Karimatu Dauda

  • University of MaiduguriPhD Scholarship Holder

Contact Info:

  • kkwakawa@gmail.com


Sustainability of Bansuwe Dance among the Bura people of Northeast Nigeria

With the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria, it beats ones imagination to see people gather at a wedding ceremony or a function organized by government officials, in which the Bansuwe dance is being performed. This is so because Northeast Nigeria is the hotbed of the Boko Haram terrorists in which crowded places are always targeted; especially by suicide bombers. With that atmosphere that triggers fear in the mind, one will think that the Bura people that reside in the Northeast of Nigeria have lost touch with their cultural and social life style. However, it appears the reverse is the case. Despite the threat to life and property, the people still dance at weddings and other social events.

Bansuwe dance is a cultural dance that is widely cherished by the Bura people of Northeast Nigeria. It is a fascinating and systematic dance that is electrifying, with calculated steps that keeps evolving over time. This dance is performed at weddings, funerals (of an aged person), naming ceremonies and other government functions such as Independence Day celebration, National Cultural Festivals or cultural day performances of educational institutions. Nevertheless, over the years several changes have occurred in the frequency and pattern of Bansuwe performances. The dance seems to have been limited to few occasions only. Perhaps this is due to the current security challenges in Northeast Nigeria. In view of the above, the study focusses on finding answers to the following research questions:

  • What is the state of the Bansuwe dance performance generally amongst the Bura people?
  • What does Bansuwe dance mean to the people and how does it impact them?
  • What is the place of Bansuwe dance in a conflict environment and how has it thrived in this situation?
  • What makes the Bansuwe dance dynamic in nature and how has the new pattern of performance shaped the perception of the dance?
  • What are the challenges of putting up a live performance as against electronically playback music?

The study will deploy an ethnographic research method. Interviews and participant observation will be used to collect data. Primary and secondary sources will be used, also recording devices will be used to aid the data collection process.

This research will mainly be conducted among the Bura people living in Maiduguri; using a minimum of six Bura wedding ceremonies and other events where the dance is performed. For performances of the dance in the context of traditional funerals, the study will rely solely on interviews with knowledgeable elderly Bura people that reside in Maiduguri. This is largely due to the difficulty of travelling to the towns and villages where the Bura people are predominantly settled.


Karimatu Dauda is a PhD scholarship holder at the Centre for the Study and Promotion of Cultural Sustainability, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. She is an advocate of cultural performances and finds it very fascinating. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts, from the University of Maiduguri, with specialization in Theatre Arts. With her passion for theatrical performances, she went further to obtain a Master’s degree in Theatre and Performing Arts from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where she specialized in acting and directing. Karimatu is also focussed at encouraging her own ethnic group’s cultural performances. She aims at promoting the Bura Bansuwe dance with the idea of finding answers to her research questions on its sustainability among Bura people of Borno State, Nigeria. Her areas of interest include the relevance of Bansuwe dance, its survival and resilience despite the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria and the pattern of performance.