One of the highlights of my childhood was visiting my village with my family during Christmas holidays. I always looked forward to seeing my extended family as my other relations also came back from the cities to the village too. I also looked forward to the celebration on Christmas day. I knew we would all put on new outfits and eat lots of food. The celebration included dancing but there was a part of the dancing I didn't look forward to. This was the masquerade part. I'm not referring to a masquerade ball. I'm referring to the masked person (or entity as some people believe) that dances with a 'neutral expression mask' or a scary looking mask designed to terrify people. I was always afraid of the masquerade and wisely kept my distance. From my hiding place, I would secretly admire the dance steps and the colors on the masquerade's outfit (this is not the case for all masquerades as some dress in outfits made with leaves). Why I'm I writing about this, you may ask? Well, I saw a masquerade recently and had the opportunity to record his performance. I was no where scared and all I did was enjoy the flood of childhood memories that came back to me. The title of this post is called "Ekpo" because this is the general name for masquerades in my native dialect. Enjoy the video!
(ukoemem - Author; Ola Y - Editor; Afriky Lolo Performance - Video)