Marketing Nigerian Dances for Cultural Diplomacy: Lessons from Swange Dance of the Tiv People
Justin Tijime AWUAWUER
Department of Dramatic Arts
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
Apart from treaties and other political actions that constitute diplomacy, such as economic decisions and even military, another very potent diplomatic vehicle is cultural diplomacy. Cultural diplomacy is a form of relationship that places emphasis on cultural understanding as a basis for dialogue and trust. Dance as one of the characteristics of culture is considered in this paper as a strong weapon for cultural diplomacy. The thrust of this paper is on Swange dance of the Tiv people which is popularized and performed by the Benue State Council for Arts and Culture (BSCAC) within and outside the shores of Africa. The paper therefore outlines the contributions of the dance to the national and international cultural diplomacy which is seen as a soft power approach that has to be recognized as a means of resolving conflicts, settle disputes, build sustainable relationships between countries, and strengthen economic ties and respect for human rights.