In many communities in the state of Anambra in south-eastern Nigeria, celebrations, burial ceremonies and other special occasions during the dry season to evoke fertility and a bountiful harvest feature the performance of the Ijele masquerade. The mask is about four metres tall – so large that it takes a hundred men six months of work to prepare the costume and build an outdoor house to hold it before a performance. Divided into upper and lower segments by a large python at the centre, the ijele is constructed of colourful fabric on a skeleton of bamboo sticks and decorated with figurines and depictions of every aspect of life. The towering masked figure dances at the culmination of a series of other masquerades, protected by six ‘police’ and carrying a mirror with the power to draw in and punish evildoers. Ijele mask carriers, chosen by ballot, seclude themselves for three months, during which they live on a special diet to acquire the strength necessary to don the mask. The masquerade plays a number of important roles in the community: spiritually, it marks both festive and solemn occasions; politically, it provides an opportunity to reaffirm loyalty to a chief or king; and culturally it provides a popular entertainment as young boys and girls sing and dance to the tunes of Akunechenyi music.
Read the official information about Ijele masqueradehttps://www.gounesco.com/heritage/intangible-culture/ijele-masquerade/https://s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/gounesco.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/01000000/01779-BIG.jpghttps://s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/gounesco.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/01000000/01779-BIG-150x150.jpg
Photos and Proofs from Ijele masquerade
No photos here yet. Have you experienced Ijele masquerade? share your photos
Travelers Who Have Experienced Ijele masquerade
Have you experienced Ijele masquerade? Share travel photos
Travel Suggestions for Ijele masquerade
Sorry, we don't have curated information here yet.
Have you experienced Ijele masquerade? Share your travel stories
Recommendations for Ijele masquerade
Sorry, we do not have any traveller recommendations here yet.
Have you experienced Ijele masquerade? Share Recommendations
Trivia about Ijele masquerade
Sorry, we do not have any trivia for here yet.
Have you experienced Ijele masquerade? Share Trivia
Events at or near Ijele masquerade