Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Is this political culture?

Can you find anything political about this festival? (research time)

In pictures: Wearing fancy dress for big yams in Nigeria
It has been one big party this week in the town of Arondizuogu in southern Nigeria, with feasting and parades to give thanks for the last harvest and to usher in the new planting season.

The Ikeji Festival, which last for seven days, brings together many thousands of ethnic Igbo people, from far and wide, to the town in Imo state.

During the festivities, some men are authorised by secret cultural Igbo societies to dress up as ancestral spirits in what is called a masquerade.
They are accompanied by a bell bearer, who explains to the crowds the messages the spirit world wishes to pass on - usually blessings for a bountiful harvest to come.

The masked figures perform for the crowds as they go down the streets - and as part of the rituals, chickens and goats are sacrificed to the ancestors to encourage them to grant their blessings.

[A dozen photos by BBC Igbo's Chiemela Mgbeahuru]

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