In Nigeria, masquerades appear during festivals, ceremonies or rituals. They dance, sing and recite incantations. Many of the masquerades are youths with strength to make dance moves and jumps. Some performs unexplainable actions like somersaulting, spitting fire from the mouth. They are mostly known to flog people. This act is rooted in the culture and a cultural heritage practiced by the tribes in Nigeria. Masquerades are different from each other in terms of functions, structures and festivals. A masquerade that will come out during the harvest period is different from the one that will display during the carnivals or during the death of a king.
This is not new to us, as it is part of our tradition that is recognized by the society and passed down from one generation to another. In Nigeria, some families are known to be masqueraders and some even bear a name related to masquerades. Masquerades are known to have spiritual powers, magic and charms. The masks and clothes worn by the masquerades are seen as totem- sacred objects which should not be touched by an ordinary being. There is another belief that they represent the ancestors.
- OYO profile
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