Reformed spellings for Igbo Settlements
Abakaliki is Abakaleke; Afikpo is Ehugbo; Asaba is Ahaba; Awgu is Ogu; Awka is Oka; Bonny is Ubani; Enugu is Enugwu; Ibusa is Igbuzor; Igrita is Igwuruta; Oguta is Ugwuta; Onitsha is Onicha; Owerri is Owerre; Oyigbo is Obigbo; Port Harcourt is Diobu; Ogwashi-Uku is Ogwa Nshi Ukwu... any more will be added.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Men and Mask

Masquerades from different cultural regions of the Igbo area photographed by G. I. Jones in the 1930s.

Masquerades representing fierce animals and mythological beasts, and often a mixture of human and animal traits, emphasise humanity’s connection with the animal and natural world which also serves to tap into the primal animal energy existing within people. The imitation of women also serves a similar purpose as both a way to tap into a specific personal trait and to police and monitor that particular section of society and nature. By appropriating the virtuous aspects of animals, the masker defines the bounds and limits of the manifestation of animal energy in the community and in people, the masks work to have that energy directed to where and when it may be useful like in times of warfare, or to prevent animal attacks. By representing women, men enforce the power to channel female energy as they feel appropriate, at the same time acting out on curiosity and out of admiration of women all while being hidden behind a mask.

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