What is Egungun masquerade?

Egungun, (egúngún with Yorùbá language tone marks) in the broadest sense is any Yoruba masquerade or masked, costumed figure. More specifically, it is a Yoruba masquerade for ancestor reverence, or the ancestors themselves as a collective force.

What is the purpose of Egungun ceremonies?

The most widespread masquerade is the egungun of the Yoruba. Like all masquerades, the egungun is a multimedia performance designed to honor the dead, and a wide variety of masks and costumes are used to communicate with ancestral spirits. Ceremonies do not have a standardized format.

How is the Egungun festival celebrated?

Egungun Masquerade Dance Costume: Ekuu Egungun The appearance of Egungun in a community is invariably accompanied by pomp and pageantry, drumming and dancing, singing and celebration. The ensuing festival goes on for several days and strengthens the bonds that unite families and communities with departed ancestors.

What is the Egungun dance?

Description. Masquerades for the ancestors are known as ‘egungun’ (power concealed). The body of dancer is completely covered by layer upon layer of cloth. On occasion one can tell the age of a masquerade by examination of the clothes used, since it is not unusual for new cloths to be added each year.

What are the functions of the Egungun masquerade?

The function of the Egungun Masquerade culture Ancestral protection: this involves seeking protection and support from the ancestors to ensure that peace and security overshadow the land. After a successful festival, the people are optimistic about goodness and rejoice while expecting a fruitful year ahead of them.

Is Egungun an Orisha?

In Yoruba tradition, Egungun-oya is a deity of divination. “Egungun” refers to the collective spirits of the ancestral dead; the Orisha Oya is seen as the mother of the Egungun.

Why are people scared Egungun?

Egungun is a Yoruba masquerade known for its elaborate nature and how people fear the masquerade. Egungun festivals are celebrated in honour of the dead. Annual rites honouring the deceased are held in the Yoruba faith to ensure that their ancestors have a place among the living.

Where is the Egungun dance?

The Yoruba people in Nigeria have many masquerade performances. One, called Egungun, was used as comic relief during solemn ceremonies.

How is Egungun festival celebrated in Yorubaland?

The Egungun is a secret society among the Yoruba people of Ede, Oyo State, Nigeria. The major Egungun festival takes place in June, when members of the society come to the market place and perform masked dances. The masks they wear represent ancestral spirits and may cover the whole body or just the face.

How does the Egungun ceremony honor the ancestors?

The most widespread is probably the egúngún festival when it is believed that the ancestors come down in spirit to participate in and receive the sacrifices offered to them, and to assure their descendants of their continued protection (1991, 89).

Where is the Egungun festival celebrated?

Nigeria’s annual Egungun festival is a centuries old Yoruba tradition, and one of the most colourful cultural celebrations in West and Central Africa. Image caption, The streets of the town of Iwo in south-west Nigeria are flooded with crowds in late August, towards the end of the rainy season.

How do I communicate with my ancestors?

In addition to prayer, calling in your ancestors in meditation is likely the easiest and fastest way to feel their presence. Take time to sit in meditation for 10-30 minutes and specifically call in whichever ancestor by name you feel most connected to and ask them to talk to you!

How do African masquerades work?

In some African cultures, a spirit inhabits a mask upon its creation. When a man (or, on rare occasions, a woman) puts on a mask and costume they give up their own being. The identity of the spirit takes over. Sometimes this spirit can be of another person, such as an ancestor.

What is the significance of masquerade?

They are a symbolic resurrection of the ancestors. To the Ifeku-Ibaji, Egwu (masquerade) symbolised both the ancestral shrine as well as represented the resurrected spirits of a dead elder, whose appearance and performance played a protective and regulatory role in the affairs of the living.

What is Egungun Masquerade?

The egungun is a visible representation of spirits or ancestors (Egungun Masquerade). It is made up of many different materials like cloth, beads, and shells (Egungun Masquerade). Only the best materials are used for the costume as the costume is to include “potent empowering materials” (Egungun Masquerade).

What is an Egungun costume?

An Egungun costume is composed of multiple layers of cloth lappets made from expensive and prestigious textiles, expressing the wealth and status of a family as well as the power of the ancestor. The composition of an Egungun ensemble has several distinctive features.

What is the role of women in the ritual of Egungun?

Egungun masquerades are male-dominated within the performance aspect and women play an integral role in the ritual. Only males are allowed to connect with the spirits in Egungun by transforming into the masked figure. However, women are not powerless in the ritual of Egungun.

How does the Egungun cleanse the community?

The Egungun spiritually cleans the community; through the dramatic acting and miming of the robed priests, they demonstrate both ethical and amoral behavior that have occurred since their last visit. In this way, they expose the strengths and weaknesses of the community to encourage behavior more befitting of their descendants.