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Eyo Festival: Lessons To Be Learnt

1017 words - 5 pages

Eyo Festival: Lessons to be learnt
Within the past years many events had happened, locally and internationally. However, this particular one got my attention. Adamu Orisha play, now popularly known as Eyo Festival. It happened within the hub of Lagos Island, on Saturday, April 25, 2009. As usual, the event was filled with pageantry, a reminiscent of its past occurrences. According to Yoruba Legendry, Eyo festival was brought into Lagos in the year 1750 by Ejilu and Malaki, the two male cousins to Olori Olugbani, the wife of Oba Ado and mother of Erelu Kuti of Lagos. It was first showcased on Lagos Island on September 11, 1852, to commemorate Late (Chief) Dosunmun Asogbon. The sacredness of ...view middle of the document...

As already adduced, other Eyos fall within these five main ‘Arch Deities’ to form what has been regarded as the “Iga” or families. The complete costume for the Eyo masquerade comprises the white cloak (agbada), wrapper (aropale), face-veil (iboju), hat (aga), and palm stick (opambata). A week before the ‘d-day’, these ‘Arch Deities’ went out one after the other on daily bases starting from Sunday through Thursday to announce to the public, as a way of preparing their mind towards the festival. Since things always follow through in a certain manner, the Oba is seen as the custodian of the event. Of course, the political angle was not left out. This is the place of the Governor of Lagos State, his dignitaries and other government officials. Even former Governors and dignitaries

were also accorded their rightful place. Some of these people, as it is necessary, came to add more worth to this event. However, the impacts of the Eyo festival could be seen from various dimensions: cultural, socio-political and religious. To start, even though the Lagos State Government initially had some slight difficulties trying to put up tight security for this event, maybe as a result of our (Nigeria) security dilemma emanating from kidnapping and all sort, the event was free of casualties. The masquerades, having been cautioned, put in their best behaviour against all odd. The usual composure of these masquerades was calm and gentle, possibly because I was witnessing the event for the first time. In fact, the security consciousness may have sent a clearer picture to all and sundry that Eyo festival should be tailored towards tourism. Another significant impact is that, the memory of the event is always fresh in people’s mind. In the course of writing this essay, I sought for peoples’ perception about the festival. To my expectation, some said they are eager to witness the forth coming one, which was earlier slated to hold on October 2, 2010, to honour Late (Chief) Yesufu Abiodun...

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