Ijele Masquarade Festival

Ijele is a special masquerade in Anambra State, Nigeria. It is the King of all Masquerades and as such has 45different other masquerades perform on top of it in the olden days. Presently, the 45 masquerades are represented by the 45 figurines seen on top of Ijele.

Ijele Masquarade Festival

The myth and size of Ijele is wholesome as every aspect of life is depicted on Ijele. It is the climax of all masquerades hence performs alone and mostly last. Ijele is a family of 4: the mother; father; police and palm wine taper which will be discussed under the Ijele family below.Ijele family: Ijele Masquerade is a family of four:
Nne Ijele meaning "Mother of Ijele". She is a usually beautiful lady masquerade that holds a big ox tail with a carved enamel plate. It performs dances to flute and soft music.

Ijele Father called "Onuku": It has a big face and dresses in chieftaincy regalia.

Ijele Police: they are usually six. Their duty is to ensure that the people do not encroach on Ijele father or mother.

Ijele Palm Wine Tapper: It accompanies Ijele for the sole purpose of picking its rear as it performs.

Ijele Masquarade Festival

Another significant personality is the Ijele fan carrier of Akupe carrier. It is not really a masquerade but it plays crucial role of leading the Ijele with its symbolic powerful fan called Akupe. Once the Ijele loses sight of the fan and its carrier, it gets lost and it signifies danger. Ijele moves when the fan carrier moves and also stops when it stops.

Ijele Music: Ijele dances majestically to the royal Igba-eze: dance of the Kings popularly called Akunechenyi. The musical instruments includes 4 drums, ogene, ubom, uyo, Ekwe, flute (Oja - ufele), wooden clapper (aja - oja) amongst others.

Other important festivals include:
the Egwu Imo Awka festival in Awka
the Nwafor festival in Ogidi
the Onwa Asato festival in Nri
the Omaliko festival in Abatete
the Uzo-Iyi festival Umuoji
the Udo festival in Igbo-Ukwu
the Ezi-okpaligwe festival in Amawbia
the Orima festival in Amorka.
Aghalieaku Cultural Festival, Ozubulu.

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