The Akinsiku of Lagos will then specify what has to be done to meet the conditions. He requests for the Ikaro offerings and gifts , and when the family meets this obligation, the Akinsiku collects the offerings and distributes them among the deity families of Lagos. Though much of its details are still shrouded in secrecy as it is meant to be, according to traditional laws, a divination process must follow the distribution of the gifts and offerings. This rite is carried out at the sacred sanctuary of the Eyo Orisa called the Awe Adimu.
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The Akinsiku of Lagos will then specify what has to be done to meet the conditions. He requests for the Ikaro offerings and gifts , and when the family meets this obligation, the Akinsiku collects the offerings and distributes them among the deity families of Lagos. Though much of its details are still shrouded in secrecy as it is meant to be, according to traditional laws, a divination process must follow the distribution of the gifts and offerings.
This rite is carried out at the sacred sanctuary of the Eyo Orisa called the Awe Adimu. This is where an appropriate and favourable date is chosen for the festival to hold. When a date is chosen, each of the five Eyo groups conclave will meet individually to work out their plans and strategies.
They must map out their plans on how to organize their numerous contingents and masquerades who will stage the Eyo play. This is done through their chieftain houses. The whole process takes a while, but must be concluded a full week before the Eyo festival day. The Opa, an Important Rite The appearance of the Opa is an important rite to be observed and commences a week before Eyo festival day.
Each of the top five senior Eyo conclaves come out in their hierarchical order to visit eminent individuals, distinguished people and other organisational bodies, to inform them about the coming festival, why it will hold, and how important it is for it to hold. Each and every one of the five groups has to observe this process.
This is the night the Oba officially gives his blessings. Once the erection ritual is completed, the most senior of the conclaves, the Eyo Adimu carry out an inspection of the structure after the merriment has ended and everyone has left. After their own inspection, the other groups carry out their own inspections one group after the other in hierarchical order. As their numbers begin to swell at the gathering point, all masquerades in their full costume and regalia begin to move towards the Para, a tent built with raffia mats, erected somewhere in the neighborhood of Enu Owa in Lagos Island.
Enu Owa is an important place on the island where the ceremonious crowning of any Oba takes place. Source They finally converge in their masses at Tafawa Balewa Square where thousands of people including the locals, dignitaries, tourists, etc.
They thrill and excite all, leaving a memorable impression in their minds of how history, culture, and the art is still as beautiful and relevant in the present as it was in the past, and will be for future generations yet to be born. And at the Close of Day After a wonderful but probably tiring day for the average Eyo masquerade who had walked so many miles all through the day, the cultural ceremony winds down at sundown.
After the grand show the Eyo masquerades move back to the Para, where the opening of the traditional festival was declared at dawn, to tear it down.
The tearing down of the Para is instructed by the Orisa Adimu, and his Eyo masquerades. They speak in a ventriloquial voice that suggests that they are from the spirit world.
The Eyo Festival In Nigeria: History, Importance And Dates
Posted in Cultural Events Background Lagos is a very popular city that almost everybody hears about. Ikeja is the state capital. Lagos city is divided or separated by a Lagoon. Thus, it is in to two parts: the Lagos Island and the Lagos Mainland. It is these indigenes, who celebrate the Eyo festival, a cultural and traditional masquerade display, which emerges from the Iga palace of the Oba or any of his cabinet members. It is believed to represent the spirits of the ancestors. The Eyo festival may be held in honour of a chief or an elder of a ruling family or an Oba, who had died.
He who wins the Shingi is referred to as the "Fukuotoko lucky man " and will receive great health and fortune during that year. This long-lasting festival has continued for over years, and it is the dream of the local men to be a Fukuotoko—the ultimate honor of the year. Because of the pride involved, the intensity of approximately 10, men scrambling for the Shingi in a heated clash is quite a sight to see. Foreign visitors are also able to participate must apply prior to the festival: please check info below , so if you have confidence in your build, aim to become a Fukuotoko!
In modern times, it is presented by the people of Lagos as a tourist event and due to its history, is traditionally performed on Lagos Island. Due to the impressive rituals and pageantry, it has grown through the years to become a tourist attraction. Back in the days, the Eyo festival is held to escort the soul of a departed Lagos King or Chief and to usher in a new king. Most times, it is done in honour of the demise of an Oba, a Chief, or a notable Lagosian who has contributed immensely to the development of Lagos.
History, Arts and Culture in Nigeria—Eyo Festival in Lagos (Adimu Orisa Play)
The Eyo[ edit ] The word "Eyo" also refers to the costumed dancers, known as the masquerades that come out during the festival. The origins of this observance are found in the inner workings of the secret societies of Lagos. It is widely believed that the play is one of the manifestations of the customary African revelry that serves as the forerunner of the modern carnival in Brazil. The white-clad Eyo masquerades represent the spirits of the dead, and are referred to in Yoruba as "agogoro Eyo" literally: "tall Eyo". The first procession in Lagos was on the 20th of February, , to commemorate the life of the Oba Akintoye. Be that as it may, the old festivals are still almost universally observed as tourist attractions which generate a lot of revenue for government and small businesses around the Lagos Island venue of the Eyo festival. It is during these occasions that their traditional monarchs and nobles exercise the most of their residual power.