Culture September 18, 2018 at 08:00 am

Fascinating details behind African mask festivals and masquerades you need to know

Nduta Waweru September 18, 2018 at 08:00 am

September 18, 2018 at 08:00 am | Culture

Egungun, Nigeria

In Nigerian, the Egungun is a Yoruba term referring to masquerades but specifically, it refers to masquerades connected to the reverence of ancestors.   The priests and initiates wear elaborate masquerades that come in different layers of fabrics, with the one closest to the wearer skin resembling the shroud used to cover dead bodies.

The lappets, decorated with patchwork patterns, braids, sequins, tassels, and amulets, are made in a way that if the wearer whirls, it creates a ‘breeze of blessing’.  Like many other communities, the masquerades in Yoruba become vessels through which the ancestors communicate to the living.  Only men wear the masquerades.

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