Masquerades are known as heavenly creatures. They wear masks and have dance steps that attract spectators, Masquerades are seen during special ceremonies and festivals. Every town has its peculiarity when it comes to Masquerades and the Oje families are by inheritance, custodians of the masquerades in every town. The masquerades have distinct features that distinguish them from one another.
Ondo, a city rich in culture and traditions, has her peculiar masquerades. Here is a list of some of the major masquerades in Ondo city, their distinct costumes and a brief description.
1. Eegun Baduunni – Is a beautiful masquerade, costumed in many clothes with penciled trouser with a hair costume that looks exactly like the modern day Gallas hair style…… my mum will jokingly refer to young men with penciled trouser as Badunni
2. Eegun Awo (Leather) – Awo is an ugly masquerade. It dresses in many forms of animal skins, spectators chant awo lapai pa, awo lo do ngbo (lizard), as he moves about.
3. Amoma ne’pe: This masquerade is from Epe village in Ondo kingdom. It is the most dreadful looking masquerade in Ondo, with a big head costume. No wonder people say …..your eyes is like amoma
4. Eegun Adoko: Adoko has a sonorous voice, he sings melodiously. It is said to have its origin from Akure. Its costume is made of black aso etu.
5. Eegun Seebe: The masquerade is known for holding an axe. It’s an intolerance masquerade terrorizing onlookers as it moves about and this makes spectators often run once it is sighted.
6. Odokoo: Odokoo is a twin masquerades (Male and Female), the male is usually on skinned hair style and the female with a carved hair costume. They are known as the king masquerades and they come out alternatively once in three years (during Odun Oba) with long lashes/whips to chase and flog spectators away from the king. Children often chant ….”odokoo lori bibo … too too , lori bibo”
7. Yebobo: This masquerade has its origin traced to Oyo town, it dresses in beautiful attire with a female costume. He chants spirit lifted encomium of its spectators and onlookers.
8. Eegun Oge: The masquerade is from Atakunma village of Ondo Kingdom. It comes out once in three years. It has the feather of a peacock on its head. Spectators and onlookers pray and pledge for good life, long life and child birth on sighting him.
Note: The pictures herein are not the correct pictures of the masquerades described above, but representations of masquerades in Yorubaland.
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