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Okumkpo Masquerade (Video) Part 7

In this video recorded January 17, 1993, hundreds of Okumkpo masquerades deliver group and solo performances of dance, drama and drumming. This is a classic example of authentic African masquerade dance and theater at its best!

The venue is the village of Amikpo in Ozizza, Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The occasion is the re-enactment of a long-standing tradition of fielding a large number of Okumkpo masquerades in Afikpo every 15 years or so. The masquerades entertain as well as serve up social commentary that aims to expose unethical behavior in the community and to name and shame those found culpable.

The star performers are various members of the Okumkpo group of masquerades. The sub-groups of Okumkpo masquerades include Horii, Nnade Okumkpo, Otaka Ekpa and others. These sub-groups are distinguishable by the type of masks they wear and their style of dancing.

Some of the dance steps (as shown in this video clip) must be carefully synchronized to match exact step dance sequences in order to receive the applause of the spectators. The masquerade performers practice these steps for months in advance in order to perfect them.

One comment


    Afikpo my home, a unique and distinguished part of Ebonyi that anybody who is not an indigene would wish to have been. Ndeke ayi unu jokwa!

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