Nupe people always anticipate the annual Bariki Festival of the Bida Emirate in Niger State, which is celebrated twice a year to mark the end of the five-day Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Here are some beautiful moments captured by WikkiiTimes’ ABUBAKER SADIQ MUSTAPHA in his photo essay.
Welcome to the orchestrated cultural parade of the Bida Emirate. Etsu Yahaya Abubakar, the King of Nupe Kingdom, is the grand commander of the radiant march. He usually rides on a horse, but this year, he rode on horse-drawn vehicle.
Dressed in different beautiful attires, the locals march the streets of Bida down to Government Residential Area (GRA) where they all descend from their horses to pray for the Nupe kingdom and the nation at large. Afterwards, they move downtown to the late Etsu Umaru Majigi’s house. From there, they troop to the family house of Etsu Yahaya before his palace.
Prior to Bariki, a Sallah homage known as “Nko” is paid to His Royal Highness, the Etsu Nupe on the second day of Sallah. The homage is paid by the Kingmakers, Shaban Nupe, Wazirin Nupe, Kpotun Nupe, district heads, village heads and ward heads within Bida Emirate. Subsequently, Shaban Nupe and Kpotun Nupe are paid the same homepage on the third and fourth day of Sallah respectively.
On the last day of the Sallah celebration, the emir and his entourage involving title holders, district heads, traditional musicians, magicians, hunters, masquerades, tourists, and locals proceed to the pavilion located at the ancient Wadata Palace. Throughout the march, Estu and his chiefs distribute kola nuts to cheer the locals/
Spectators get fascinated by wonderful performances by musicians, hunters, drama groups, magicians, masquerades, and stick fighters.
After the performances, the emir and his entourage in colourful regalia ride on horseback around the ancient city of Bida and finally to the emir’s palace, where the emir addresses the people.
During the emir’s ride home there is usually a display by different groups on horseback, which is led by a traditional title holder or district head, as well as displays by hunters, magicians, and the masquerades known as Ndakogboya.
Mustapha is a storyteller, a poet and an art curator. He believes in the power of photography and how it can be used for mental health. His work has appeared in Ebedi Review, The Song Is, The Nigeria Review, The Shallow Tales Magazine, Libretto Magazine, Literandra and elsewhere. He is a fellow of the Bada Murya fellowship.