate of patronage in leboku festival yakuur Cross River State?
4. What are the factors affecting effective cultural development in Cross River State?
1.6 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no mean difference in gender responses of the respondents that cultural development has significant effect on the rate of patronage in leboku festival yakuur Cross River State
HO: there is no significant relationship between cultural development and social well being in leboku festival yakuur Cross River State
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the need for effective cultural development in rural areas will be immense benefit to entire people of cross river state in the following ways:
Community development: on the area of community development, the study will discuss the need for developmental processes in terms of infrastructure so as to attract visitors to various cultural events in Yakuur, Cross River state
Source of revenue: the study will discuss the need for cultural development in Yakuur, Cross River State; the study will discuss on the cultural development as a source of revenue for the people of corss river state; although the revenue is seasonal but it is still the benefit of the state and the local governments in cross river state
Literature: the study on the the need for cultural development in Yakuur, Cross River State will add to the body of the existing literature on cultural development in Nigeria and also assist other researchers that wishes to carry out similar research on the above topic.
1.8 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on the effective cultural development in rural areas in limited to leboku festival Yakuur, Cross River State
1.9 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)