Masquerade Festivals Ebonyi State

Masquerade Festivals

Masquerade FestivalAccording to traditional Igbo beliefs, masquerades represent images of deities or relatives. The identity of the masquerade is a well-kept secret and the roles are performed exclusively by men.In Ebonyi, the festival features dozens of masquerades that thrill spectators in annual festivals and other events.The masquerades dress in colourful robes and masks made of wood or fabric. Although most of the masquerades appear at every festival, some are particularly special and only appear once.

Some of the masquerades are;
Awuru Masquerade
It was historically a means of providing security againstcrimes such as stealing, poisoning, and killing of persons or crop destruction: if there was a case of such a crime, the masquerade was consulted and the main suspect was asked to swear to Awuru to prove his innocence. The victim of the crime could ask the masquerades to kill (that is "ili mmonwu") whoever was responsible for the crime.

Okpontu Ulogo Masquerade
Okpontu Ulogo is a masquerade that adorns itself with ashes left over from burning coal in the ancestral common house for initiated Afikpo males called Ogo. Because this masquerade uses ashes as part of its makeup, it usually appears...

Okwa-Ebu Masquerade
Okwe-Ebu is a masquerade that accompanies other masquerades. This masquerade serves as both a mouthpiece for the masquerade it accompanies as well as a praise singer to those watching the masquerade display. The praise singing often results in audience members giving gifts of money or other items of value to Okwa-Ebu and/or the masquerade it accompanies.

Masquerade Festivals

Ota Ikonte Masquerade
Ota Ikonte is a masquerade known for its clownish appearance and behavior. The masquerade entertains by mimicking the gestures of a drunk person, a clown and other off-beat movements.

Okumkpo Masquerades
The sub-groups of Okumkpo masquerades include Horii, Nnade Okumkpo, Otaka Ekpa and others. These sub-groups are distinguishable by the type of masks they wear and their style of dancing.the village of Amikpo in Ozizza, Afikpo, Ebonyi State,every 15 years or so.

Lugulu Masquerade Dances
Ebonyi has more dance groups. Some like the famous kwa Umuagbogho.

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Igbamgba (Wrestling Festival)
Iko Festival (Gastronomic Events)
Masquerade Festivals
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Okosa Fishing Festival
Okumkpo Masqurade Festival

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