Background Information. About the African Continent Made up of 54 countries including NIGERIA Over 800 million people Made up of 5 major regions, North, East, Central, West, and South. About NIGERIA Made up of 36 States a Federal Capital Territory called Abuja
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36 States of Nigeria
The Umunna Cultural Association of Indianapolis is an association of Igbos from Nigeria.
Adiro akwu ofu ebe enene nmanwu(One does not stand on one spot to watch a masquerade)
The AGABA masquerade as a character is that of a warrior represented in its name that literally connotes “lets go”. The Agaba major attribute is warrior-like prowess, which specializes, in ritual manifestations. The ease in the mobility of the Agaba instruments (can play with the OGENEs only) makes it a popular masquerade for the youths residing in major cities of the Igboland. The chanting that accompanies the Agaba cut across ethnic dialects and cultures among the Igbos.
The ODOGWU masquerade is a youthful and aggressive character represented by a mask that insinuates “Bloodshot eyed rebel”. Its major attribute is demonstration of youthfulness with specialty in intimidation. The Odogwu is also known for the highly charged chanting that accompany its rhythms.
The OJIONU masquerade is a water spirit character represented by a headdress of crocodiles, sharks and other predatory water creatures. There may be more than one masquerade depending on the occasion.
The instruments players vary from five to ten performers. One of the eye catching feature of the Ojionu is its wooden trunk. The trunk is used to keep all its mystical and gyration gears as well as a seating bench for a quick rest. The drummers play two primary roles – one plays non-stop providing the base and the other alternates and the alternating rhythm is what the masquerade dances to. The masquerade also dances to the Oja (flute) when that is present.
The major attribute of OJIONU is creative non-stop dancing. Versions of the Ojionu masquerade varies from those that perform voices only and possess superior mystical powers to those that dance predominantly with minimal voices and less mystical powers.
This is a war dance troupe represented by two distinct symbols of war – the lead warrior carrying the small drum filled with overflowing wine for imbibing and incantations and the medicine man carrying the three skulls symbolizing the spoils of past wars and as a warning to future foes.
This masquerade is unique since it’s not covered with costumes and mask as others. The masquerade has a piece of palm tree leaf in his mouth to prevent him from talking thus ensuring the integrity of its mystical powers.
The players use a combination of flat wooden clappers and drums to produce non-stop rhythms. The lead warrior leads the chanting while the players and the other dancers sing the chorus. Attributes – mystical powers and charged atmosphere, Specializes in intense motivation and dancing
The OGENE (Gong) is metal instrument. They were made originally in bronze but, in modern time, are mainly made out of scrap metal as a bulging surface in elliptical shaped rim, and tapering like a frustum to its handle. It is hit about its rim by a stick to produce different tunes.
The EKWE (Silt-drum) is a tree trunk, hollowed throughout its length from two rectangular cavities at its ends and a horizontal slit that connects the cavities. The size of the slit-drum depends on its use and significance.
The IGBA (Cylinder-drum) is a piece of hollow wood covered at one end with animal hide held down tight with fasteners. The artist carries it over his shoulder with the help of a shoulder strap. The artist produces the sound by beating on the animal hide with his fingers or combination of one set of fingers and a special stick.
The OJA (Flute) is a piece of wood designed with a cavity inside, the top has a wide opening to fit the shape of the human lower lip, a small hole on the bottom and two smaller holes closer to the top on exact opposite side.
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