A globalised gaze into Ikeji Festival: What doe the Aros stand to lose or gain ?

Anthonia Ijeoma Onyeahialam

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This research looks at the global faces of Ikeji festival, an annual and locally celebrated festival of the Aros in Imo state, Nigeria occurring that takes place after the Easter and observed remotely around the world. Some places of remote celebration with many years of commemoration are in cities and states of the USA, South Africa, UK, China, Canada, Germany and other places playing host to Aro migrants who continue to maintain close connections to their cultural heritage. These remote celebrations even though not considered the “authentic” Ikeji festival given its place of celebration is well attended by the Aros and non Aros and have served as a glimpse into the true experience thereby triggering tourist visits to Aro for a taste of the “authentic” experience.
Given its global prominence, it became important to recognise it as a local rural event attracting global tourists. What this means is formal and informal participation and planning for it at multiple scales funded by the local community through local contributions and the diasporic Aros through remittances. These actions are targeted at putting in place local infrastructure to accommodate visitors to the Ikeji festival and this creates employment opportunities that often keep locales in “place”.
Thus, we specifically examine the global gazes of the local Ikeji festival and the impressions created at these global places of celebration for Aro and non Aro identities. We further study the reconfigurations that emerge at the rural Aro localities through the remittance flows, business development and the tourist event.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventIRSA Conference - Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 10 Aug 2016 → …


ConferenceIRSA Conference
Period10 Aug 2016 → …
Internet address


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