Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nigeria - EYO Masquerade

EYO Masquarede, peculiar to Lagos Island indegenes, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Sent by Ahmed from Lagos, Nigeria.

This is from Wikipedia : Eyo Festival is a festival unique to Lagos, Nigeria. It is usually performed in Lagos Island. Eyo also refers to the masquerades that come out during the festival. It is widely believed that Eyo is the forerunner of the modern day carnival in Brazil. On Eyo Day, the main highway in the heart of the city (from the end of Carter Bridge to Tinubu Square) is closed to traffic, allowing for procession from Idumota to Iga Idunganran.

Here, the participants all pay homage to the Oba (King) of Lagos. Eyo festival takes place whenever occasion and tradition demand, but it is usually held as the final burial rites for a highly regarded chief.

Among the Yorubas, the indigenous religions have largely given way to Christianity and Islam, but the old festivals are still observed. The traditional leaders of the Yorubas are the Obas, who live in palaces and govern along with a council of ministers. The Obas' position is now mainly honorary, and their chiefly role is during the observance of the festivals.

A full week before the festival (always a Sunday), the ‘senior’ eyo group, the Adimu (identified by a black broad-rimmed hat), goes public with a staff, when this happens it means the event would take place on the following Saturday. Each of the four other ‘important’ ones—Laba (Red), Oniko (yellow), Ologede (Green), Agere (Purple)—in this very order take their turns from Monday to Thursday.

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