The Annual Calabar Year-End Art and Craft Cultural Village Enters Season 3
Since its introduction a couple of years back to add to the tourism experience of the teeming population of tourists during the yuletide and beyond, the annual Calabar Year-End Art & Craft Cultural Village is dedicated to promote and foster cultural tolerance, propagate national integration and unity, while showcasing the vast cultural heritages of the tourism clusters of the state.
The event is set up such that each of the 18 LGAs of the state, together with some sub-nationalities have stands, where their socio-cultural heritages are showcased at a point of exchange without visitors having to travel to those localities in search of their natural products and cuisines.
The village also offers academic institutions and other ethnic clans of African extraction a plethora of choices to exhibit their artifacts through culture, agriculture and products made of local craft from the villages and memorabilias, artworks and other carnival regalias.
For instance, the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS) operates a stand displaying a collection of visual art and artifacts where exhibition works produced by students of the institution are put up for sale.
To achieve this vision, a 31-day annual cultural and traditional exhibition concert is put together by Governor Ben Ayade through the state Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development to showcase the rich socio-cultural opportunities of the state from December 1st to 31st annually.
The site is consciously made to encourage education tourism to the state, information passage to the younger generation and also serve as a platform where people can get to try out options from other tribes and ethnic backgrounds.
It was also initiated to position the state on the global map by showcasing its numerous cultural products which span across ancestral sites, traditional regalia, arts and crafts, monolithic stories, natural scenery, special festivities and content development from major experiences.
Your experience at the Village will expose you to the linguistic versatility of Cross River as the state having the most languages and culture in the south-south and old Eastern region of Nigeria. In addition, the state puts a premium on promotional marketing of her untapped resources and building a lasting peace among people of the young age bracket.
With Cross River serving as a historical warehouse of some of the best cultural heritages such as the longest serving monarch coming from the state, the regality associated with the stool of the Obong of Calabar, the Leboku Cultural Festival, the Northfest, the Calabar Carnival having the longest route in the world spanning 12 Kilometers.
At the Village, you will discover how the film industry is used to promote culture as a tool for a continued peaceful co-existence of the people.
To ensure sustainability, the state Governor has granted the approval of the site for an Art and Craft Exhibition Village, which has remained an all-year-round exhibition centre for 3 consecutive years.
The Art and Craft Cultural Village is located at the premises of the famous Calabar Cultural Center.
©Eugene Upah is the Snr Special Assistant, Public Communications to Governor Ben Ayade