Thursday, 7 January 2021

Masquerade Festival Celebration In Akwa Ibom State (Videos, Photos)

 Ekpo Masquerade is a cultural play that was originated from the Efik, Ibibio and Annang people in the Cross River/Akwa Ibom land in Southern part of Nigeria.

Ekpo Masquerade is one of the oldest institutions in Africa which was known to maintain law and order in the society.
The name "Ekpo" means ghost. The Ekpo Masquerade was known to originate from spirits of dead ancestors and deities who came back from the spirit world to administer justice to the people in the living world.
As a secret society, membership is strictly by initiation; hence, every aspect of Ekpo is designed to strike awe, fear and caution among women and non initiates.

On 31st December in the year 2020, a community in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state had their Ekpo Masquerade festival.
People from different works of life troop into the community to witness the event.
At about 1a.m, the streets were filled with people anticipating the celebration of the Ekpo Masquerade.
At the junction of the community was a white canopy and under the canopy were group of men drumming different kind of drums and singing traditional songs.

At about 3:30p.m, some Ekpo Masquerades started emerging from a forest which is called the "Evil forest". It's believed that the Ekpo Masquerades live in the Evil forest in which the emerged from.
They were coming out in a single line and looked well organized. Speaking with WonderTV correspondent, a member of the community who happens to be one of the initiates of the Ekpo Masquerade said that this particular masquerade which was the one leading others outside of the forest is called the "Akpan Ekpo" meaning the first born.
He led other masquerades as the all go round the community and entered the houses of their members both dead and alive to pay them homage.
The Akpan Ekpo was seen holding a flat rectangular wood on the left hand and a piece of stick on the right hand. Has he moves, he hits the stick on the rectangular wood.



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