The Changing Patterns Of The Boat Regatta As Maritime Heritage In Nigeria
Free (open access)
W. Nzeda Tagowa
The boat regatta has been part of the maritime heritage of the delta and riverine peoples of Nigeria. It represents the cultural heritage usually presented in ceremonies of colourful events that bring together large fleets of decorated canoes with flags and buntings, displayed by artistic paddlers who exercise skills and dexterity. The boat regatta practice was fashioned by the coastal and riverine peoples of Nigeria as a means of protecting and drawing sustenance from the environment through the use of watercrafts to defend creeks and territorial waters. In addition, the regatta tradition and festivals were developed to celebrate victories in wars and trade during the pre-colonial periods. Over the years, the practice has changed to serve recreational, tourism and transport purposes. This paper historically analyses the changing patterns of boat regatta as practiced among coastal and riverine communities in Nigeria. It highlights the designs, usages, innovations and adaptations that broaden the scope of the social activity in relation to tourism and maritime transport in Nigeria. The paper produces documentary strategy for advancing developmental initiatives that would integrate maritime heritage activities with tourism and maritime transport. The paper concludes that there is a dichotomy between maritime heritage activities and the administration of maritime transport and tourism in Nigeria. This can be reversed through suitable legislation and development of the right attitude towards maritime heritage recreational activities. Keywords: boat regatta, maritime heritage, cultural and recreational activity, coastal and riverine community, tourism, maritime transport.
boat regatta, maritime heritage, cultural and recreational activity, coastal and riverine community, tourism, maritime transport.