okumkpa

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Okumkpa masquerade play, Amorie village, Afikpo Village, Nigeria. 1950s

Okumpka, the most elaborate masquerade found at Afikpo Village-Group, is the most popular and well attended Afikpo masked ritual. It consists of a series of skits, songs, and dances presented by masked players in the main common of a village during an afternoon or evening. The play is closely associated with the village secret society; all players are society members, and all wear wooden masks to conceal their identity

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Okumpa masquerade, Afikpo, Eastern Igboland, 1959-60

Okumkpa performance at Mgbom Village square. Players first coming out as a group into the village square. The leader has an older Okumkpa leader’s mask though he is not a main leader. He is called egwale, and is one of two men who sits down with the masked performers just near or in back of the musicians, who sit in front, and helps lead the singing by the seated masqueraders. Still coming out. Nearly 100 masqueraders. [Notes 1960.]

Okumpka, the most elaborate masquerade found at Afikpo Village-Group, is the most popular and well attended Afikpo masked ritual. It consists of a series of skits, songs, and dances presented by masked players in the main common of a village during of an afternoon or evening. The play is closely associated with the village secret society; all players are society members, and all wear wooden masks and costumes.

Simon Ottenberg (1975). Masked rituals of Afikpo, the context of an African art; Seattle. University of Washington Press.