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Egungun Masquerades/Costumes
Yoruba Peoples of Nigeria
Egungun Masqurrades
Egungun costume are made of appliquéd
panels with motifs derives from Yoruba, Islamic,
and European traditions. The wearer can see
through the net face panel, which is adorned
with cowrie shells,
beads, and coins. When performing an
acrobatic dance, he spins rapidly so the fabric
panels fly out, revealing the colorful layers of
the costume.
The valuable fabrics and symbols of
wealth such as cowrie shells, sequins,
and beads are outward signs of the
respect due to the ancestor. Sometimes
the inscription “AYELABOLA” on the back
of the costume is visible and expresses
profound regard for the moral and ethical
stature of the ancestor by referring to the
primordial deity, Olá, who embodies these
Textile Egungun Masqueraders
Yoruba Egugun Masqueraders