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The ritual-theatricality of Igbo masks and masquerades Onwuzolum, Emmanuel Chidi 1977

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THE RITUAL-THEATRICALITY OF IGBO MASKS AND MASQUERADES by EMMANUEL CHIDI ONWUZOLUM B.Sc. (Hons.), U n i v e r s i t y o f N i g e r i a , Nsukka, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f A n t h r o p o l o g y and S o c i o l o g y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as co n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1977. c") Emmanuel Chidi Onwuzolum, 1977 OF MASTER OF ARTS i n In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requ i rement s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I ag ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d tha t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . E.C. ONWUZOLUM Department o f ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date August, 1977, i i DEDICATED TO Ugo, C h i z o r , Margaret Onwuzolum and t o a l l the o t h e r members o f my f a m i l y "People w i l l not l o o k f o r w a r d t o p r o s p e r i t y who never l o o k backwards t o t h e i r a n c e s t o r s . To be a t t r a c t e d t o the s u b d i v i s i o n , t o l o v e t h e l i t t l e p l a t o o n we belong t o i n s o c i e t y , i s the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e , t h e germ as i t were, o f p u b l i c a f f e c t i o n " . Edmund Burke, 1790. "Masks may be d e s c r i b e d as symbols o r f o c i f o r the s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s t h a t loaned t h e i r a u t h o r i t y t o the e d i c t s and a r t s t h a t emanated from the masks. F u r t h e r , t h e masks were r e c o g n i z e d as symbols by the i n i t i a t e d , t h a t i s , by t h o s e p o s s e s s e d o f the s e c r e t o r semi-s e c r e t knowledge t h a t t h e s e were a f t e r a l l , o b j e c t s o f wood, c a r v e d f o r a p r i c e by known a r t i s a n s and which, between a p p e a r a n c e s , had t o be s t o r e d and p r o t e c t e d from the e f f e c t s o f c l i m a t e and i n s e c t s . Y e t , even t h e i n i t i a t e d b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e s e o b j e c t s c a r r i e d w i t h them, o r w i t h i n them, a v e r y r e a l s p i r i t u a l power, which i n a s e n se, i n v e s t e d t h e wearer and t h e costume, as w e l l as t h e mask, d u r i n g i t s r i t u a l a ppearance. I s h o u l d l i k e t o add, p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y , t h a t so much i s t h i s the c a s e , t h a t t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f an i s o l a t e d mask i n a museum c o n s t i t u t e s a g r o s s m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , not o n l y o f the s o c i a l v a l u e s i n h e r e n t i n the complex comprised o f mask, costume, and dance, music and o t h e r r e l a t e d t r a i t s , but o f the a e s t h e t i c component o f the mask i n i t s o r i g i n a l c o n t e x t Roy S i e b e r , 1962. i v ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s i s p a r t o f a l a r g e r p r o j e c t t h a t i n c l u d e d an e x h i b i t i o n a t the Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y e n t i t l e d "The World o f S p i r i t s " ( J u l y 5 -August 31, 1977), which s e r v e d as an i n t r o d u c t i o n t o Igbo masks and mas-querades as embodying some o f the most profound and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s o f the Igbo people o f S o u t h e a s t e r n N i g e r i a . The e x h i b i t demonstrated t h a t u n d e r l y i n g the v i s u a l d i v e r s i t y o f Igbo a r t i s a u n i t y o f Igbo c o n c e p t i o n s o f t he s u p e r n a t u r a l . Accompanying the e x h i b i t i o n were s l i d e p r e s e n t a t i o n s and a l i v e performance, A l l o f the components o f the p r o j e c t , i n c l u d i n g t h i s t h e s i s , a r e r e l a t e d attempts t o p r e s e n t Igbo masks, i . e . m a t e r i a l o b j e c t s n o r m a l l y found i n museums, w i t h i n an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l c o n t e x t which t a k e s the museum v i s i t o r o r the r e a d e r beyond the o b j e c t s themselves i n t o t h e i r meaning i n terms o f Igbo c u l t u r e . The p r o j e c t i s thus a d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f the n e c e s s a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p between the p r a c t i c e o f museology and the d i s c i p l i n e o f a n t h r o p o l o g y . Such a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a b i l a t e r a l one, i n which not o n l y do e t h n o g r a p h i c d a t a and the t h e o r -e t i c a l frameworks o f e t h n o l o g y extend a museum's p r e s e n t a t i o n and i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n o f o b j e c t s , but the a t t e n t i o n o f a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s i s d i r e c t e d towards o b j e c t s as s i g n i f i c a n t f o c i f o r s t u d y . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the t h e s i s p r o v i d e s the i n d i s p e n s a b l e e t h n o l o g i c a l background upon which the e x h i b i t was based. I t i n c l u d e s o r i g i n a l ethno-g r a p h i c m a t e r i a l s on i n i t i a t i o n , masks, and masquerades a t Ozubulu, d e r i v e d from t he a u t h o r ' s p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v a t i o n o f both i n i t i a t i o n and the Ozoebunna masquerade. T h i s m a t e r i a l i s augmented w i t h p u b l i s h e d r e c o r d s from t he A f i k p o and Awka are a s o f Igboland t o h i g h l i g h t the n e c e s s a r y c o n n e c t i o n between i n i t i a t i o n and masquerade, Then, u s i n g c o n c e p t u a l f o r m u l a t i o n s o f E.R. Leach on r i t u a . l , M i r c e a E l i a d e on s a c r e d t i m e , and Elmer R i c e on t h e a t r e , Igbo masquerade i s examined i n terms o f the c o n c e p t o f r i t u a l t h e a t r e . While r i t u a l g i v e s power and meaning t o the mask, the masquerade performance i s a t h e a t r i c a l e x p e r i e n c e which i n v o l v e s t h e i n i t i a t e s o f the mmuo s o c i e t y as a c t o r s and the o t h e r members o f the Igbo community as a u d i e n c e , The e n t e r t a i n m e n t f e a t u r e o f masquerades has not p r e v i o u s l y r e c e i v e d due a t t e n t i o n i n the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , p r o b a b l y because a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s a r e n o t n o r m a l l y p a r t i c i p a n t s i n them. T h i s p r o j e c t on Igbo masquerade i s a p r e s e n t a t i o n o f A f r i c a n a e s t h e t i c s and c u l t u r e by an A f r i c a n . The number o f such s t u d i e s a r e growing as i t becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y e v i d e n t t h a t A f r i c a n s c h o l a r s must pay g r e a t e r a t t e n t i o n t o s t u d y i n g t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s so as t o u t i l i z e p e r t i n e n t a s p e c t s o f such s t u d i e s f o r development and p l a n n i n g , not o n l y i n museology but i n o t h e r a r e a s o f contemporary 1 i f e as w e l l . v i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT 1 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i x A NOTE ON ORTHOGRAPHY x  CHAPTERS I INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM OF THE MASK 1 R a t i o n a l e f o r Research and Data 10 O r g a n i z a t i o n o f the T h e s i s 15 Notes and Ref e r e n c e s 17 II THE WORLD OF SPIRITS 18 D e t a i l s o f the Masks Used i n the E x h i b i t 29 I I I THE IGBOS 40 The Geography o f Igboland 40 The H i s t o r y o f the Igbos 42 A Survey o f T r a d i t i o n a l Igbo S o c i e t y 46 Oc c u p a t i o n 47 Igbo P o l i t i c a l System 48 Igbo K i n s h i p Network 53 R e l i g i o n 56 Notes and Re f e r e n c e s 69 IV ETHNOGRAPHIC DETAILS OF IGBO MASKS AND MASQUERADE. PERFORMANCE 70 The S e t t i n g 70 The Concept o f the Mask 73 The Making o f Masks 82 I n i t i a t i o n i n t o the Mmuo 87 Commentary 99 S o c i a l I m p l i c a t i o n o f I n i t i a t i o n 101 Notes and R e f e r e n c e s 107 vii Chapters Page V MASKS AS RITUAL THEATRE—THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS 109 Igbo Masquerade as T h e a t r e 111 Igbo Masquerade as R i t u a l 121 Igbo Masquerade as R i t u a l - T h e a t r e 128 VI, CONCLUSION 130 Notes and Re f e r e n c e s 136 BIBLIOGRAPHY 137 v i i i ILLUSTRATIONS Page FIGURES I Map o f Igboland 4 0 A II Semantic S t r u c t u r e o f Chi 59 I I I Semantic S t r u c t u r e o f NSO 64 IV R e l i g i o u s Symbol o f S e l f , Role and C o l l e c t i v i t y 67 V P l a c e o f the Masquerade i n Igbo Cosmology 68 VI R i t u a l S e p a r a t i o n 123 PLATES I An o v e r v i e w o f g a l l e r y space showing t h e masks as t h e y were d i s p l a y e d i n the c a s e s 19 II Two o f the theme statements used i n the e x h i b i t 20 I I I T h e . t h i r d e x h i b i t s t a t e m e n t . The photograph shows new i n i t i a t e s i n t o t he s e c r e t s o c i e t y a t A f i k p o 21 IV Two o f t h e p r i n c i p a l e x h i b i t photographs d e m o n s t r a t i n g the r i t u a l t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f Igbo masquerades. A i s t h e r i t u a l p r e p a r a t i o n . B i s performance b e f o r e an a u d i e n c e 22 V D e t a i l s o f Case 63. 23 VI D e t a i l s o f Case 64 24 VII D e t a i l s o f Case 65 24 V I I I Ozoebunnu from Ozubulu 26 IX L i v e performance o f the Igbo agbogho masquerade a t the G r e a t H a l l o f t h e Museum on J u l y 17, 1977, 75 X The i j e l e masquerade 118 ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My Master's p r o j e c t , t o a l a r g e d e g r e e , i s a c o l l a b o r a t i v e e f f o r t , and belongs not t o me a l o n e , but t o v a r i o u s o t h e r s . To t h e s e , I owe much. I wish t o e x p r e s s my g r a t i t u d e t o Dr. Simon O t t e n b e r g , Dr. A l l a n Sawyer, and Mr, Frank S t a r k w e a t h e r f o r l e n d i n g the masks used i n t h i s s t u d y and which were used t o i n s t a l l the e x h i b i t "The World o f S p i r i t s , Igbo Masks from N i g e r i a " . In the same l i g h t , I thank Dr. M i c h a e l Ames and a l l t h e s t a f f o f the U.B.C. Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y f o r p r o v i d i n g the f a c i l i t i e s n e c e s s a r y f o r the e x h i b i t , which, i n a way, made t h i s t h e s i s p o s s i b l e , I a l s o wish t o thank t h e members o f my graduate committee, Dr. M. H a l p i n , Dr. C S , Belshaw and Dr. A.R. Sawyer, f o r t h e i r h e l p , encourage-ment and guidance t h r o u g h o u t the f o r m u l a t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y . Thanks a r e a l s o due t o a l l t h o s e , my f r i e n d s , who have taken i n t e r e s t i n my work, p a r t i c u l a r l y Dr. C o l i n S mith, D i r e c t o r o f I n t e r n a t i o n a l House, f o r p r o v i d i n g f o r the t y p i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s . F i n a l l y , I wish t o p l a c e on r e c o r d my g r e a t e s t i n d e b t e d n e s s and deepest a p p r e c i a t i o n , which go t o P r o f e s s o r M a r j o r i e H a l p i n , w i t h o u t whose d i r e c t i o n and mature c r i t i c i s m t h i s s t u d y c o u l d h a r d l y have been done. Emmanuel C. Onwuzolum Vancouver, B.C. August, 1977. X A NOTE ON ORTHOGRAPHY One o f the d i f f i c u l t i e s which had b e s e t Igbo s t u d i e s i s t h e e x i s -t e n c e o f two a l t e r n a t i v e s p e l l i n g s o f "Ibo" and " I g b o " — a problem which the i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s o f even Igbo s c h o l a r s t hemselves had done n o t h i n g t o h e l p . P r i o r t o the l a t e 1960's, "Ibo" was almost u n i v e r s a l l y used both a t home and i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y . A l t h o u g h a h a n d f u l o f l i n g u i s t s and a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d used t h e t e c h n i c a l l y more c o r r e c t "Igbo", o t h e r s opted f o r Ibo on t h e grounds t h a t academic usage o f the word s h o u l d d i f f e r as T i t t l e as p o s s i b l e . And, h a v i n g once opted f o r Ibo, they n a t u r a l l y r e t a i n e d i t on the grounds o f c o n s i s t e n c y . We a r e now i n the 1970's and i t i s v e r y c l e a r t h a t t h i n g s have, changed. The overwhelming m a j o r i t y o f the Igbos have always p r e f e r r e d t he form "Igbo", which they r e g a r d as i n d i g e n o u s , i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n t o t he i n a c c u r a t e "Ibo" o f c o l o n i a l d a y s , which was a c o r r u p t i o n o f Igbo so t h a t t he "white man" c o u l d pronounce i t e a s i l y . T h e r e f o r e , Ibo i s A n g l i c i z e d Igbo. In t h i s w r i t i n g (and even i n my d i s c u s s i o n s ) , I have always m a i n t a i n e d and used the c o r r e c t term, Igbo. T h i s i s l o g i c a l l y on the grounds t h a t p e o p l e s h o u l d always be r e f e r r e d t o by the name w i t h which t h e y p r e f e r t o d e s c r i b e t h e m s e l v e s . In t he t r a n s c r i p t i o n o f Igbo words and phrases i n the t e x t , I have always f o l l o w e d t h i s p r i n c i p l e . Where f o l l o w i n g a w r i t t e n sound, I have c o p i e d the o r t h o g r a p h y o f my s o u r c e e x a c t l y ; hence some r e f e r e n c e t o Ibo i n s t e a d o f Igbo. But the two s h o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d t o mean the same and r e f e r t o t h e same p e o p l e . 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION TO THE PROBLEM OF THE MASK Except i n v e r y i s o l a t e d c a s e s o r a r e a s , e.g. t h e i s l a n d s o f P o l y n e s i a and the c o n t i n e n t o f A u s t r a l i a ^ , t h e r e i s h a r d l y a major p a r t o f t h e w o r l d i n which masks a r e absent o r i m p o r t a n t . I am u s i n g t h e word "mask" a t t h i s p o i n t i n t h e g e n e r a l sense o f a c o v e r i n g f o r the f a c e . P r e h i s t o r i c e v i d e n c e s u g g e s t i v e o f masking goes back t o the p a i n t i n g s o f the P a l e o l i t h i c , and a l o n g t r a i n o f l a t e r a r c h a e o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c forms l e a d up t o t h e l a t e s t models a v a i l a b l e from costume s u p p l i e r s and n o v e l t y shops. In a good s i z e d mask c o l l e c t i o n from a l m o s t any c u l t u r e a r e a , one may r e c o g n i z e a h o s t o f s p i r i t s and o t h e r s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s , a n i m a l s and b i r d s , monstrous c r e a t u r e s o f i m a g i n e r y forms, and even i n a n i m a t e o b j e c t s , as w e l l as many more o r l e s s human f a c e s . Not a l l masks, however, a r e d e s i g n e d w i t h r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l i n t e n t . There a r e forms which a r e p u r e l y a b s t r a c t and d e c o r a t i v e i n d e s i g n . Examples o f many o f such c o u l d be found among t h e Igbos o f N i g e r i a and some o f t h e s e w i l l be d e s c r i b e d l a t e r on a t a p p r o p r i a t e p o r t i o n s o f th e t h e s i s . The m a t e r i a l s which have gone i n t o the making o f masks i n v a r i o u s p a r t s o f the w o r l d have i n c l u d e d a l m o s t e v e r y s u b s t a n c e c o n c e i v a b l y u s a b l e f o r such a purpose, i n c l u d i n g even human s k u l l s . A common b a s i c m a t e r i a l has been wood, o f t e n augmented by bark c l o t h o r some o t h e r l o c a l f i b r e o r t e x t i l e . When dark o r b r i g h t p a i n t s , v a r i e g a t e d f e a t h e r s , ornamental l e a v e s , c o w r i e s h e l l s , and many o t h e r items a r e added, an 2 a s t o n i s h i n g v a r i e t y o f e f f e c t s i s produced. The Northwest Coast mask c o l l e c t i o n i n t h e Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y a t t h i s U n i v e r s i t y bears e l o q u e n t t e s t i m o n y t o t h i s . While masks have a v a r i e t y o f uses and f u n c t i o n s as w e l l , i n many p a r t s o f the w o r l d the masked f i g u r e i s a f r e q u e n t p a r t i c i p a n t i n the r i t u a l l i f e o f t h e s e many p e o p l e s . He has h i s p l a c e i n many c u r i n g c e r e m o n i e s , r i t u a l s o f d i v i n a t i o n , s a c r i f i c i a l r i t e s , r e l i g i o u s p r o -c e s s i o n s and s a c r e d dances. Among the most common s e t t i n g s f o r such d i s g u i s e s a r e e x c l u s i v e " s e c r e t " a s s o c i a t i o n s and c u l t groups. With numerous f u n c t i o n s , such groups range from t he North American Ku Klux Klan and I r o q u o i s f a l s e f a c e companies t o t h e poro s o c i e t i e s o f L i b e r i a , th e egungun o f t h e Yorubas, e k i n e s o c i e t i e s o f t h e Ijaws and the mmuo s e c r e t s o c i e t y o f the Igbos (the l a s t t h r e e o f the above a r e from N i g e r i a ) . These i n c l u d e a l s o the men's s e c r e t s o c i e t y groups common i n M e l a n e s i a . In such c o n t e x t s , masks u s u a l l y a r e not o n l y c o n c e a l e r s o f i d e n t i t y but a l s o symbols o f s t a t u s o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f the s u p e r -n a t u r a l b e i n g s o r both. Boas (1931:181) wrote c o n c e r n i n g t h i s : "The use o f the mask i s found among a g r e a t number o f p e o p l e s . The o r i g i n o f the custom i s by no means c l e a r i n a l l c a s e s , but a few t y p i c a l forms o f t h e i r uses may e a s i l y be d i s -t i n g u i s h e d . They a r e i n t e n d e d t o d e c e i v e s p i r i t s as t o the i d e n t i t y o f t h e wearer, and may thus p r o t e c t him a g a i n s t a t t a c k , o r the mask may r e p r e s e n t a s p i r i t which i s p e r s o n a l i z e d by t he wearer, who i n t h i s way f r i g h t e n s away s u p e r n a t u r a l enemies. S t i l l o t h e r s a r e commemorative, t h e wearer p e r s o n i -f y i n g a deceased f r i e n d . Masks a r e a l s o found i n t h e a t r i c a l performances i l l u s t r a t i n g m y t h i c a l i n c i d e n t s . Such v a r i a t i o n s o f uses s u g g e s t t he i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f a s i n g l e o r i g i n o f the custom". Wherever t h e y come from i n time and space, and whatever t h e i r shape o r component m a t e r i a l s , masks have l o n g been r e c o g n i z e d as c a s t i n g a s p e l l which i s p e c u l i a r l y t h e i r own. Even i n museum d i s p l a y o r i n 3 i l l u s t r a t i o n s i n books which p r e s e n t them as s t a t i c o r l i f e l e s s works o f a r t , masks have a s p e c i a l appeal which i s d i f f i c u l t t o d e s c r i b e . The f e e l i n g i s o f t e n e x p r e s s e d t h a t t h e s e o b j e c t s a r e endowed w i t h a s i n g u l a r l y s u p e r n a t u r a l o r p r e t e r n a t u r a l q u a l i t y . The b e h o l d e r o f the mask i s moved t o a t t r i b u t e a l i f e o f i t s own t o the o b j e c t . The f e e l i n g i n e v i t a b l y a r i s e s t h a t a masked p e r f o r m e r has somehow undergone a meta-morphosis and assumed, i n l i v i n g form, the q u a l i t i e s o f h i s d i s g u i s e . The w a t c h i n g a u d i e n c e , perhaps knowing t h a t what i t sees i s a person w e a r i n g something t h a t he can t a k e o f f a g a i n , n e v e r t h e l e s s i s c a p t u r e d by t h e i l l u s i o n , o r i s u n a b l e t o escape from the b e l i e f t h a t the mask somehow belongs t o the p e r f o r m i n g f i g u r e and e x p r e s s e s i t s n a t u r e , r a t h e r than t h a t o f t h e human i n s i d e . Benda (1945:1), a modern mask-maker, has d e s c r i b e d the p e c u l i a r q u a l i t i e s o f the p r o d u c t o f h i s a r t i n the f o l l o w i n g way: "A mask i s a w e i r d , p e r f i d i o u s and s i n g u l a r l y p e r p l e x i n g o b j e c t . I t has a p l a c e q u i t e a p a r t among t h i n g s made by human hands. Looking a t i t , even we who p r i d e o u r s e l v e s on our r e a l i s m and s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , a r e s e i z e d by a s t r a n g e f e e l i n g o f u n c e r t a i n t y whether p e r a d v e n t u r e i t i s not a l i v e , When the mask i s put on and e n a c t e d by someone, t h i s uncanny q u a l i t y and m y s t i f i c a t i o n i t c r e a t e s a r e i n t e n s i f i e d " . S i m i l a r b e l i e f s a r e found i n many p l a c e s and a r e e x p r e s s e d i n the r e l i g i o n s o f many p e o p l e s . For examples, t h i s b e l i e f i s v e r y s t r o n g among the seven m i l l i o n Igbos o f S o u t h e a s t e r n N i g e r i a . The Igbos as a p e o p l e p o s s e s s an a n c i e n t and d i s t i n c t i v e c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n and speak a common language. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , f a r m e r s , t r a d e r s , and f i s h e r m e n , numerous Igbo a r e now moving i n t o l a r g e modern c i t i e s and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n "the d e v e l o p i n g " g l o b a l c u l t u r e and economy. S t i l l , many v i t a l elements o f the Igbo way o f l i f e p e r s i s t , most n o t a b l y t h e i r 4 r e l i g i o u s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n i n i t i a t i o n and mask and masquerades, which o v e r a hundred y e a r s o f B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l r u l e and C h r i s t i a n m i s s i o n a r i e s c o u l d not d e s t r o y . The Igbos b e l i e v e and p a r t i c i p a t e i n masks and masquerades--a r i t u a l t h e a t r e which embodies some o f t h e most p r o f o u n d and d e e p l y - f e l t r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s o f the p e o p l e . I have s t u d i e d masks from many Igbo communities and i n t h e e x h i b i t "The World o f S p i r i t s " a t the Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y ( J u l y 4 - August 31, 1977), which i s the f i r s t element o f my Master's p r o j e c t , I t r i e d t o show the v i s u a l d i v e r s i t y o f Igbo a r t , w h i l e a t the same time d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h e u n d e r l y i n g u n i t y o f t h e i r r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t i o n s o f t h e unseen w o r l d t h r o u g h t h e i n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e mmuo--"masquerades". T h i s unseen w o r l d i s one o f a n c e s t o r s , the unborn, t h e dead, and the s p i r i t s which t he r i t u a l s o f masquerade b r i n g t o e x i s t e n t i a l r e a l i t y t hrough masks, costume, m u s i c , song, and dance. Whenever I had t h e p r i v i l e g e o f i n t e r v i e w i n g a masked d a n c e r a f t e r h i s performance d u r i n g my r e s e a r c h on Igbo masks, I was t o l d t h a t t he da n c e r f e l t h i m s e l f undergo some s o r t o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . He u s u a l l y f e l t and a c t e d as i f he were a n o t h e r b e i n g and not h i s u s u a l s e l f . I ob s e r v e d i t not o n l y among Igbos, but a l s o among some Yorubas o f N i g e r i a . The b e l i e f i s t h a t t he t r a n s f o r m a t i o n e n a b l e s the dancer t o move and a c t a c c o r d i n g t o the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a s s o c i a t e d by t r a d i t i o n t o t h e p a r t i c u l a r mask. Thus, i n t h e Yoruba Adamuorisa masquerade p l a y , Esu E l i g b a would p e r f o r m s a c r i f i c e s i n t h e p u b l i c i n h i s r o l e as the r i t u a l c l e a n s e r , o f the community. In t h e Ijaw e k i n e p l a y , Nimiaa Poku ("know n o t h i n g " ) a c t e d a moronic c h a r a c t e r . S i m i l a r l y , i n the Awuka p l a y o f t h e Igbos, Onukwu ( " f o o l " or "funny") a c t e d i n a f u n n y , f o o l i s h 5 way t o make peopl e laugh" 3. T h i s i s a l s o n o t i c e a b l e i n the A f i k p o okumkpa p l a y . Such b e l i e f s l i e a t t h e c o r e o f t h e mystery which i s g e n e r a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h masks. They a r e due p r o b a b l y i n p a r t t o t h e f a c t t h a t men everywhere .know each o t h e r by the f a c e s and o t h e r p e r s o n a l t r a i t s . In a per s o n ' s f a c e , one read s t h e s i g n s o f h i s i d e n t i t y , h i s moods, h i s a t t i t u d e towards o t h e r s , and something o f h i s p e r s o n a l i t y ; o r so we would l i k e t o t h i n k a t any r a t e . People everywhere a r e d e e p l y dependent on t h e s e s i g n s i n most o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s w i t h o t h e r men. I t i s perhaps not s u r p r i s i n g , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t a mask s h o u l d go a l o n g way toward l e n d i n g a new i d e n t i t y and c h a r a c t e r even t o a f a m i l i a r f a c e . The i l l u s i o n i s i n c r e a s e d , o f c o u r s e , i f the masker i s a p r o f e s s i o n a l p e r f o r m e r or someone e l s e not w e l l known t o t h o s e who watch him, o r i f , as among the Igbos, he i s c o m p l e t e l y d i s g u i s e d from h i s a u d i e n c e i n some c o m b i n a t i o n o f mask and b o d i l y costumes. These fundamental b e l i e f s a r e u s u a l l y h e i g h t e n e d s t i l l f u r t h e r by v a r i o u s ways i n . w h i c h t r a d i t i o n o f m y s t i f i c a t i o n s u r r o u n d i n g masking and mummery i s p e r p e t u a t e d . Among t h e Igbos, t he a u d i e n c e i s never a l l o w e d t o see t h e masked p e r f o r m e r t a k e o f f h i s mask; nor do even modern masked a c t o r s o f the Western t h e a t r e , f o r t h a t m a t t e r , u s u a l l y remove t h e i r d i s g u i s e s i n p u b l i c . However, i t s h o u l d be noted t h a t , i n some c u l t u r e s , e.g. New B r i t a i n , t h e masked dancer s t o p s f o r a w h i l e and removes h i s mask i n f r o n t o f h i s a u d i e n c e , puts i t on a g a i n , and c o n t i n u e s h i s p e r f o r m a n c e 4 . More commonly i n A f r i c a , as i n New Gu i n e a , t h e u n i n i t i a t e d a r e t o l d t h a t t h e f i g u r e s a r e s p i r i t s ; and t h o s e not adm i t t e d t o t h e m y s t e r i e s (Igbo women, f o r i n s t a n c e ) , a r e never a l l o w e d 6 t o see th e mask be i n g put on o r bei n g t a k e n o f f . T h e r e f o r e , i n one way o r a n o t h e r , t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the masked f i g u r e t o the o r d i n a r y men i s u s u a l l y hidden from t h e p u b l i c gaze, and thus the m y s t e r i o u s d i s t i n c t i o n between the two i s p r e s e r v e d . A l s o , t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the mask i t s e l f and the way i n which i t i s f a s t e n e d o r worn on th e head i s u s u a l l y more o r l e s s p r i v a t e knowledge, r e s t r i c t e d t o t h o s e who make and wear masks. The importance o f th e s e props o f mystery can a l s o be: seen i n the f a c t t h a t the r e v e l a t i o n o f t h e i r t r u e n a t u r e t o members o f p r i v i l e g e d groups u s u a l l y i n v o l v e s some degree o f r i t u a l i z a t i o n . P u b e r t y r i t e s among many p e o p l e s i n v o l v e the a c q u i s i t i o n o f such knowledge. R e v e l a t i o n o f t h i s k i n d i s a p p r o p r i a t e l y d e s c r i b e d as i n i t i a t i o n , i . e . "customary unmasking", which i n Igbo i s known as Ima mmuo o r i b a na mmuo ("knowing the s p i r i t o r e n t e r i n g the s p i r i t " ) . Masks r e t a i n t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s even a f t e r such r e v e l a t i o n , because i n i t i a t i o n i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y a l l o w e d t o happen o n l y i n s p e c i a l l y p r e s c r i b e d s o c i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s such as growing out o f c h i l d h o o d and becoming a member o f a s p e c i a l e s o t e r i c group. F u r t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n s w i l l be g i v e n l a t e r i n th e t h e s i s . I t i s commonly s t a t e d o r i m p l i e d t h a t t h e c o n t r a s t i n g r e s p o n s e s t o masks d i f f e r e n t i a t e the " p r i m i t i v e " from the " c i v i l i z e d " w o r l d . The r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t the mask i s o n l y a mask and t h e r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t a masked f i g u r e i s but a human b e i n g i n d i s g u i s e a r e i d e n t i f i e d w i t h t h e s o p h i s t i c a t i o n o f a s e c u l a r o r t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y advanced s o c i e t y . I t i s s a i d t h a t n o n - l i t e r a t e p e o p l e s b e l i e v e t h a t t h e i r masked f i g u r e s a c t u a l l y a r e non-human b e i n g s , and t h a t t h e p r i m i t i v e masker i s c o n v i n c e d t h a t he l i t e r a l l y becomes whatever h i s d i s g u i s e s s i g n i f y . T h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f masking has been p a r t i c u l a r l y emphasized and de v e l o p e d by s c h o l a r s 7 i n t e r e s t e d i n d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t t h e m e n t a l i t y o f n o n - l i t e r a t e p e o p l e s 5 s e t s them s h a r p l y a p a r t from l i t e r a t e s o c i e t y . S i m i l a r views have been e x p r e s s e d by some a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s i n d i s c u s s i o n s o f v a r i o u s c u l t u r a l phenomena a s s o c i a t e d w i t h masks, such as s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s and " p r i m i t i v e drama". Some o f such a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s a r e Webster (1932: 7 6 ) , L i p s (1949:269), R o e d r i g e r (1961:158-9), e t c . W r i t e r s p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e a e s t h e t i c a s p e c t s o f masks a l s o o f t e n a s c r i b e t o both a n c i e n t and n o n - l i t e r a t e p e o p l e s , the same d i s t i n c t i v e r e s p o n s e s t o t h e mask. One c o u l d r e f e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , t o t h e works o f R i l e y (1955:18) and B r e t o n (1960). While t h i s has g e n e r a l l y been t h e dominant view i n d i s c u s s i o n s o f masks, i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o p o i n t out t h a t t h i s i s wrong. In f a c t , the a s c r i p t i o n o f such l i t e r a l and u n i f o r m b e l i e f s t o a l l maskers and t h e i r a u d i e n c e o u t s i d e Western s o c i e t y can be c h a l l e n g e d as e t h n o c e n t r i s m o r even r a c i s m . F u r t h e r , as was noted e a r l i e r , masks have d i f f e r e n t o r i g i n s and f u n c t i o n s i n d i f f e r e n t s o c i e t i e s . Even a r e c e n t attempt..by a h i s t o r i a n t o i n t e r p r e t masks as mani-f e s t a t i o n s o f u n i v e r s a l p l a y element i n human n a t u r e concedes much t o t h e dominant view by a s s o c i a t i n g t h i s element " p r i m a r i l y w i t h c h i l d r e n and p r i m i t i v e p e o p l e s " . ( H u i z i n g a , 1949:26). S i m i l a r l y , a contemporary s t u d e n t o f mythology i n t e r p r e t s masks as a prime e x p r e s s i o n o f the s p i r i t o f "as i f . " o r " m a k e - b e l i e v e " , but he a l s o s t r e s s e s l i t e r a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and f i n d s i t s c l e a r e s t e x p r e s s i o n i n " c h i l d h o o d and p r i m i t i v e l i f e " . ( C a m p b e l l , 1959:21). To c h a l l e n g e t h e s e v e r y wrong assumptions i s one o f the s t r o n g e s t and most p r e s s i n g r e a s o n s f o r under-t a k i n g t h i s s t u d y o f masks. 8 There i s , o f c o u r s e , ample e v i d e n c e t h a t among numerous p e o p l e s the u n i n i t i a t e d a r e encouraged t o b e l i e v e t h a t masked f i g u r e s a r e more than mere humans i n d i s g u i s e . I t seems p r o b a b l e , e s p e c i a l l y where masking i s con n e c t e d w i t h b e l i e f s i n the s u p e r n a t u r a l , as among t h e Igbos, t h a t such l i t e r a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s a r e g e n e r a l l y a c c e p t e d . Yet by no means do a l l masking t r a d i t i o n s i n v o l v e a b e l i e f i n p o s s e s s i o n by s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s . I t cannot be assumed t h a t i n e v e r y s o c i e t y which makes masks, t h e u n i n i t i a t e d a r e t a u g h t o r f o r c e d t o a c c e p t i m p e r s o n a t i o n l i t e r a l l y , nor i s i t c e r t a i n t h a t such t e a c h i n g s a r e always a c c e p t e d w i t h f u l l s e r i o u s n e s s o r w i t h o u t q u a l i f i c a t i o n . Thus, i t i s known among th e Igbos t h a t women may know, but p r e t e n d i g n o r a n c e , o f t h e f a c t t h a t the mask i s a man i n d i s g u i s e . I s t a n d t o be quoted on t h i s . I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t v a r i o u s more o r l e s s s u b t l e and complex c o m b i n a t i o n s o f b e l i e f s and s k e p t i c i s m s c h a r a c t e r i z e d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e s o r even d i f f e r e n t groups w i t h i n p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t i e s . Moreover, among t h e Igbos t h e r e a r e masks w i t h no r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l i n t e n t o r v a l u e and some such masks appear a t performances t h a t cannot be r e g a r d e d as s e r i o u s . There i s , f o r example, t h e Igbo u l a g a mask performed by y o u t h s between t h e ages o f t e n and f i f t e e n with.no s e r i o u s o v e r t o n e s ^ . There a r e c e l e b r a t i o n s o f t h e Ngwa o f Southern o r Owerri Igbo i n which both men and women c o l o u r f u l l y a t t i r e d , dance t o g e t h e r 8 w i t h t h e i r masks w i t h o u t any f e a r . F u r t h e r , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d e s c r i b e w i t h c e r t a i n t y and c l a r i t y , t h e p r e c i s e q u a l i t y o f p e r c e p t i o n s and b e l i e f s s h a r e d by p e o p l e w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e s e m a t t e r s . However, I d i d not f i n d anyone among t h e Igbos who d i d not somehow impl y t h a t they knew t h a t t he mask i s a man i n d i s g u i s e . 9 T r u e , s e c r e c y and mystery surrounds masks, as has been shown and w i l l c o n t i n u e t o be shown, but s i m p l e d e l u s i o n s as t o t h e i r n a t u r e c o u l d not be d i s c o v e r e d . D e s p i t e t h e f a c t t h a t masking has many s a c r e d a s s o c i a t i o n s f o r t h e Igbos (as w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e s ) , and i s o r g a n i z e d i n the form o f a men's s e c r e t s o c i e t y , mmuoy i t i s my c o n t e n t i o n t h a t i t i s e s s e n t i a l l y a r i t u a l , f e s t i v e , and t h e a t r i c a l a c t i v i t y o r d e v i c e whose p r i m a r y aim i s t o c r e a t e r e l i g i o u s p a g e a n t r y and e n t e r t a i n m e n t f o r Igbo v i l l a g e r s . In h i s s t u d y o f masks among the M e l a n e s i a n s , V a l e n t i n e (1961:6) a r r i v e d a t a c o n c l u s i o n which I c o n s i d e r a p p r o p r i a t e t o the p r e s e n t d i s c u s s i o n . He n o t e d : "Thus i t seems p r o b a b l e t h a t c o n t r a s t i n g ways o f v i e w i n g o r r e s p o n d i n g t o t h e mask and t h e masker do n o t n e a t l y d i v i d e the n o n - l i t e r a t e w o r l d and modern s o c i e t y . Perhaps t h e a t t i t u d e o f men i n e x o t i c s o c i e t i e s a r e not always so d i f f e r e n t from our r e s p o n s e s t o our own forms o f maskery and mummery. U n q u a l i f i e d r e a l i s m h a r d l y d e s c r i b e s a d e q u a t e l y a l l o f our own r e a c t i o n t o masked p e r f o r m a n c e s . Indeed, i t i s our v e r y a c c e p t a n c e o f i l l u s i o n and s u r r e n d e r t o a sense o f mystery t h a t g i v e masks the p e c u l i a r appeal and e f f e c t i v e n e s s which few among us would deny th e y have. T h i s remains t r u e i n s p i t e o f t h e f a c t t h a t we a l s o have r e a l i s t i c r e s p o n s e s t o maskery as w e l l . I t may w e l l be t h a t some such s p e c i a l a t t i t u d e , compounded o f p a r t i a l l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y r e a c t i o n s i s a l s o a key t o the p l a c e o f masks i n c u l t u r e s v e r y d i f f e r e n t from our own". I t i s i n d e e d because o f t h i s , t h a t one must i n s i s t t h a t t h e impor-t a n c e o f t h e mask (seen from t h e p o i n t o f view o f t h e Igbos but perhaps a p p l i c a b l e t o o t h e r c u l t u r e s ) , s h o u l d t h e r e f o r e be examined and u n d e r s t o o d , not o n l y because i t t r a n s c e n d s mere mundane n o t i o n s ( t h e r e b y c o n j u r i n g up the p r e s e n c e and hence awe o f t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l ) , but a l s o because i t was and s t i l l i s a form o f t h e a t r e which I w i l l c a l l r i t u a l t h e a t r e . I t i s a drama i n which t h o s e t h a t have been i n i t i a t e d i n t o the mmuo 10 s o c i e t y p e r f o r m as a c t o r s w h i l e the o t h e r members o f t h e community watch as a c t i v e and p a r t i c i p a t i n g a u d i e n c e and s p e c t a t o r s . I t must a l s o be s t r e s s e d , f u r t h e r , t h a t w i t h o u t t h i s a u d i e n c e , a masked p e r f o r -mance o r p l a y would be m e a n i n g l e s s . A g r e a t d e a l has been s a i d and w r i t t e n about t r a d i t i o n a l A f r i c a n a e s t h e t i c forms. For t h e g r a p h i c and p l a s t i c a r t s a l o n e , a h b i b l i o g r a p h y p u b l i s h e d o v e r t e n y e a r s ago by G a s k i n (1965) l i s t s more than f i v e thousand i t e m s . Somewhat s m a l l e r q u a n t i t i e s o f m a t e r i a l s have been p u b l i s h e d on A f r i c a n f o l k w a y s , and much l e s s i n the f i e l d o f music. A c c o r d i n g t o O t t e n b e r g (1971) " d e s p i t e t h i s v a s t l i t e r a t u r e , t h e r e i s v e r y l i t t l e t h a t g i v e s the A f r i c a n ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f h i s a r t , u s i n g t h e word b r o a d l y t o i n c l u d e a l l a f t forms". T h i s i s t r u e because most o f t h e work on A f r i c a (and Igbos a r e no e x c e p t i o n ) has been from t h e o u t -s i d e r ' s p o i n t o f view, b a s i c a l l y t h a t o f t h e Western i n v e s t i g a t o r s and s c h o l a r s . We owe a d e b t o f g r a t i t u d e t o t h e s e b o l d s c h o l a r s who i n t h e i r own way c o n t r i b u t e d t o knowledge about t h e a r t and p e o p l e s o f the "dark c o n t i n e n t " . However, such s t u d i e s have no t been e n t i r e l y w i t h o u t b i a s e s from which a l l k i n d s o f m i s l e a d i n g i n f e r e n c e s have been made. The time i s now r i p e f o r A f r i c a n s t o w r i t e about t h e i r own art;, e s p e c i a l l y i n c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t s . T h i s i s what I am a t t e m p t i n g t o a c h i e v e i n t h i s s t u d y o f Igbo masks and masquerades. RATIONALE FOR RESEARCH AND DATA The o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o c o n t r i b u t e a n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n t o 11 the u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the w i d e s p r e a d c u l t u r a l phenomenon o f masking. The t h e s i s w i l l a d d r e s s i t s e l f t o t h e c e n t r a l problem o f p r o v i d i n g an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s f o r t h e i n s t i t u t i o n o f masquerading, w h i c h , as was p o i n t e d o u t , Western a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have found e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t t o e x p l a i n , Western s c h o l a r s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h i s f i e l d c o n s i d e r the mask as a p i e c e o f wood, b u t m a s k e r s c o n s i d e r i t as a l i v i n g f o r c e — a r e a l i t y . The paradox i s t h a t the p i e c e o f wood has become r e a l . I s h a l l t h e r e f o r e be d e v o t i n g t h i s s t u d y t o e x p l o r i n g the problem o f i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y i n the s p e c i f i c e t h n o g r a p h i c c o n t e x t o f the Igbos. I s h a l l t r y t o p r o v i d e adequate e x p l a n a t i o n s and answers t o the i s s u e o f what t r a n s p i r e s when t h e Igbos engage i n masked r i t u a l p l a y s o r as T u r n e r (1975) would l i k e t o i n t e r p r e t i t , t h e s y m b o l i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t h a t o c c u r s i n the s o c i a l drama t h a t i s masquerade p e r -formance. Data w i t h which I w i l l attempt t o p r o v i d e some answers t o t h e q u e s t i o n s r a i s e d e a r l i e r a r e d e r i v e d from t h e f o l l o w i n g s o u r c e s . (1) A c o l l e c t i o n o f Igbo masks which I have assembled and e x h i b i t e d a t the Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y . Documentation o f t h e s e masks w i l l be found i n Chapter II o f t h i s t h e s i s . Indeed, t h i s t h e s i s i s p r i m a r i l y an a d d i t i o n a l s o u r c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n t o t h i s major e x h i b i t e n t i t l e d "The World o f S p i r i t s " . The c o l l e c t i o n o f masks c o v e r as many Igbo v a r i e t i e s as were p o s s i b l e t o c o l l e c t w i t h i n t h e P a c i f i c Northwest i n the time a v a i l a b l e t o me, and w i l l be supplemented by photographs taken as p a r t o f my r e s e a r c h i n t o t he f a c t s and f u n c t i o n o f masquerades among t h e Igbos. (2) I w i l l a l s o r e l y v e r y h e a v i l y on my p e r s o n a l e t h n o g r a p h i c 12 e x p e r i e n c e as a p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v e r i n Igbo c u l t u r e g e n e r a l l y , and the mmuo ("masquerade") s o c i e t y i n p a r t i c u l a r , I was born and r a i s e d i n Igbo c o u n t r y (Ozubulu, t o be p r e c i s e ) , and throu g h t he i n f l u e n c e o f my f a m i l y ( i . e , p a r e n t s and a g n a t e s ) , I d i d p a r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y i n Igbo c u l t u r e , In my c h i l d h o o d , h i s t o r y and morals were t a u g h t t h r o u g h t a l e s and p r o v e r b s . C h i l d r e n o f t h e same age grade and t h o s e o f h i g h e r o r lower age s e t s i n f l u e n c e d each o t h e r t h r o u g h a c t i v i t i e s l i k e w r e s t l i n g , games, e t e . The mores o f t h e s o c i e t y were t a u g h t t o c h i l d r e n t h r o u g h examples and d i r e c t approach by p a r e n t s and e l d e r s . I was e s p e c i a l l y w e l l - t r a i n e d because I s p e n t a l o t o f my time w i t h my l a t e g r a n d f a t h e r who h e l d a h i g h c i v i c and l e a d e r s h i p p o s i t i o n i n the v i l l a g e as d i - O k p a l a ("the f i r s t b o r n " ) . I was i n i t i a t e d i n t o t h e Ozubulu mmuo ("masquerade") s o c i e t y i n December 1963 and I have e v e r s i n c e p a r -t i c i p a t e d as a f u l l - f l e d g e d member i n t h e i r r i t u a l p l a y s . I s t u d i e d a n t h r o p o l o g y and gradu a t e d i n 1973 from the U n i v e r s i t y o f N i g e r i a , Nsukka. A t t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n , I s t u d i e d and a c q u i r e d r e s e a r c h t e c h n i q u e s which became h e l p f u l t o me i n l a t e r y e a r s as a c u r a t o r i n the N a t i o n a l Museum, Lagos, N i g e r i a . I c a r r i e d out r e s e a r c h as p a r t o f my f u n c t i o n s and I p u b l i s h e d "The Museum and the P u b l i c " (1975), and " R e o r g a n i z i n g t h e Museum S e r v i c e i n N i g e r i a " (1974). The forme r o f t h e s e two a r t i c l e s i s a v a i l a b l e on r e q u e s t from the D i r e c t o r o f t h e N i g e r i a n Museum i n Lagos, I then began t o s t u d y masks because my p r o f e s s i o n a l i n t e r e s t was arouse d as a r e s u l t o f t h e many mask p i e c e s a v a i l a b l e i n the Lagos Museum. I was a l l o w e d t o engage i n th e s e s t u d i e s from September 1975 t o August 1976, I spen t t h i s one y e a r p e r i o d i n Igbo c o u n t r y , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n Ozubulu, where I took p a r t i n and obs e r v e d 13 i n d e t a i l i n i t i a t i o n , and t h e Ozoebunu masquerade pe r f o r m a n c e . I a l s o s p e n t t i m e i n Awka where I s t u d i e d and o b s e r v e d t h e I j e l e masquerade, I have not y e t p u b l i s h e d on t h i s s u b j e c t , However, I c o n s i d e r my s t u d y unique i n the sense t h a t I am not aware o f a n o t h e r Igbo i n i t i a t e who has had the r a r e o p p o r t u n i t y o f g o i n g back as a p r o f e s s i o n a l a n t h r o -p o l o g i s t t o s t u d y the i n s t i t u t i o n o f masquerades and w r i t e about i t . (3) A l t h o u g h l i t e r a t u r e d e a l i n g w i t h t h e Igbo c u l t u r e and s o c i a l l i f e has been s u r p r i s i n g l y meager, y e t t h e r e a r e a few Western a u t h o r s who have done some p i o n e e r i n g work i n the a r e a o f A f r i c a n a r t s and have i n c l u d e d the s u b j e c t o f masks, Some o f them a r e Segy (1953 and 1975), Jones (1971), W i l l e t (1971), Wingert (1974), Underwood (1952), S i e b e r (1962), and F r a z e r (1966). S t a r k w e a t h e r (1966) and C o l e (1970) wrote documentaries t o accompany t h e i r e x h i b i t s o f Igbo a r t . I must say t h a t t h e i r e f f o r t s have been p r a i s e w o r t h y , a l t h o u g h most o f t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n , as i n d e e d t h o s e o f the o t h e r s above, have been p u r e l y d e s c r i p t i v e . R e c e n t l y , and f o r t u n a t e l y , O t t e n b e r g (1975) has w r i t t e n a c l a s s i c on Igbo masks, His emphasis was on t h e A f i k p o Igbos, but what he d e s c r i b e d c o u l d be a p p l i e d t o - t h e o t h e r Igbos, He d i d b e g i n t o examine masks i n terms o f t h e a t r e , f o c u s s i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the a c t o r s (masks) and the a u d i e n c e ( t h e community). O t t e n b e r g (1973:32) wrote o f t h i s as f o l l o w s : "Yet the a u d i e n c e a t masquerades a t A f i k p o and i n o t h e r p a r t s o f A f r i c a i s o f t e n q u i t e a c t i v e and e x p r e s s i v e . . . A f u l l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the performance r e q u i r e s v e r y c l o s e o b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f t h e a u d i e n c e as w e l l as p l a y e r s , f o r i n a sense t h e y a r e a c t i n g , and a r e i n v o l v e d , i n s e n s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h one a n o t h e r " . 14 The t h e s i s w i l l t h e o r e t i c a l l y answer and extend f u r t h e r the frame-work used by O t t e n b e r g — n a m e l y , l o o k i n g a t t h e mask as t h e a t r e . F u r t h e r , I i n t e n d t o use Leach's (1963) f o r m u l a t i o n o f s y m b o l i c r e p -r e s e n t a t i o n o f time and r i t u a l s e p a r a t i o n , a Durkheimian i d e a , t o d emonstrate t h a t t h i s t h e a t r e , t h a t i s masquerade, h e l p s t o e l e v a t e o r remove the r u r a l Igbos from the s e c u l a r o r e v e r y d a y l i f e on the farms t o a n o t h e r p l a n e o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n which an attempt i s made t o r e s o l v e t h e q u e s t i o n o f r e a l i t y . By combining (1) and (3) above, i t i s my hope t h a t I w i l l be a b l e t o demonstrate t h a t the mask i s a n e c e s s i t y f o r the Igbos as a medium o f r e l a x a t i o n and, most i m p o r t a n t , f o r r e - e n a c t i n g t h o s e s o c i a l f o r c e s t h a t a r e n e c e s s a r y f o r s o c i e t y ' s c o n t i n u i t y and s o l i d a r i t y . T h i s i s a f i r s t s t e p towards c o n t r i b u t i n g t h e o r e t i c a l l y towards an a c c e p t a b l e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the w i d e s p r e a d c u l t u r a l phenomenon o f mask. I t i s a l s o a c o n t r i b u t i o n towards the r e b i r t h o f t r a d i t i o n a l A f r i c a n drama and t h e a t r e . I t i s not g e n e r a l l y r e a l i z e d by o u t s i d e r s t h a t the forms o f drama i n A f r i c a most commonly r e c o g n i z e d today a r e a two extremes o f a continuum: t h e t r a d i t i o n a l l y i n d i g e n o u s and t h e b l a t a n t l y c o l o n i a l . The f i r s t i s found i n e l a b o r a t e and complex r i t u a l , both l i t u r g i c a l and t h e a t r i c a l , S i n c e a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have been the r e p o r t e r s o f t h e s e e v e n t s , they have s t r e s s e d the s o c i a l purposes o f such a c t i v i t i e s , b e i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l l y i n d i f f e r e n t t o the d r a m a t i c elements o f p u b l i c p e r f o r m a n c e . In f a c t , t h e s e o c c a s i o n s o f f e r a form o f communal t h e a t r e -i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h a p a r t i c i p a t i n g a u d i e n c e , and much more remains t o be s a i d about t h e i r d e l i b e r a t e d r a m a t i c e f f e c t s . The o t h e r well-known t h e a t r e e x i s t s i n U n i v e r s i t i e s . In Anglophone / 15 A f r i c a , t h e s e were f o r m e r l y t he p r o d u c t i o n s o f the c l a s s i c B r i t i s h r e p e r t o i r e from Shakespeare t o Shaw. In the c o l o n i a l days, t h i s p l a y e d down the t r a d i t i o n a l t h e a t r e which was seen as e v i l and p r i m i t i v e . Today the a d m i r a t i o n f o r t h e s e Western p r o d u c t i o n s i s b e g i n n i n g t o d i m i n i s h because some independent A f r i c a n c o u n t r i e s a r e b e g i n n i n g t o r e j e c t the i n h e r i t e d c o l o n i a l a r r o g a n c e t h a t had a f f i r m e d t he imported a r t t o be more e l e g a n t and c i v i l i z e d t h a n t h e d e n i g r a t e d r e s i d u e o f n a t i v e c u l t u r e . I t i s s t u d i e s , such as t h i s one, t h a t w i l l h e l p a c h i e v e t h i s i m p o r t a n t g o a l , and p r e s e r v e our h e r i t a g e . ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS The t h e s i s i t s e l f i s o r g a n i z e d i n s i x c h a p t e r s . C h a p t e r I i s an i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the problem o f the mask. I t s e t s f o r t h the c e n t r a l problem' o f st u d y and d a t a a v a i l a b l e f o r the t h e s i s . Chapter II d e s c r i b e s the e x h i b i t "The World o f S p i r i t s " and p r o v i d e s d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n on the d i s p l a y e d masks. Chapter I I I g i v e s the g e o g r a p h i c a l , h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i o - c u l t u r a l background o f the Igbos, as a p e o p l e . I t i s my c o n v i c t i o n t h a t an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the Igbos t h e m s e l v e s , w i l l h e l p us g a i n a b e t t e r i n s i g h t i n t o t h e i r masquerade c e r e m o n i e s . P a r t i c u l a r l y , I i n t e n d t o f o c u s g r e a t a t t e n t i o n on t h e p h i l o s o p h y and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s o f the Igbos s i n c e t h e s e w i l l answer so many q u e s t i o n s t h a t might a r i s e i n l a t e r p a r t s o f the t h e s i s . Chapter IV g i v e s an e t h n o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e masks, i n i t i a t i o n 16 i n t o t he mmuo ("masquerade") s o c i e t y , and a u d i e n c e r e a c t i o n i n g e n e r a l . I w i l l t r y t o e s t a b l i s h the f a c t and f u n c t i o n o f t h e mask, b a s i n g my i d e a s on t h e d a t a a v a i l a b l e t o me, I hope a l s o t o r e l y on my e x p e r i -ences as a p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v e r . Chapter V w i l l f o c u s on masks and a u d i e n c e i n a t h e o r e t i c a l framework s u g g e s t e d by O t t e n b e r g ' s work, namely, d e v e l o p i n g "the r i t u a l t h e a t r e c o n c e p t " o f Igbo masks and masquerades. T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l examine n o t o n l y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e masked p e r f o r m e r s ( i . e . a c t o r s ) and the a u d i e n c e ( i . e . the community), but w i l l a l s o use Leach's a n d E l i a d e ' s framework t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i n i t i a t e s ' and e n t i r e community's e x p e r i e n c e b e f o r e , d u r i n g and a f t e r t he r i t u a l t h e a t r e . There w i l l then come a b r i e f C h a p t e r VI i n which I s t a t e my c o n -c l u s i o n s . * 17 CHAPTER I Notes and R e f e r e n c e s 1. I c r e d i t t h i s statement t o V a l e n t i n e who t h i n k s t h a t what o b t a i n s i n t h o s e p a r t s o f the w o r l d i s not masking but body p a i n t i n g , c f V a l e n t i n e ; 1961:1. 2. I b i d . For f u r t h e r d e s c r i p t i v e l i t e r a t u r e one c o u l d c o n s u l t Adam, 1949; Benda, 1945; Boas, 1927; B r e t o n , 1960; Douglas and d'Harnon-c o u r t , 1941; G i r t h , 1936; G r e g o r , 1937; L e w i s , 1922; L i n t o n and W i n g e r t , 1946; Meyer, 1889; Meyer and P a r k i n s o n , 1895; Nevermann, 1933; R i l e y , 1955; R o e d r i g e r , 1961; Underwood, 1952; and W i s s l e r , 1938. 3. Because t h e masquerade i s t h e a t r i c a l d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f c u l t u r a l myths, the masked dancer o r p e r f o r m e r must a c t i n the manner p r e s c r i b e d by custom as b e l o n g i n g t o the c h a r a c t e r o f h i s d i s g u i s e . 4. c f Masks and Men Among the K i l e n g e , Western New B r i t a i n . 16 mm c o l o u r sound f i l m by A d r i a n A, Gerbrands. 1970. 5. One i m m e d i a t e l y r e c a l l s statements such as t h i s one made by Levy-B r u h l : "To put on a mask, w i t h t h e s e p e o p l e , i s n o t , as i t i s w i t h us, a mere d i s g u i s e " . B r u h l , 1935:123-4. A l s o B r u h l , 1923. 6. c f Lowie (1940:434), where he notes t h a t masks used by o t h e r B r a z i l i a n t r i b e s t o impersonate s p i r i t s and t e r r i f y the u n i n i t i a t e d a r e used by the C a n e l l a p u r e l y f o r amusement. 7. U l a g a masks o b t a i n among t h e C e n t r a l and N o r t h e r n Igbos. For a n o t h e r example o f such masks, see O t t e n b e r g (1975), where he d e s c r i b e s A f i k p o c h i l d r e n ' s mba mask. 8. c f Amankulor, "The F i r s t All-Ngwa C u l t u r a l F e s t i v a l " i n A f r i c a n A r t s . J a n uary 1977, V o l . X, No. 2. 18 CHAPTER II  THE WORLD OF SPIRITS T h i s i s the t i t l e I gave t o t h e e x h i b i t o f Igbo masks which I o r g a n i z e d and p r e s e n t e d a t the U.B.C. Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y . I t was a major p a r t o f my Master's p r o j e c t i n a n t h r o p o l o g y (museology) and s e r v e d as an i n t r o d u c t i o n t o the s t u d y o f masks. I t l a s t e d from J u l y 5 t o August 29, 1977. In t h i s e x h i b i t as w e l l as the t h e s i s , I p r e s e n t e d Igbo mask as r i t u a l t h e a t r e . T h i s c o n c e p t was a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h t h e use o f a p p r o p r i a t e theme stat e m e n t s and photographs (see p l a t e s I , I I , and I I I ) . The theme stat e m e n t s speak f o r t h e m s e l v e s . The two photographs which accompanied t h e s e s t a t e m e n t s were i n t e n d e d t o demonstrate t h e r i t u a l t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f Igbo masquerades. A i s t h e r i t u a l p r e p a r a t i o n f o r masquerade, w h i l e B demonstrates t h e a t r i c a l i t y by showing masked p e r f o r m e r s ( a c t o r s ) and t h e i r a u d i e n c e (community). See p l a t e IV. The d i s p l a y was c o n t a i n e d i n t h r e e c a s e s - - 6 3 , 64 and 65. Case 63 ( p l a t e V) which i s the l o n g e s t , c o n t a i n e d the Okpa costume from Amaseri near A f i k p o , t w e l v e A f i k p o f a c e masks, and f i v e i k e n ga f i g u r i n e s . A f i k p o i s S o u t h e a s t e r n Igbo. I used t e x t i l e s and r a f f i a from the Museum as a p p r o p r i a t e backgrounds f o r both the A f i k p o masks and t h e i k e n g a f i g u r i n e s . Case 64 ( p l a t e VI) c o n t a i n e d one Okpolumpi o r Nwampi mask and f o u r Odogu o r Okpoka masks. These masks a r e from Ozubulu. In c a s e 65 ( p l a t e V I I ) were d i s p l a y e d f i v e agbogho masks from Enugu, No r t h e r n Igbo. 19 P l a t e I. An ove r v i e w o f g a l l e r y space showing the masks as they were d i s p l a y e d i n the c a s e s . Photographs o f the e x h i b i t were taken by Jean H a m i l t o n , U.B.C. Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y . T H E W O R L D O F SP IR ITS Igbo Masquerade The seven million Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria possess an ancient and distinctive cultural tradition and speak a common language. Traditionally, farmers, traders, and fishermen, numerous Igbo are now moving into large modern cities and participating in the developing global culture and economy. Still, many vital elements of the Igbo way persist, most notably their religious participation in initiation and masquerade, which over a hundred years of British rule and Christian missionaries could not destroy. This exhibition is an introduction to Igbo masks and masquerade — a ritual theatre which embodies some of the most profound and deeply felt religious beliefs of the people. The exhibition features masks from the Northern, Central and South-eastern Igbo and shows the visual diversity of Igbo art, while demonstrating as well the underlying unity of their religious conceptions of the unseen world. This is a world of ancestors, the unborn, and the spirits, which the rituals of masquerade bring to experiential reality through mask, costume, music, song and dance. ' Igbo Masks > Whi le masks are the aspect of masquerade most c o m m o n l y f ound in museums, they are mere ly carved pieces of w o o d w h i c h have been separated f r o m the sounds, costumes, and r i tua l sett ing w h i c h c o m p l e t e the i r mean ing and ex is tence in Igboland. A mask in an e x h i b i t is a piece of art; a mask in its t r ad i t i ona l sett ing is a being. Wh i l e it is h u m a n men w h o actua l l y carve and wear the masks, they are on l y the agents th rough w h i c h the beings represented by the mask c o m e t empo ra r i l y f r o m the w o r l d beyond into the w o r l d o f here and now. Thus, the masks y ou see here on e x h i b i t are mere ly lifeless objects, bu t they are clues to the more powe r f u l and endur ing beings they both represent and reincarnate in three-d imens iona l phys ica l f o r m . In order to use y o u r imag inat ion to par t i c ipate in the exper ience of masking, y ou are asked to cons ider how the mask transforms the man who wears it: — it hides his o w n face and ident i t y — it frees h i m f r o m the rules o f c o n d u c t w h i c h govern everyday l i f e — it a l lows h im to become the o the r being that it represents. Perhaps the best way to l o o k ^ t a mask is to imagine your se l f o n the inside . l ook ing out. P l a t e I I . Two o f the theme statements used i n t h e e x h i b i t . 21 Initiation Into the M m u o Knowledge of the mask and its deeper meanings, and the right to experience personal transformation while wearing one, is carefully restricted to men who have been initiated into the mmuo ("secret society"). Every male in the community must undergo initiation or experience shame and ridicule. It is a test of courage and endurance and a prerequisite to becoming a man with adult responsibilities. These include maintaining for the community as a whole the vital links between the living and the dead which keeps the visible world in harmony with the powerful unseen world beyond. By gaining the approval of the ancestors through initiation, adult men also take on the responsibility for maintaining social, political, and judicial control in the affairs of normal Igbo life. Initiation transforms boys into men; masquerade transforms men into spirits and ancestors. Through these methods the spiritual and moral continuity of the Igbo way is maintained. P l a t e I I I . The t h i r d e x h i b i t s t a t e m e n t . The photograph shows new i n i t i a t e s i n t o t h e s e c r e t s o c i e t y a t A f i k p o . Photograph c o u r t e s y o f Simon O t t e n b e r g , U n i v e r s i t y o f Washington, S e a t t l e . 22 P l a t e IV. Two o f the p r i n c i p a l e x h i b i t photographs d e m o n s t r a t i n g the r i t u a l t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f Igbo masquerades. A i s the r i t u a l p r e p a r a t i o n . B i s performance b e f o r e an a u d i e n c e . Photograph c o u r t e s y o f Simon O t t e n b e r g , U n i v e r s i t y o f Washington, S e a t t l e , P l a t e V. D e t a i l s o f Case 63. P l a t e V I I . D e t a i l s o f Case 65. 25 I d e s i g n e d and made costumes f o r the Nwampi and one Odogu mask showing how t h e s e a r e worn i n Ozubulu. The costume f o r t h e s e masks c o n s i s t e d o f a sewn brown t e x t i l e and woven r a f f i a which i s worn around the neck and w a i s t . Costumes were a l s o made f o r two agbogho masks. One costume was made from a y e l l o w t e x t i l e on which I p a i n t e d r e d and b l a c k c o l o u r s . The o t h e r costume was made from a r e d t e x t i l e on which were sewn b l u e , y e l l o w and b l a c k m a t e r i a l s . D e s c r i p t i v e s t a t e m e n t s were used i n a l l the c a s e s t o e x p l a i n the names and uses o f a l l items i n t h e e x h i b i t . A p p r o p r i a t e photographs w e r e . a l s o used i n a l l c a s e s t o show the masks i n t h e i r s o c i a l c o n t e x t , There were o t h e r photographs i l l u s t r a t i n g a t y p i c a l Igbo v i l l a g e and showing some o t h e r Igbo masquerades such as the Ozoebunnu and I j e l l e (see p l a t e s V I I I and X ) . There was a l s o a map o f Igbo t e r r i t o r y . The masks and i k e n g a s were s e l e c t e d t o show a v a r i e t y o f Igbo a r t . The okpa was i n t r o d u c e d i n t o t h e e x h i b i t t o demonstrate t h a t masks a r e n o t made from wood o n l y . The okpa i s a f i b r e - n e t costume w i t h r a f f i a a t t a c h m e n t s and i s used by an e n e r g e t i c v i l l a g e r u n n e r o r messenger. The t w e l v e A f i k p o masks show t h e a r t s t y l e s o f S o u t h e a s t e r n Igbos. These masks g e n e r a l l y have s m a l l f r o n t l e t s o r f a c e s . T h e i r d e s i g n i s g e o m e t r i c , s t y l i s t i c and a t times n a t u r a l i s t i c . Except f o r the I s i j i , a l l o f them were c a r v e d from wood and have woven r a f f i a a ttachments which a c t both as f a s t e n i n g medium and c u s h i o n a g a i n s t the f a c e o f the wearer. The i s i j i was made from c a l a b a s h and i s the o n l y mask worn j u s t once d u r i n g t h e i n i t i a t i o n o f t h e f i r s t s o n . A l l t h e masks were p a i n t e d w i t h w h i t e , r e d and b l a c k . One n o t i c e s I b i b i o i n f l u e n c e i n t h i s a r t s t y l e . 26 (Drawing by E.C. Onwuzolum). 27 The i k e n g a ("God o f F o r t u n e " ) has an i n d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the mask because i t i s g i v e n t o one a f t e r i n i t i a t i o n . I t s y m b o l i z e s t h e.achievement o f a boy who has now become a man. I t was i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the e x h i b i t as an example o f Igbo s t a t u e s , A l l the f i v e i k e n g a s a r e from C e n t r a l Igbo. Three a r e o f r e c e n t make w h i l e t h e o t h e r two have been used i n r i t u a l . None o f them was p a i n t e d . The Ozubulu masks show t h e a r t s t y l e o f the C e n t r a l Igbos. T h i s s t y l e a l s o o c c u r s among the Western Igbo a c r o s s the N i g e r R i v e r . These masks a r e l a r g e r than A f i k p o masks, T h e i r d e s i g n i s a b s t r a c t s i n c e t h e y s y m b o l i z e d e a t h , a n o n - c o n c r e t e phenomena. The f a c i a l f e a t u r e s a r e i n t e n d e d to f r i g h t e n and keep away the u n i n v i t e d from t h e i r r i t u a l s . The f a c e o f the nwampi i s p a i n t e d w h i t e w h i l e the horn i s - b l a c k . Two odogu have b l a c k p a i n t s . Two have b l a c k and r e d c o l o u r s . The r e d c o l o u r i n t h e nose and mouth o f t h i s mask s y m b o l i z e s danger. The Enugu masks a r e c a l l e d agbogho and demonstrate the N o r t h e r n Igbo a r t s t y l e s . These masks a r e meant t o be b e a u t i f u l and g r a c e f u l . T h e i r head-gear i s t h a t o f a t y p i c a l Igbo l a d y who has j u s t come out o f t h e s e c l u s i o n n e c e s s a r y b e f o r e m a r r i a g e . They are a l l p a i n t e d w h i t e and b l a c k and show n a t u r a l i s t i c f e a t u r e s . They a r e meant e i t h e r t o be c a r r i e d on the head o r t o c o v e r t h e f a c e o n l y . D e t a i l e d documentation o f a l l the m a t e r i a l s used i n t h e e x h i b i t has been i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r . A show o f about 7 5 . g l i d e s was o r g a n i z e d t o f u r t h e r b u t t r e s s the r i t u a l - t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f the masks. The s l i d e s were shown f o u r t i m e s i n t h e o r i e n t a t i o n t h e a t r e o f t h e Museum and t w i c e t o a c l a s s o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s . There was a l i v e p r e -s e n t a t i o n o f Igbo masquerade on J u l y 17 a t the G r e a t H a l l o f the Museum. 28 I am o f the o p i n i o n t h a t t he e x h i b i t and p r e s e n t a t i o n s were s u c c e s s f u l . However, I am a l s o o f the o p i n i o n t h a t a d d i t i o n a l background i n f o r m a t i o n i s s t i l l v i t a l t o complete t h e s u c c e s s o f any e x h i b i t . T h i s i s n e c e s s a r y to make f o r a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e o b j e c t s and photographs used i n a d i s p l a y . The u n d e r s t a n d i n g c o u l d be a c h i e v e d by p r e p a r i n g a s c h o l a r l y c a t a l o g u e o r w r i t i n g a t h e s i s such as I am d o i n g . A l t h o u g h a t h e s i s i s more t e c h n i c a l than a c a t a l o g u e f o r the p u b l i c , i t i s u n a v o i d a b l e i n my ca s e s i n c e I must s a t i s f y t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o f s c h o l a r s h i p demanded by the U n i v e r s i t y . T h e r e f o r e , I s u b s t i t u t e a t h e s i s as an a d d i t i o n a l s o u r c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n t o "The World o f S p i r i t s " i n p l a c e o f a c a t a l o g u e t h a t would have been p r e p a r e d i n us u a l museum p r a c t i c e . 29 DETAILS OF THE MASKS THAT WERE DISPLAYED IN THE EXHIBIT . "THE WORLD OF SPIRITS" Mba From Amaseri i s a masquerade o f p h y s i c a l f o r c e and i s meant t o be worn by an e n e r g e t i c young man because i t runs through t he v i l l a g e and may p u n i s h t h o s e who b l o c k i t s p a t h . I t i s a f u l l head and body net costume w i t h no s p e c i a l d e s i g n i n the f a c i a l a r e a . No p a r t o f i t i s d e t a c h a b l e . I t i s c o l o u r e d dark brown w i t h a t t a c h e d white bands o f r a f f i a a t the c h e s t and l i m b s . T h i s costume was made from n a t i v e f i b r e ( c o u l d a l s o be made from European c o r d ) , i s heavy and i s e n t e r e d through t he c h e s t . T h i s mask i s f o r e i g n t o Igbo c u l t u r e a l t h o u g h some Igbos make i t today. I t i s o f I b i b i o or E f i k o r i g i n (see M c F a r l a n , 1964:26). Because i t i s used by the s e c r e t s o c i e t y f o r communication, i t i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o purchase t h i s mask p u b l i c l y . Measurements Length - 78" Arm span - 75" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . ( M a t e r i a l s ; wood and r a f f i a ) . Mba i s a common A f i k p o mask. I t i s a small w h i t e - f a c e d mask w i t h a d e c o r a t i v e board p r o t r u d i n g from the top o f the 30 head. The board i s p a i n t e d i n d e t a i l s o f b l a c k , y e l l o w , w h i t e and r e d . A woven r a f f i a i s a t t a c h e d t o the edge t o a c t as f a s t e n i n g s and c u s h i o n a g a i n s t t h e wearer's f a c e . Measurements Length - 19" Width - 5 V Depth - 4" Blade - 10" x 4" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . A c a l i ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . An o l d A f i k p o mask used i n i n i t i a t i o n and o t h e r mask cer e m o n i e s . I t i s a v e r y s m a l l mask w i t h r e c t a n g u l a r c u t - o u t f e a t u r e s i n brown and p a r t l y v a r n i s h e d wood. Measurements Length - 9" Width - 4" Depth - I V From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . (a) and ( b ) . I g r i . ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . T h i s i s a l s o c a l l e d Okumpka. I t i s one o f t h e most b e a u t i f u l masks i n A f i k p o . Two o f t h e s e were d i s p l a y e d t o show s t y l e s . (a) Measurements Length - 1 9 V Width - 5 V Depth - 5" T h i s i s l o n g - f a c e d , i n w h i t e , b l a c k , red and y e l l o w c o l o u r s , w i t h g e o m e t r i c a l l y s t y l i z e d f e a t u r e s i n c l u d i n g d i a g o n a l t e a r marks. T h i s has a s o r t o f rounded edge a t the c h i n . 6 31 (b) Measurements Length - 16" Width - 4 V Depth - 4" I t i s a l s o l o n g - f a c e d , i n w h i t e and b l a c k c o l o u r s , w i t h g e o m e t r i c a l l y s t y l i z e d f e a t u r e s and a p o i n t e d edge a t t h e c h i n . Has t e a r marks. Both o f t h e s e masks a r e used i n the Okumkpa p l a y ( O t t e n b e r g , 1975:87) o f the A f i k p o . Both a r e from the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . K p i r i k p i r i o r Otogho ("Woodpecker"). ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . T h i s i s a small b i r d mask i n w h i t e , r e d and b l a c k c o l o u r s , w i t h rounded f e a t u r e s and b e a k - l i k e p r o -j e c t i o n s c u r v i n g downward from the f o r e h e a d and upward from the c h i n . Used i n i n i t i a t i o n p l a y s . Measurements Length - 9" Width - 6" Depth - 6" Beak e x t e n s i o n - 3" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . Okumkpa ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . T h i s i s the Okumkpa-p l a y l e a d e r ' s mask. T h i s mask i s worn by the o r g a n i z e r and d i r e c t o r o f t h i s f o u r a c t p l a y (see O t t e n b e r g , 1975:104). I t i s a s i m p l e , l o n g , o v a l mask, w i t h the f a c e q u a r t e r e d i n dark brown and wh i t e d e t a i l s r e n d e r e d i n o p p o s i t e c o l o u r s . Broken egg s h e l l s were a p p l i e d t o g i v e t e x t u r e and e f f e c t t o t h e mask. Measurements 32 Length - 13" Width - 5 V Depth - 3" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . Bekee ("White pe r s o n or f o r e i g n e r " ) . ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . An A f i k p o s m a l l , w h i t e - f a c e d mask w i t h brown-black s u r r o u n d i n g and d e t a i l . Measurements H e i g h t - 10" Width - 5h" Depth - 6" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . I b i b i o ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . C a r v i n g o f a b e a u t i f u l womanj t h i s s t y l e was c o p i e d by the A f i k p o from I b i b i o s who a r e t h e i r n e i g hbours f u r t h e r s o u t h . Measurements Length - 11" Width - 6" Depth - 5" From t h e O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . Mmaji ("Yam k n i f e " ) . ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . A f i k p o ; s m a l l - f a c e d mask w i t h a b s t r a c t f e a t u r e s : p e g - l i k e knobs and a c u r v i n g c r e s t i n w h i t e , r e d , b l a c k and y e l l o w p r o -t r u d i n g from the mudline o f the f a c e . T h i s i s used 1 W i n s e c r e t s o c i e t y dances t o thank the a n c e s t o r s f o r s t r e n g t h ( s y m b o l i z e d by the k n i f e ) g i v e n t o members to c u l t i v a t e i n the farm, u b i . Measurements Length - 17" 33 Width - 6" Depth - 5" K n i f e - 9" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . I s i j i ("The f i r s t o r b i g g e s t yam"). ( M a t e r i a l : c a l a b a s h ) . Used o n l y i n t h e i n i t i a t i o n o f the f i r s t son. I t i s a gourd mask, e l o n g a t e d t o resemble a yam. The neck o f the gourd, c u r v i n g upward, i s p a i n t e d white and orange. T h i s i s an a b s t r a c t symmetrical d e s i g n i n w h i t e , y e l l o w and orange on brown-black r e p r e s e n t i n g the f a c e . Measurements Length - 18" Width - 7" Depth - 55s" Neck - 6" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . Okpesu ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . T h i s u g l y mask i s used to f r i g h t e n c h i l d r e n d u r i n g the Okumkpa p l a y . I t has an o v a l b l a c k f a c e w i t h p r o t r u d i n g eyes and t e e t h and a glued-on beard. D e t a i l s i n brown, r e d and w h i t e . Measurements Length - 10" Width - 6" Depth - 4" Beard - 8" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . Mkpi ("He goat") ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . T h i s i s a goat mask i n brown-black w i t h v e r y s i m p l e f e a t u r e s . The mouth 34 1 and t e a r marks a r e d e t a i l e d i n orange. Two horns p r o t r u d e from t h e head. Measurements Length - 15" Width - 5" Depth - 6" Horns - 6" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . Opanwa ("Mother c a r r y i n g a c h i l d on the head"). ( M a t e r i a l s : wood and r a f f i a ) . Opanwa i s a w h i t e - f a c e d mask w i t h e l a b o r -a t e l y c a r v e d and p a i n t e d d e t a i l i n g o f f a c e marks and c o i f f u r e . From the top p r o t r u d e s the p o l e - f i g u r e o f a c h i l d . Measurements Length - 22" Width - 5 V Depth - 6" C h i l d - 1 3 V The Ikengas 1. From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . A dark brown c a r v i n g o f a naked man s e a t e d on a small s t o o l , w i t h a k n i f e i n h i s r i g h t hand and a head i n h i s l e f t . Loops commence and t e r m i n a t e a t both e a r s . Measurements Length - 20" Width - 7" Loops - 3" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e , 35 2. S m a l l , l i g h t brown f i g u r e w i t h two horns. Measurements Length - 8" Width - 3" Horns - 2" From the Sta r k w e a t h e r C o l l e c t i o n , M i c h i g a n . 3. S m a l l , l i g h t brown f i g u r e , w i t h r e c o g n i z a b l e human f a c e . Measurements Length - 5" Width - 3" From the Sta r k w e a t h e r C o l l e c t i o n , M i c h i g a n . 4. S m a l l , l i g h t brown f i g u r e , almost a twin t o No. w i t h two horns. Measurements Length - 8" Width - 2 V Horns - 3" i i From the S t a r k w e a t h e r C o l l e c t i o n , M i c h i g a n . 5. A s m a l l , dark brown f i g u r e , w i t h two horns. T h i s ikenga has been used i n r i t u a l and t h e dark brown c o l o u r i s the r e s u l t o f age and o l d b l o o d o f animals, Measurements Length - 7" Width - 3 V Horns - 2" U.B.C. Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y C o l l e c t i o n , Vancouver. CASE 64 Ozubulu Masks 1. Odogu ( M a t e r i a l : wood). A l a r g e , b l a c k - f a c e d mask w i t h 36 t w i s t e d f e a t u r e s . There i s a red o u t l i n e . A l s o on the head i s a s i n g l e c o i l e d , b l a c k and white python, an animal v e n e r a t e d i n Ozubulu. T h i s i s a s e r i o u s mask used i n b u r i a l . The b l a c k p a i n t s y m b o l i z e s death w h i l e r e d warns peop l e o f danger. The t w i s t e d f e a t u r e i s t o c r e a t e awe. The g l u e d eye l a s h e s s y m b o l i z e d i t s wisdom o r c u n n i n g . Measurements Length - 11" Width - 9" Depth - 5" From the S t a r k w e a t h e r C o l l e c t i o n , M i c h i g a n . 2. Odogu ( M a t e r i a l : wood). T h i s i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y dangerous mask. I t i s a l a r g e , b l a c k - f a c e d mask w i t h s p l i t nose, p r o t r u d i n g e y e l i d s and tongue i n r e d . The r e d •shows t h a t i t s s i g h t , b r e a t h and words a r e dangerous and c o u l d cause i n j u r y . People are warned t o keep a t a d i s t a n c e . I t , f u r t h e r , has two backward-curving s p i n a l horns and small round e a r s . Used i n b u r i a l ceremonies. Measurements Length - 15" Width - 10" Depth - 6" Horn - 6" From the Starkweather C o l l e c t i o n , M i c h i g a n . 3. Okpolumpi o r Nwampi. ( M a t e r i a l : wood). T h i s i s a l a r g e , w h i t e - f a c e d mask w i t h wide mouth and bared t e e t h . I t s small 37 e y e s , e a r s and mouth a r e o u t l i n e d i n brown-black. I t has a c a r v e d h e a d - c o v e r i n g s u p p o r t i n g two m assive curved horns p a i n t e d b l a c k . T h i s i s a mask o f p h y s i c a l f o r c e used t o demonstrate anger when a member o f the mmuo s o c i e t y i s dead. Measurements Length - 21 " Width - &V Depth - 3" Horns - 11V' From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . 4. Okpoka ( M a t e r i a l : wood). T h i s i s a d a r k - f a c e d mask w i t h h i g h - s e t e a r s , narrow f o r e h e a d , and p r o t r u d i n g f e a t u r e s . Measurements Length - 10" Width - 6" Depth - 3" From the L o c k e t t C o l l e c t i o n , Ann A r b o r , M i c h i g a n . 5. Okpoka ( M a t e r i a l : wood). A dark brown mask w i t h h i g h - s e t e a r s , narrow f o r e h e a d and sharp p r o t r u d i n g f e a t u r e s . The mouth i s t w i s t e d . Measurements Length - 10 " Width - 6V Depth - 2" From the L o c k e t t C o l l e c t i o n , Ann A r b o r , M i c h i g a n . CASE 65 EnuQU Masks The m a t e r i a l used i n p r e p a r i n g t h e s e masks i s wood. These a r e a l l c a l l e d agbogho and r e p r e s e n t female 38 s p i r i t s . They d e p i c t the b e a u t i f u l f e a t u r e s which Igbo's a t t r i b u t e t o the eart h - g o d d e s s a l a . The h a i r d o i s t y p i c a l o f Igbo women, e s p e c i a l l y a f t e r t h e i r p e r i o d o f s e c l u s i o n i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r m a r r i a g e . A w h i t e - f a c e d c o n i c a l mask w i t h a l o n g , p o i n t e d f a c e and f e a t u r e s . The e l a b o r a t e l y curved c o i f f u r e w i t h i t s c e n t r a l c r e s t and o t h e r d e t a i l i n g i s i n b l a c k and w h i t e . The mask i s meant to be c a r r i e d on the head. Measurements Length - 15" Width - 8" Depth - 6" Haird o - 4 V From t h e Sawyer C o l l e c t i o n , Vancouver. A w h i t e - f a c e d mask w i t h t h e white worn brown w i t h age. I t has a s m a l l , p o i n t e d f a c e and f e a t u r e s and c a r v e d c o i f f u r e . The mask i s meant t o c o v e r the f a c e o n l y . Measurements Length - 12" Width - 7" Depth - 5 V From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . A w h i t e - f a c e d mask w i t h l o n g , p o i n t e d f a c e and f e a t u r e s and an e l a b o r a t e c o i f f u r e o f h o r n - l i k e shapes. The d e t a i l s and c o i f f u r e a re i n l i g h t brown. Measurements Length - 13" Width - 7" 39 Depth - 4" Ha i r d o - 3" From the O t t e n b e r g C o l l e c t i o n , S e a t t l e . A w h i t e - f a c e d c o n i c a l mask w i t h a h i g h , e l a b o r a t e c e n t r a l c r e s t on the c o i f f u r e and a sharp d e t a i l i n g i n b l a c k on w h i t e . I t i s meant t o be c a r r i e d on the head. Measurements Length - 1 7 V Width - 8" Depth - 7" C o i f f u r e - 7" From the U.B.C. Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y C o l l e c t i o n , Vancouver. A w h i t e - f a c e d c o n i c a l mask w i t h a l o n g , p o i n t e d f a c e and s m a l l f e a t u r e s d e t a i l e d i n brown-black. The c o i f f u r e c o n s i s t s o f f i v e p a r a l l e l f r e e - s t a n d i n g c r e s t s i n brown-black w i t h w h i t e , b l u e and y e l l o w i s h d e t a i l i n g and i s meant t o be c a r r i e d on the head. Measurements Length - 19" Width - 9" Depth - 7" C o i f f u r e - 9 V From the Sawyer C o l l e c t i o n , Vancouver. 40 CHAPTER I I I  THE IGBOS The Geography o f Igboland Below t h e c o n f l u e n c e o f the g r e a t N i g e r and Benue l i e s t h e f o r e s t b e l t which c o v e r s most o f Southern N i g e r i a ; and e a s t o f t h i s s t r a t e g i c p o i n t i s the home o f the Igbo p e o p l e s o f N i g e r i a (Crowder, 1966:22). Numbering o v e r seven m i l l i o n , the Igbos o f S o u t h e a s t e r n N i g e r i a , a r e a peop l e who speak a common language which forms p a r t o f the Kwa group of West A f r i c a n languages ( N z i m i r o , 1972:3). L o c a t e d between l a t i t u d e 5 t o 7 degrees n o r t h o f the e q u a t o r and l o n g i t u d e 6 t o 8 degrees e a s t o f Greenwich, t h e i r t e r r i t o r i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n o v e r an a r e a o f some 15,800 square m i l e s , c o v e r s the N i g e r - C r o s s R i v e r a r e a , w i t h t he I b i b i o s and Cros s R i v e r p e o p l e t o the e a s t , Ijaw t o the s o u t h , Edo s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s to the west, and I g a l a and Idoma s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s t o the n o r t h . N u m e r i c a l l y , the Igbos a r e one o f the p r i n c i p a l p e o p l e s o f A f r i c a ; and a l o n g w i t h t he Hausas, F u l a n i s , Yorubas, a r e an i m p o r t a n t group i n p r e s e n t day N i g e r i a . B e f o r e i t e n t e r s t h e A t l a n t i c Ocean through a network.of d i s -t r i b u t a r i e s which c h a r a c t e r i z e i t s d e l t a , the N i g e r R i v e r d i v i d e s t he Igbo c o u n t r y i n t o two unequal p a r t s . The g r e a t e r p o r t i o n l i e s i n what i s now c a l l e d the Anambra and Imo S t a t e s , w h i l e a s m a l l e r t r i a n g u l a r p o r t i o n , west o f the N i g e r , i s p a r t o f Bendel S t a t e s . Though s e p a r a t e d by t he N i g e r and thus f a l l i n g i n t o o t h e r p o l i t i c a l u n i t s , "the western and e a s t e r n Igbo have r e t a i n e d t h e i r c u l t u r a l as w e l l as t h e f r p s y c h i c F i g . I. Map o f Igbo T e r r i t o r y , N i g e r i a . (Drawn by E.C. Onwuzolum). 41 u n i t y . In modern times t h e i r a t t i t u d e towards p o l i t i c a l q u e s t i o n s and t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h what t h e y r e g a r d as t h e i r own ' l e a d e r ' r e v e a l the s o l i d a r i t y between the Igbo peoples on both s i d e s o f the N i g e r " (Uchendu,.1965:1). Igboland's p h y s i c a l environment i s m a i n l y t r o p i c a l r a i n f o r e s t w i t h m a r g i n a l savannah i n the extreme n o r t h . The average annual tem-p e r a t u r e i s between 80 t o 90 degrees F w i t h an annual range o f between 5 and 10 degrees F. The r a i n y and d r y seasons are w e l l marked; the former b e g i n s i n A p r i l and l a s t s t o O c t o b e r , when the d r y season commences. R a i n f a l l i s h e a v i e r i n the south than i n the n o r t h , many are a s having more than 70 i n c h e s a y e a r . D u r i n g t h e r a i n y s e ason, a "break" o c c u r s i n August and i s l o c a l l y c a l l e d o k o c h i j i oko (the d r o u g h t f a v o u r a b l e t o the growth o f yams). Important i n the s e a s o n a l c y c l e a r e the southwest monsoon winds t h a t b r i n g r a i n and the n o r t h e a s t winds t h a t are d r y , d u s t y , as w e l l as c o l d . These winds a r e l o c a l l y r e f e r r e d to as uguru ("harmattan") and a r e the f a r m e r ' s f r i e n d because they are known to open the bush, d r y . t h e c l e a r i n g s , k i l l some o f t h e i n s e c t s t h a t d e s t r o y c r o p s and make the b u r n i n g o f r u b b i s h easy. However, i t t u r n s the n a t i v e s n e a r l y c h a l k w h i t e and c r a c k s t h e l i p s . The d r y . s e a s o n i s a p e r i o d o f l e s s farm work and i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by r i t u a l s and f e s t i v i t i e s such as t h e masquerades. In t h i s season the community o f f e r s s a c r i f i c e s t o t h e a n c e s t o r s s e e k i n g r a i n f o r next p l a n t i n g s e ason, abundant y i e l d i n the farms, w e a l t h , good h e a l t h , and c h i l d r e n . Then t h e y g i v e form t o the a n c e s t o r s through masks, and t h e s e come t e m p o r a r i l y from beyond to judge t h e l i v i n g . 42 The H i s t o r y o f the Igbos When and from where the Igbo came i n t o t h e i r p r e s e n t t e r r i t o r y has u n t i l v e r y r e c e n t l y been a s u b j e c t o f much s p e c u l a t i o n , because the Igbos have no w r i t t e n r e c o r d e x c e p t a few N s i b i d i s c r i p t s which ar e a r e c e n t d i s c o v e r y and which a r e s t i l l c o n t r o v e r s i a l . T h i s l a c k o f w r i t t e n r e c o r d s makes i t d i f f i c u l t to a s c e r t a i n t h e i r o r i g i n , u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r p h i l o s o p h y , a s s e s s t h e i r v a l u e s , master the w e a l t h o f t h e i r c u l t u r e , fathom t h e i r r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s , e x p l o r e t h e i r h i s t o r y , i n t e r p r e t t h e i r customs,.and comprehend t h e i r p o l i t i c a l system. T h e r e f o r e , r e s e a r c h on the Igbo must depend p r i m a r i l y on o r a l h i s t o r y , f o l k t a l e s and l e g e n d s , p a r a b l e s and p r o v e r b s , o b s e r v a t i o n s and e x p e r i e n c e s , what o t h e r p e o p l e have t o say about them, and what a r c h a e o l o g i c a l f i n d s o f r e c e n t times have r e c o r d e d . O r a l h i s t o r y o r f o l k t a l e s and legends may not l e a d one f a r i n t o Igbo h i s t o r y because the Igbos use a n i m a l s t o d e p i c t a c t u a l e v e n t s . The r e a s o n f o r t h i s use o f a n i m a l s i n s t o r i e s i s t w o - f o l d , v i z : a) t o a v o i d opprobrium o r sometimes v i o l e n t r e p r i s a l s ' f r o m p e r sons (or t h e i r r e l a t i v e s ) i n v o l v e d , and b) t o a v o i d (as i s the custom) s p e a k i n g i l l o f the dead o r d e i f y i n g i n d i v i d u a l s beyond c e r t a i n l i m i t s . T h i s use o f a nimals t h e r e f o r e p l a c e s l i m i t a t i o n s on the depth o f s t o r i e s and so hampers r e s e a r c h . For example, Igbos have a l e g e n d or f o l k t a l e about t h e i r o r i g i n . The s t o r y t e l l s o f t o r t o i s e , Mbe or Mbekwu, who became so powerful and i n t e l l i g e n t t h a t he was b a n i s h e d from t h e animal kingdom by the r e s t o f the a n i m a l s on a c c o u n t o f h i s prowess. He l e f t w i t h h i s f a m i l y and r e l a t i v e s and s e t t l e d i n an o s t e n s i b l y empty v i l l a g e he d i s c o v e r e d . However, as days passed, Mbe r e a l i z e d t h a t t h i s 43 no-man's-land a c t u a l l y belonged t o s p i r i t s who had begun t o r e t u r n one a f t e r a n o t h e r . When c o n f r o n t e d by t h e s p i r i t s , Mbe c l a i m e d t h a t he was the f i r s t son o f the f o u n d e r o f the v i l l a g e but t h a t the s p i r i t s were t o o young to remember t h a t he had been s o l d away because o f a t r o u b l e t h a t had e r u p t e d i n the v i l l a g e . To t e s t h i s knowledge, Mbe was s u b j e c t e d t o so many t e s t s which he ac c o m p l i s h e d and was a l l o w e d not o n l y t o remain but t o r u l e the v i l l a g e . , T h i s s t o r y i s i n t e r p r e t e d by.the Igbos as ev i d e n c e t h a t t h e y m i g r a t e d t o t h e i r p r e s e n t homes and had a g l o r i o u s p a s t . In f a c t , l i v i n g as an Igbo, one cannot but f e e l t h i s sense o f a g l o r i o u s p a s t and t h i s b u t t r e s s e s the p r i d e o f t h e average Igbo and g i v e s him c o n f i d e n c e . Mrs. Le i t h - R o s s (1939:55) summed t h i s up a d m i r a b l y when i n 1930 she wrote: " N e v e r t h e l e s s , e v e r y now and a g a i n j one has a sense o f an o l d e r c u l t u r e l y i n g behind what one now s e e s , l o n g f o r g o t t e n by the p e o p l e t h e m s e l v e s , grown so f a i n t t h a t i t i s o n l y i n c e r t a i n l i g h t s t h a t one c a t c h e s i t , but the g l i m p s e i s o f something so r i c h , so v i t a l , t h a t the p r e s e n t s i n k s i n t o i n s i g n i f i c a n c e b e s i d e s i t " . What was s p e c u l a t i o n i n 1930 has now been c o n f i r m e d as f a c t u a l by r e c e n t h i s t o r i c a l and a r c h a e o l o g i c a l d i s c o v e r i e s . We know now f o r sure t h a t by 3000 B.C. p e o p l e had s e t t l e d i n the p r e s e n t Igbo homeland and were a l r e a d y making stone t o o l s i n c l u d i n g ground sto n e axes and p o t t e r y ^ . The work o f Shaw a t Igbo-Ukwu shows a f l o u r i s h i n g i r o n - a g e c i v i l i z a t i o n i n the n i n t h c e n t u r y A.D. . From a l l t h e s e , F l i n t (1966: 63) put f o r t h a h y p o t h e s i s which legend c o n f i r m s i n the Mbe s t o r y , " t h a t the Igbos m i g r a t e d i n t o the a r e a en masse". I s i c h e i (1976:3) m a i n t a i n s t h a t "the f i r s t human i n h a b i t a n t s o f Igboland must have come from a r e a s f u r t h e r s o u t h — p o s s i b l y from the 44 N i g e r c o n f l u e n c e . But men have been l i v i n g i n I g b o l a n d f o r a t l e a s t f i v e thousand y e a r s s i n c e the dawn o f human h i s t o r y " . T h i s f i r s t s e t t l e m e n t was on the n o r t h e r n edge o f the r a i n f o r e s t and savanna t o i t s n o r t h . T h i s a r e a would have been e a s i e r t o c u l t i v a t e w i t h wooden and s t o n e t o o l s . E x c a v a t i o n s a t A f i k p o and Nsukka have c o n f i r m e d n o t o n l y t h i s s e t t l e m e n t but a l s o the f a c t t h a t r a i n f o r e s t 3 c o u l d be p e n e t r a t e d w i t h s t o n e t o o l s . A l s o , the c u l t i v a t i o n o f yam, a c r o p t h a t i s o f r i t u a l and s y m b o l i c i m p o r t a n c e , and which was the economic b a s i s o f Igbo c i v i l i z a t i o n , . c o n f i r m s t h i s e a r l y Igbo s e t t l e m e n t i n the n o r t h e r n a r e a , around the C r o s s R i v e r and t h e Anamba 4 / % v a l l e y - N s u k k a escarpment . Jones (1964:30), w r i t e s t h a t : r~ an ee'.'Ope can assume an e a r l y d i s p e r s i o n from t h i s c e n t r e t o the Nsukka-Udi h i g h l a n d s i n the e a s t and an e a r l y d r i f t southwards towards t h e c o a s t . . . One can more p o s i t i v e l y d i s t i n g u i s h a l a t e r and more massive d i s p e r s a l . . . which was m a i n l y s o u t h e a s t w a r d s . . . i n t o what i s now E a s t e r n Isuama a r e a . From t h i s s u b s i d i a r y d i s p e r s a l a r e a , t h e r e was one m o v e m e n t — s o u t h - s o u t h - e a s t i n t o the Aba d i v i s i o n to form t h e Ngwa group o f t r i b e s , and a n o t h e r movement e a s t i n t o Umuahia a r e a and hence t o Ohafia-Arochukwu r i d g e , . w i t h an o f f s h o o t t h a t s t r u c k n o r t h . . . to d e v e l o p i n t o the N o r t h - E a s t e r n Ibo". These m i g r a t i o n s became e x t r e m e l y n e c e s s a r y because o f p o p u l a t i o n p r e s s u r e ; Igbo c o u n t r y h a v i n g up u n t i l today one o f the h i g h e s t popu-5 l a t i o n d e n s i t y f i g u r e s i n A f r i c a i f n o t the w o r l d . The many c e n t u r i e s o f h i g h d e n s i t y c u l t i v a t i o n e x p l a i n s why the e n t i r e v e g e t a t i o n i n Igbo c o u n t r y i s o f secondary growth . European c o n t a c t w i t h t h e Igbo-speaking p e o p l e s d a t e s back t o the a r r i v a l o f the Portuguese i n the m i d d l e o f the f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y . For n e a r l y f o u r c e n t u r i e s (1434-1807), the N i g e r Coast formed a " c o n t a c t c o m m u n i t y " — t h e c o n t a c t p o i n t between European and A f r i c a n t r a d e r s : the 45 Portuguese from t h e f i f t e e n t h and s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s , the Dutch from the s e v e n t e e n t h , and the B r i t i s h from t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . I t was a p e r i o d o f t r a d e on the c o a s t r a t h e r than one o f c o n q u e s t and empire b u i l d i n g i n the h i n t e r l a n d . The c h i e f i t e m p r o v i d e d by the Igbo was s l a v e s , many o f whom came to the New World. The monopoly h e l d by the c o a s t a l s l a v e r s ( t r a d e r s from the N i g e r S t a t e s ) reduced Igbo s l a v e r s t o the r o l e o f middlemen who r a r e l y d e a l t d i r e c t l y w i t h European s l a v e r s . The l o c a l t r a d e c u r r e n c i e s o f the p e r i o d i n c l u d e d m a n i l l a s , copper r o d s , i r o n b a r s , whisky, guns and l a t e r c o w r i e s h e l l s . With the a b o l i t i o n o f the s l a v e t r a d e i n 1807, a new t r a d i n g ep.och opened. There was a s h i f t from t h e t r a f f i c i n men to the t r a f f i c i n raw m a t e r i a l s f o r European i n d u s t r i e s , and t h e r e f o r e palm produce, t i m b e r , e l e p h a n t t u s k s , and s p i c e s became the merchandize o f the " l e g i t i m a t e " t r a d e . With t h i s s h i f t , the European t r a d e r s c o u l d no l o n g e r be c o n f i n e d t o the c o a s t , but saw t h e i r r e a l i n t e r e s t , "the t r a d e r s f r o n t i e r " , i n the h i n t e r l a n d , which was s t i l l t h e s o u r c e o f goods ( i . e . palm p r o d u c e ) . In the s t r u g g l e t o e s t a b l i s h a " f r e e - t r a d e " h i n t e r l a n d between 1807-1885, B r i t i s h companies p l a y e d a d e c i s i v e r o l e f o r B r i t a i n by combining a g g r e s s i v e t r a d i n g w i t h a g g r e s s i v e i m p e r i a l i s m . When the P r o t e c t o r a t e o f Southern N i g e r i a was c r e a t e d out o f t h e former Royal N i g e r Company and the N i g e r C o a s t P r o t e c t o r a t e i n 1910, t h e c o n t r o l o f the area passed from the B r i t i s h F o r e i g n O f f i c e t o the C o l o n i a l O f f i c e . H i t h e r t o , I g b o l a n d had been t e c h n i c a l l y t r e a t e d as a B r i t i s h C o l o n y even b e f o r e i t was f o r m a l l y conquered and p a c i f i e d . Between 1902, when the Aro "Long J u j u " was d e s t r o y e d , and 1914 when Nor t h e r n and.Southern N i g e r i a were amalgamated, t h e r e were twenty-one 46 B r i t i s h m i l i t a r y e x p e d i t i o n s i n t o I g b o l a n d . In f a c t , i t was not u n t i l 1928, when Igbo men were made to pay tax f o r the f i r s t time i n t h e i r h i s t o r y , t h a t i t became c l e a r to them t h a t they were a s u b j e c t p e o p l e . No s k e t c h o f t h e B r i t i s h p e n e t r a t i o n o f Igboland c o u l d be complete w i t h o u t m e n t i o n i n g the m i s s i o n a r i e s . I t was i n 1857 t h a t Bishop Crowther s u c c e s s f u l l y e s t a b l i s h e d a Church M i s s i o n a r y S o c i e t y M i s s i o n a t O n i t s h a . The Roman C a t h o l i c M i s s i o n f o l l o w e d i n 1885. O n i t s h a thus b e c a m e t h e r e l i g i o u s and e d u c a t i o n a l c e n t r e o f . t h e s e two g r e a t p r o s e l y t i z i n g m i s s i o n s as w e l l as t h e base f o r B r i t i s h m i l i t a r y pene-t r a t i o n i n t o o t h e r areas o f Igbo c o u n t r y . A l t h o u g h t h e m i s s i o n a r i e s . e n j o y e d the p r o t e c t i v e power and the m i l i t a r y p r e s t i g e o f the a d v a n c i n g c o l o n i a l power, i t was t h e m ystery o f the w r i t t e n word, i n the p s y c h o l o g y o f the "bush s c h o o l s " founded by them, r a t h e r than the m i l i t a r y might o r the c o n t e n t o f the h o l y book which a s s u r e d t h e i r s u c c e s s among t h e Igbos. Today we f i n d both t h e c o l o n i a l a u t h o r i t i e s and the m i s s i o n a r i e s almost d e s t r o y e d Igbo c u l t u r e and made some wh i t e men out o f b l a c k s i n the p r o c e s s o f a c c u l t u r a t i o n . T o d a y , / h ~ a l s o w e s t i l l - f i n d o t h e r Igbos who, though f o r m a l l y e d u c a t e d , t r y t o r e - d i s c o v e r * t h e ways o f t h e i r f a t h e r s because the f a t h e r s , the a n c e s t o r s a r e never wrong. A f t e r a l l t h e r e i s an Igbo p r o v e r b t h a t one does not beget an h e i r b e f o r e h i s f a t h e r . A Survey o f T r a d i t i o n a l Igbo S o c i e t y I w i l l now devote some c o n s i d e r a b l e space to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f 47 the Igbo S o c i e t y . T h i s i s ; v e r y i m p o r t a n t because to know how a pe o p l e view, i n t e r p r e t and o r g a n i z e the w o r l d around them i s t o under-stand how t h e y e v a l u a t e l i f e ; and a p e o p l e s ' e v a l u a t i o n o f l i f e , both temporal and non-temporal, p r o v i d e s them w i t h a c h a r t e r o f a c t i o n and a g u i d e t o b e h a v i o u r . O c c u p a t i o n The Igbo n a t i o n i s made up o f a heterogeneous group o f peop l e u n i f i e d by a dominant Igbo c u l t u r e ; t h i s i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a common language ( w i t h d i f f e r e n t d i a l e c t s ) , common r e l i g i o u s s y m b o l s — t h e o f o or o t o s i (a r i t u a l s t a f f made from a t r e e b r a n c h ) , o c c u p a t i o n o f a common t e r r i t o r y , p o s s e s s i o n o f b a s i c a l l y i d e n t i c a l p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and i n the c o n t e x t o f t h i s s t u d y , a l l Igbos p o s s e s s some type o f r e l a t e d masquerade. I n i t i a t i o n i n t o t h i s masquerade s o c i e t y c a l l e d mmuo o r mma i s a l s o u n i v e r s a l among the r u r a l Igbos.. A g r i c u l t u r e has been the m a i n s t a y o f Igbo s o c i e t y i n what i s termed " r o o t c r o p " economy. Yam, c a s s a v a (manioc) and many v a r i e t i e s o f cocoyam ( t a r o ) a r e the c h i e f s t a p l e s and p r o v i d e t h e b u l k o f the p o p u l a t i o n w i t h most s u b s i s t e n c e needs. No meal i s c o n s i d e r e d complete w i t h o u t one or two o f them. O t h e r p r o d u c t s a r e peanuts , p l a n t a i n s , bananas, maize, pumpkin, egwusi (melon), okro ("okra"), r i c e , beans*, palm o i l , palm wine o f v a r i o u s k i n d s , p e a r s , papaya, oranges, e t c . These s t a p l e s have a high y i e l d which i s . o f f s e t t o some e x t e n t by t h e i r l o n g growth p e r i o d . T h e i r p r o f i t a b l e c u l t i v a t i o n r e q u i r e s abundant l a n d and cheap l a b o u r . Land means many t h i n g s t o the Igbo; i t i s t h e 48 domain o f t h e e a r t h - g o d d e s s , a l a ; a b u r i a l p l a c e f o r the a n c e s t o r s ; a p l a c e t o l i v e on, and a p l a c e t o make a l i v i n g . Land i s t h e r e f o r e the most i m p o r t a n t a s s e t t o , t h e p e o p l e ; i t i s a s o u r c e o f s e c u r i t y and i s e m o t i o n a l l y p r o t e c t e d from a l i e n a t i o n through the t e n u r e system which p r e s c r i b e s the r i g h t s o f i n d i v i d u a l s or groups o v e r l a n d . The p r i n c i p l e i s t h a t a l l l a n d i s owned and t h r o u g h the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the l i n e a g e . h e a d (minimal l i n e a g e ) , e v e r y member i s p r o v i d e d l a n d on which to b u i l d h i s house and on which t o r a i s e c r o p s . T h i s i s main-t a i n e d through r e l i g i o u s s a n c t i o n s . Igbos a l s o hunt and f i s h ; they r a i s e d o m e s t i c c a t t l e , sheep, goats and p o u l t r y . Igbos d e v e l o p e d i r o n t e c h n o l o g y over the c e n t u r i e s and so t h e r e a r e smiths i n Igboland who produce s p e a r s , hoes, k n i v e s , t r a p s , guns, g a t e s , n e e d l e s and o t h e r i r o n implements. These a r e used f o r f a r m i n g , h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g and i n o c c a s i o n a l w a r f a r e . The a r t s o f woodworking and c a r v i n g were a l s o d e v e l o p e d , hence the unique n a t u r e o f Igbo masks as can be seen i n museum e x h i b i t s . P o t t e r y , t o o , . i s an a n c i e n t Igbo c r a f t and t h i s h e r e d i t a r y a r t i s p r a c t i c e d by women. A l s o weaving i s p r a c t i c e d by women and Akwuete Igbos a r e famous f o r t h e i r f a b r i c s . Thus, w i t h i n the b o u n d a r i e s o f Igbo, a g r i c u l t u r e , h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g , metalwork, woodwork, p o t t e r y and weaving were and s t i l l a r e the main o c c u p a t i o n o f t h e p e o p l e . Igbo P o l i t i c a l System Henderson (1972:23), was w o r r i e d t h a t : "The s o c i e t i e s o f t h e I b o - s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s have f o r some time p r e s e n t e d a quandry to the s t u d e n t o f c o m p a r a t i v e h i s t o r y . The Ibo l i v e i n some'of the h e a v i e s t p o p u l a t i o n 49 c o n c e n t r a t i o n i n a l l o f A f r i c a and they occupy a r e g i o n l o n g i n communication w i t h s o c i e t i e s p o s s e s s i n g s t r a t i f i e d , even h i e r a r c h i a l s o c i a l systems. Moreover, the Ibo themselves p a r t i c i p a t e d e x t e n s i v e l y and a c t i v e l y in>the European s l a v e t r a d e , a powerful and p o l i t i c a l s t i m u l u s t h a t i n many areas a l o n g the Guinea Coast promoted c o n f e d e r a t i o n , c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , and s t a t e f o r m a t i o n i n d i v e r s e i n d i g e n o u s s o c i e t i e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , t he Ibo m o s t l y c o n t i n u e d t o l i v e i n s m a l l - s c a l e segmentary s o c i e t i e s , each s t r u c t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d but based s t r o n g l y on u n i l i n e a l d e s c e n t " . T h i s i s the case because t h e Igbo w o r l d i s based on the p r i n c i p l e o f e q u a l i t a r i a n i s m . E q u a l i t y o r near e q u a l i t y e n s u r e s t h a t no one person or group o f - p e r s o n s a c q u i r e s too much c o n t r o l o v e r the l i f e o f o t h e r s . T h i s i s an e f f e c t i v e i d e o l o g i c a l o b s t a c l e to the development o f a s t r o n g c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y . However,,no human s o c i e t y can o r has a c h i e v e d a b s o l u t e e q u a l i t y among i t s c i t i z e n s , and the Igbos are no e x c e p t i o n . There a r e d i s t i n c t i o n s i n age, sex and w e a l t h ; i n f a c t , Igbos emphasize or put s t r e s s on achievement and s u c c e s s . They r e c o g n i z e t h a t "a c h i l d who washes h i s hands c l e a n d e s e r v e s t o e a t w i t h h i s e l d e r s " . However,, t h e r e a re i n s t i t u t i o n a l checks and b a l a n c e s which p r e v e n t t he emergences o f demagogues and t h i s has i t s r o o t i n Igbo morals and r e l i g i o u s p h i l o s o p h y . For example, a r i c h man i s made " h o l y " t o keep him i n check; i n r e t u r n , t he s o c i e t y r e l i e s on the " h o l y w e a l t h y man", the Nze, to m a i n t a i n an o r d e r e d s o c i e t y . The Nze ("holy w e a l t h y man"), i s a t i t l e which r e q u i r e s not o n l y . s p e n d i n g o f w e a l t h but r e l i g i o u s s a n c t i o n s and p u r i t y . These holy.men a d j u d i c a t e and a d m i n i s t e r the town and t h e i r e x e c u t i v e arm i s e i t h e r the age-grade a s s o c i a t i o n s o r the mmuo ("masquerade") s o c i e t i e s . The p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s i n Igboland d i f f e r i n t h e i r s t r u c t u r e . Some o f t h e s e , l i k e the k i n g s h i p i n s t i t u t i o n i n O n i t s h a , N r i and 50 A g u l e r i , are i n t r u s i v e t r a i t s . A l t h o u g h age-grade a s s o c i a t i o n s , t i t l e t a k i n g s o c i e t i e s , d i b i a f r a t e r n i t i e s (a p r i e s t l y a s s o c i a t i o n ) , s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s , and o r a c l e s are among the t r a d i t i o n a l i n s t r u m e n t s o f government, the r o l e o f each i n the p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s e s o f a g i v e n v i l l a g e - g r o u p d i f f e r s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e r e emerges a g e n e r a l p a t t e r n o f p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s which i s s h a r e d by a l l Igbo. We may d i s t i n g u i s h two l a y e r s o f t h e . p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e - 1) the v i l l a g e , and 2) the v i l l a g e - g r o u p . A t . t h e v i l l a g e l e v e l o f government ( t h i s v a r i e s i n s i z e and p o p u l a t i o n ) , the a c c e p t e d p r a c t i c e i s d i r e c t democracy o r what Njaka.(1974:10) c a l l s " O h a c r a c y " — a government by a l l male a d u l t s i n the v i l l a g e (the Oha) i n which d e c i s i o n s a r e a r r i v e d a t by common-consensus. A t . t h e v i l l a g e - g r o u p l e v e l , a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e system i s adopted; e q u a l i t y among the a s s o c i a t i n g v i l l a g e s i s m a i n t a i n e d through the p r i n c i p l e o f equal " s h a r i n g o f K o l a " and equal c o n t r i b u t i o n o f m a t e r i a l r e s o u r c e s needed f o r the s u r v i v a l o f the group. T h i s e q u a l i t y i s n e c e s s a r y s i n c e Igbos a r e a v e r s e and s e n s i t i v e to o u t s i d e a u t h o r i t y . - T h i s means t h a t e a c h . v i l l a g e i s autonomous and s o v e r e i g n i n a l l i n t e r n a l m a t t e r s , but may c o o p e r a t e w i t h o t h e r v i l l a g e s a t the v i l l a g e - g r o u p l e v e l . T h i s s o l i d a r i t y i s b u t t r e s s e d by myths o f common o r i g i n . The v i l l a g e i s segmented i n t o a number o f l i n e a g e s and each o f t h e s e i n t o major, minor, and minimal s u b l i n e a g e s . Each l i n e a g e com-p r i s e s o f t e r r i t o r i a l l y k i n - b a s e d u n i t s c a l l e d umunna ( " c h i l d r e n o f same f a t h e r " ) ; t h i s i s a f l u i d term whose na r r o w e s t r e f e r e n t i s the c h i l d r e n o f the same f a t h e r but o f d i f f e r e n t mothers; i t s w i d e s t r e f e r e n t . i s the p a t r i l i n e a l members, r e a l o r p u t a t i v e whom one cannot marry. Umunna i s made o f compounds, each c o n s i s t i n g o f a number o f 51 e c o n o m i c a l l y independent households w i t h a man and h i s w i f e . I t i s i n these compounds t h a t t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y m a i n l y l i e s because a l l the h o u s e h o l d e r s i n the compounds r e c o g n i z e the head o f the umunna as the p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t y o f the l i n e a g e . No d e c i s i o n would be made wi t h o u t f i r s t c o n s u l t i n g t h i s man who i s c a l l e d o k p ara. As head o f . the compound,,he has numerous r i t u a l , moral and l e g a l r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s . He i s the eyes o f t h e members o f h i s l i n e a g e w h i l e the o t h e r members a r e h i s e a r s . , He s e t t l e s problems a n d . o f f e r s s a c r i f i c e s . In r e t u r n he r e c e i v e s r e s p e c t , o b e d i e n c e and m a t e r i a l token o f good-w i l l . He r e p r e s e n t s the l i n e a g e i n d i s p u t e s w i t h o u t s i d e r s and i s the c u s t o d i a n o f the l a n d . : T h i s i s s y m b o l i z e d by h i s p o s s e s s i o n o f the o f o (a s t a f f made from the t r e e Detarium e l a s t i c a ) . He m a i n t a i n s a u t h o r i t y i n the extended f a m i l y which i s the compound. He i s the l i n k between the l i v i n g and the dead a n c e s t o r s . L e g i s l a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s o f the e n t i r e v i l l a g e are the c o n c e r n o f a l l a d u l t -males and t h i s t a k e s p l a c e i n ad hoc g e n e r a l assembly c a l l e d Oha. Once d e c i s i o n s a r e a r r i v e d a t i n the v i l l a g e s q u a r e , t h i s i s g i v e n r i t u a l s a n c t i o n by the o l d e s t o f o h o l d e r who would say " t h i s i s iwu ("law") i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h our custom and may i t be r e s p e c t e d and obeyed. A n c e s t o r s , you a r e w i t n e s s " . The o f o i s s t r u c k f o u r times on the ground and each time i t i s so s t r u c k , the assembly w i l l a s s e n t " i h a " ( " l e t i t be s o " ) . In c o m p l i c a t e d c a s e s , e s p e c i a l l y where the assembly i s a c t i n g i n a j u d i c i a l c a p a c i t y and where the f a c t s are not too c l e a r , the Igbo take r e c o u r s e t o o r a c l e s o r t o d i v i n e r s . The o r a c l e s depended on "sons abroad" f o r c l i e n t s and t o a s c e r t a i n the t r u t h . One must concede t h a t 52 the d e c i s i o n s o r judgements o f the o r a c l e s were f a i r l y a c c u r a t e . Common sense shows t h a t the r e p u t a t i o n and i n f l u e n c e o f the o r a c l e s depended on t h e i r a b i l i t y t o be,honest and j u s t . The d e c i s i o n s o f the o r a c l e s were s u b j e c t to no f u r t h e r a p p e a l . ' The e x e c u t i v e f u n c t i o n o f the v i l l a g e i s v e s t e d i n the y o u t h s through t h e i r age-grade a s s o c i a t i o n s and/or the mmuo s o c i e t i e s . B e s i d e s e r v i n g as a s o c i a l i n d i c a t o r which s e p a r a t e s t h e s e n i o r s from t h e i r j u n i o r s , the age-grade a s s o c i a t i o n i s a means o f a l l o c a t i n g p u b l i c d u t i e s to v a r i o u s segments o f the p o p u l a t i o n , g u a r d i n g p u b l i c m o r a l i t y through the c e n s o r s h i p o f members' b e h a v i o u r , and p r o v i d i n g companion-s h i p and mutual i n s u r a n c e f o r members. Members run e r r a n d s , keep t he v i l l a g e c l e a n and keep s u r v e i l l a n c e o v e r v i l l a g e p r o p e r t y . The mmuo ("masquerade") s o c i e t y a c t e d as p o l i c e — m o r e w i l l be s a i d on t h i s l a t e r . S c h o l a r s have sometimes i m p l i e d i n t h e i r w r i t i n g t h a t l a r g e p o l i t i c a l u n i t s are "more advanced" than s m a l l ones, and t h a t a change from small to l a r g e marked p r o g r e s s . A p p l i e d t o the Igbos, t h i s i m p l i c a t i o n i s ve r y d e c e p t i v e . Even though the Igbos remained o r g a n i z e d i n s m a l l age-graded v i l l a g e u n i t s , to them t h i s made t r u e d e m o c r a c y — t h e government of the p e o p l e , by the p e o p l e * f o r the p e o p l e , the oha, v e r y p o s s i b l e . Enlargement o f s c a l e o f f e r e d no ob v i o u s p o l i t i c a l advantage t o Igbo communities. Democracy, as i t i s p r a c t i c e d today i n the West,.is f u l l o f l i m i t a t i o n s . A Frenchman who v i s i t e d Igbo c o u n t r y i n 1906 s a i d t h a t t r u e l i b e r t y e x i s t e d t h e r e , t h r o u g h i t s name was not i n s c r i b e d on any monument. 53 Igbo K i n s h i p Network No r m a l l y the Igbo c h i l d i s brought up i n h i s f a t h e r ' s l i n e a g e . L a t e r i n h i s c h i l d h o o d , he i s c o n s t a n t l y brought i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h h i s mother's l i n e a g e . . As he grows up he becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y . a w a r e o f the wi d e r s o c i a l network, the mos t , i m p o r t a n t o f which a r e the extended f a t h e r ' s mother's l i n e a g e and the extended mother's mother's l i n e a g e . When he m a r r i e s he a l s o a c q u i r e s a f f i n a l l i n k s , w i t h h i s w i f e ' s 1 i n e a g e , , p l a y i n g v e r y i m p o r t a n t r o l e s i n the l i f e o f h i s c h i l d r e n . These f i v e l i n e a g e s c o n s t i t u t e f o r the Igbo t h e i r most i m p o r t a n t k i n -s h i p network. Igbo s o c i e t y i s one w i t h pronounced p a t r i l i n e a l emphasis. S i n c e a g n a t i o n d e termines the membership o f a f a m i l y group, t he l i n e o f i n -h e r i t a n c e , and s u c c e s s i o n t o name and o f f i c e , a person t a k e s most o f h i s j u r a l r i g h t s i n l a n d and i n s o c i a l , economic, and p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n from the l i n e a g e o f h i s f a t h e r . The members o f t h i s l i n e a g e a r e c a l l e d the urnunna ( " c h i l d r e n o f the f a t h e r " ) . • tlmunna bu i k e ("the f a t h e r s a g nates a r e the source o f one's s t r e n g t h " ) , i s a p o p u l a r Igbo s a y i n g , because one depends on h i s agnates f o r c o m f o r t and s o c i a l and economic s e c u r i t y . Agnates h e l p one " t o get up" by p r o v i d i n g t h e needed l a d d e r f o r s o c i a l c l i m b i n g . I t i s t o one's p a t r i l i n e a l l i n e a g e t h a t one b r i n g s home h i s w i f e a f t e r m a r r i a g e ; and t h e s e members a r e ex p e c t e d t o make the m a r r i a g e succeed by h e l p i n g p r o v i d e p a r t o f what i s r e q u i r e d i n the m a r r i a g e ceremony and s e t t l i n g any d i s p u t e s t h a t might t h r e a t e n t o d e s t r o y the m a r r i a g e . T i t l e - t a k i n g ceremonies, m a r r i a g e f e a s t s , b u r i a l r i t e s , i n i t i a t i o n and masquerade cer e m o n i e s , and o t h e r s o c i a l e v e n t s through which a wi d e r s o c i a l group 54 i s a c t i v a t e d , succeed or f a i l b ecause.of the t y p e o f i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s between a person and h i s a g n a t e s . The i d e a l b e h a v i o u r e x p e c t e d among agnates may be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as " b r o t h e r ! i n e s " , i . e . r e l a t i o n s h i p d e f i n e d by mutual r e s p e c t , t r u s t , h e l p , l o y a l t y and a f f e c t i o n . I f agnates a r e the g r e a t e s t prop o f s u c c e s s , t h e y a l s o a r e the g r e a t e s t s o u r c e s o f h o s t i l i t y . Igbos say t h a t i t i s t h e home not the bush r a t t h a t knows where the mother keeps her condiments. In o t h e r words, agnates know one's s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses and might e x p l o i t same, e s p e c i a l l y i n m a t t e r s o f p r o p e r t y i n h e r i t a n c e . Hence, p e o p l e a r e g e n e r a l l y c a r e f u l w i t h p a t r i k i n s but might be more r e l a x e d among t h e i r mother's a g n a t e s , where, t o borrow on Ozubulu p h r a s e , he i s r e f e r r e d t o as nwadiana ("the son o f the owner o f the s o i l " ) . A person i s most welcome among h i s ununne ("the mother's l i n e a g e " ) where l i t e r a l l y he i s f r e e to do a n y t h i n g . S i n c e he does not compete f o r i n h e r i t a n c e i n t h i s group, t h e r e i s no f e a r o f p o i s o n i n g or h o s t i l i t y and one may e a t whatever one p l e a s e s i n t h i s group. The k i n s h i p bond i n t h i s case i s u n a f f e c t e d by m a t e r i a l s t a t u s and p e o p l e never a l l o w i t to s t r a i n . I t i s one's l a s t l i n e o f d e f e n c e . . The f a t h e r ' s mother's and the mother's mother's l i n e a g e s con-s t i t u t e the extend o r "remote" kinsmen. They a r e a l s o i m p o r t a n t i n the l i v e s o f the Igbos, a l t h o u g h one does not command any d e f i n e d p r i v i l e g e s . Members a s s u r e him o f . s u p p o r t and a t t e n d h i s ceremonies such as d u r i n g i n i t i a t i o n and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n masquerade, . t i t l e -t a k i n g , m a r r i a g e , e t c . Members o f t h i s extended k i n g r o u p are never a l l o w e d t o marry because o f c o n s a n g u i n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . 55 The c l a s s i f i c a t o r y terms employed by t h e Igbo f o r naming t h e s e a g n a t i c groups v a r y . A l t h o u g h " t h i s s i t u a t i o n may be c o n f u s i n g t o the i n v e s t i g a t o r , . i t i s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y so t o t h e Ibo. E v ery Ibo i s c o n v e r s a n t w i t h k i n s h i p terms w i t h i n and o f t e n f a r beyond the r a d i u s i n which he may seek a w i f e , j u s t as he i s aware o f d i a l e c t i c a l v a r i -a t i o n s i n any o t h e r f i e l d o f t e r m i n o l o g y " (Ardener, 1954:85). I t has been s t r e s s e d t h a t e v e r y Igbo belongs t o an a g n a t i c group, a l i n e a g e w i t h an unbroken c o n t i n u i t y o f - d e s c e n t i n the male l i n e . T h i s a g n a t i c group ( p a t r i l i n e a g e ) , as w e l l as i t s members o r a g n a t e s , i s c a l l e d by t h e same term "umunna" and t h i s i s an exogamous u n i t i n o n e f r a m e o f r e f e r e n c e . A l l i t s female members who must l e a v e the l i n e a g e a t m a r r i a g e a r e c a l l e d umu-okpu o r umu-ada. In a n o t h e r frame o f r e f e r e n c e i t i s a term f o r agnates meaning c h i l d r e n o f f a t h e r , i t s s i n g u l a r being nwanna ( " c h i l d o f f a t h e r " ) . By r u l e o f exogany and v i r i l o c a l r e s i d e n c e , . w e e x p e c t t o meet non-agnates as r e s i d e n t members o f a l i n e a g e s e t t l e m e n t , ego's mother i s one.. Ego's f a t h e r i s nna w h i l e the mother i s nne. A l l f a t h e r ' s b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r ' s s e n i o r t o ego a r e c l a s s i f i e d as dede and dada r e s p e c t i v e l y ; terms which d i s t i n g u i s h between g e n e r a t i o n and sex but which can be a p p l i e d to ego's s e n i o r f u l l s i b l i n g s and s e n i o r h a l f s i b l i n g s . , Ego's f a t h e r ' s f a t h e r i s c a l l e d nnanna and f a t h e r ' s mother i s c a l l e d nnenne, the l a t t e r i s a l s o a p p l i e d t o ego's a c t u a l mother's mother. Ego's f a t h e r ' s wives o t h e r than h i s mother a r e c a l 1 e d nwunyenna. Ego c a l l s h i s wives hwanyi and t h e y c a l l him di_. H i s c h i l d r e n a r e c a l l e d umu and t h i s i n c l u d e s c h i l d r e n o f h i s b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s . The i n - l a w r e l a t i o n s h i p c r e a t e s a w i d e r range o f a f f i n a l l i n k s which 56 a r e termed ogo--a r e c i p r o c a l term which subsumes a l l g e n e r a t i o n s and both s e x e s . Igbo k i n s h i p terms a r e c l a s s i f i c a t o r y c o v e r i n g t h e w i d e s t p o s s i b l e range o f k i n s h i p . Terms o f a d d r e s s a r e governed by r u l e s which guide and r e g u l a t e s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . Among o t h e r f e a t u r e s , Igbo k i n s h i p t e r m i n o l o g y embodies the " p r i n c i p l e o f r e s p e c t " r e l a t i o n - . c a l l s h i p . T h i s r e q u i r e s a j u n i o r t o / a l l h i s s e n i o r s dee--a term o f r e s p e c t , based on s e n i o r i t y and always a d d r e s s e d t o a s e n i o r by a j u n i o r and never used among age e q u a l s . R e i n f o r c i n g t h e p r i n c i p l e o f r e s p e c t - , i s what might be termed the p r i n c i p l e o f " s u p e r i o r i t y o f p r a i s e names". T h i s r e c o g n i z e s the s u p e r i o r i t y o f one's p r a i s e name or s t a t u s name over a l l o t h e r a p p r o p r i a t e k i n s h i p terms o f a d d r e s s . A t i t l e d man's p r a i s e name takes precedence o v e r a l l o t h e r terms o f a d d r e s s . Ogbuehi ( " k i l l e r o f cows"), EzeazUka ( t h i s r e c o g n i z e s the need to have c h i l d r e n t o r e p l a c e o n e ) , e t c . , a r e p r a i s e names. R e l i g i o n A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s commonly make the a n a l y t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n , but t o the Igbos, the s e c u l a r and the s a c r e d , . t h e n a t u r a l and the s u p e r n a t u r a l , are a continuum. S u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s c o n t i n u a l l y impinge on l i f e , and must be p r o p i t i a t e d by a p p r o p r i a t e p r a y e r s and s a c r i f i c e s . The Igbos were and s t i l l a r e p r o f o u n d l y r e l i g i o u s , and a l l a c c o u n t s o f t h e i r l i f e r e f l e c t t h i s f a c t . N e a r l y a l l a d h e r e n t s o f t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o n r e g a r d i t as a medium o f o b t a i n i n g s u p e r n a t u r a l power. T h i s does.not p r e v e n t i t from f u n c t i o n i n g as a system o f e x p l a n a t i o n , a s o u r c e o f 57 moral i n j u n c t i o n , a symbol o f s o c i a l o r d e r , o r a r o u t e t o i m m o r t a l i t y ; "but i t does mean t h a t i t a l s o o f f e r s t h e p r o s p e c t o f a s u p e r n a t u r a l means o f c o n t r o l o v e r man's e a r t h l y environment" (Thomas, 1973:27). The major v a l u e s o f s o c i a l l i f e among t h e Igbos a r e r o o t e d f i r m l y i n n o t i o n s o f f i l i a t i o n and d e s c e n t . When peopl e a s s e s s the c a r e e r o f one a n o t h e r , the p r i m a r y concern or c r i t e r i o n i s t h e number o f - c h i l d r e n he has r a i s e d t o s u p p o r t and s u r v i v e him. C h i l d r e n are e x t o l l e d i n p r o v e r b s above any o t h e r good,.even above the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f w e a l t h ( a k u ) ; " c h i l d r e n f i r s t , w e a lth f o l l o w s " i s a p r o v e r b o a f f i r m i n g the r o u t e to s u c c e s s . People c o n s i d e r t h a t a w e a l t h y person who has no c h i l d r e n w i l l reap r o t t e n d e s t i n y , because h i s r e l a t i v e s o r kinsmen may c o n s p i r e t o s e i z e h i s f o r t u n e . He may v e r y l i k e l y d i e a bad d e a t h - - a j o onwu. Igbo s a y i n g s make i t q u i t e c l e a r t h a t m a i n t a i n i n g l i f e i s a j u s t i f i a b l e end i n i t s e l f o n l y to the e x t e n t t h a t i t i s p r o d u c t i v e or n u r t u r a n t o f more l i f e . T h i s overwhelming concern w i t h the p r o d u c t i o n and the c o n t i n u i t y o f l i f e i s b a s i c t o the fundamental concept o f Igbo p h i l o s o p h y and r e l i g i o u s t h o u g h t : t h e i d e a o f c h i . Chi i s l i f e (ndu), o r l i f e c o n c e i v e d as an animate s e l f t h a t g u i d e s the c o u r s e o f e x i s t e n c e . The most d i r e c t l y i mportant-m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h i s f o r any person i s t h e c h i i n t h a t p e r s o n , which i s t h o u g h t o f as a s p i r i t u a l e s s e n c e o f t h e l i v i n g s e l f t h a t g u i d e s and determines the c o u r s e o f t h a t p e r s o n ' s l i f e from b i r t h to d e a t h . I t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t when an i n d i v i d u a l chooses " t o e n t e r the w o r l d " , , he makes a p a c t w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r e s s e n t i a l b eing ( c h i ) s e l e c t i n g h i s l e n g t h o f l i f e and h i s f u t u r e a c t i v i t i e s ; t he c h o i c e s so made a r e marked by.the c h i on h i s hand as h i s a k a l a k a ("marks o f the hand") o r 58 d e s t i n y . S i n c e c h i i n one a s p e c t r e f e r s to a s i n g l e l i f e a c t e d out by each p e r s o n , t h e r e a r e as many c h i as t h e r e a r e l i v i n g i n d i v i d u a l s . However,.not o n l y does c h i have a more g e n e r a l and i n c l u s i v e meaning as the essence o f l i f e , i t i s a l s o p r o j e c t e d as a l i f e e s s ence a t t r i b u t e d t o . t h e e n t i r e u n i v e r s e ; a u n i v e r s a l s e l f , c a l l e d chukwu o r c h i n e k e meaning l i t e r a l l y " g r e a t c h i " . The term "chukwu" d e s i g n a t e s an u l t i m a t e s e l f , o r d e r i n g t h e c o u r s e and c h a r a c t e r o f the u n i v e r s e as a whole, which i n t u r n i s c o n c e i v e d as a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f " w o r l d s " (uwa). The u n i v e r s a l s e l f i s a d d r e s s e d i n p r a y e r s as "chuwku - o k i k e , c h i n e k e " , e t c . meaning " g r e a t c h i the c r e a t o r " . T h i s g r e a t c h i i s s a i d t o have c r e a t e d a l l p h y s i c a l phenomena and endowed them w i t h f o r c e and d i r e c t i o n . The sky ( i g w e ) , the h e a v e n l y b o d i e s as h i s "messenger" and e y e s , the e a r t h (ani o r a l a ) , and the streams.and r i v e r s (mmi1i o r mmini). Chineke s e n t t r e e s t o grow on l a n d , a n i m a l s t o roam i t , men to occupy i t , yams and o t h e r foods to f e e d p e o p l e , and v a r i o u s o b j e c t s as " m e d i c i n e s " (ogwu) t o h e l p men i n the c o u r s e o f t h e i r l i v e s . When a person d i e s , h i s c h i c e a s e s to e x i s t as an independent e n t i t y , r e t u r n i n g t o the g r e a t ground o f b e i n g i n the sun o r i n the sky. Chukwu e x i s t s as l o n g as the u n i v e r s e which i t p e r s o n i f i e s . Henderson argues t h a t i t i s i m p l i c i t i n the l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e s e terms t h a t chukwu i s a s u b c a t e g o r y o f c h i r a t h e r than the more g e n e r a l c l a s s w i t h i n which c h i may be c a t e g o r i z e d ^ . We may view the meaning o f t h e s e c o n c e p t s as a sematic s t r u c t u r e , whose marked terms a r e a s u b c a t e g o r y . I t i s r e a s o n a b l e to t r a n s l a t e c h i as "god" and chukwu as " g r e a t god". However, Igbos a l s o say t h a t the g r e a t god i s 59 the source from which a l l p a r t i c u l a r gods o f persons o r i g i n a t e ; i t might t h e r e f o r e be e q u a l l y v a l i d t o t r a n s l a t e "chukwu" as god and " c h i " as p e r s o n a l god. We c o u l d t h e r e f o r e c o n c e i v e o f t h e s e terms i n the f o l l o w i n g d i m e n s i o n s ; c h i g as " p e r s o n a l god", chukwu as " g r e a t g o d " , c c f i i i "god w i t h o u t q u a l i f i c a t i o n " - - a n d i n t h i s l a t t e r . s e n s e the term a l s o r e f e r s to d a y l i g h t . (See f i g u r e below). (Unmarked narrow meaning: u n d e r l y i n g (Marked narrow meaning: the e s sence o f the i n d i v i d u a l s e l f ) u n d e r l y i n g e s sence o f the u n i v e r s e ) . F i g . I I . The Semantic S t r u c t u r e o f Chi (taken from Henderson, 1972, p. 109). I f the d e s c r i p t i o n o f Igbo b e l i e f system thus f a r makes a concern w i t h l i f e and l i f e f o r c e s appear c e n t r a l , i n d i v i d u a l l i f e i t s e l f i s c o n c e i v e d not s o l e l y i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the n o t i o n o f death "onwu", but as an i m p e r f e c t a p p r o x i m a t i o n o f i t . Indeed, a c t s o f a t t a i n i n g t h e h e i g h t s o f p r e s t i g e by i n d i v i d u a l s among t h e Igbos (e.g. t i t l e - t a k i n g , i n i t i a t i o n i n t o s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s ) , a r e marked by i d e n t i t y - c h a n g i n g r i t u a l s t h a t b r i n g them c l o s e r and c l o s e r t o d e a t h . The u l t i m a t e goal f o r e v e r y person i s to l o s e h i s c h i and t h e r e b y become a dead person o r 60 a ghost.(mmuo o r mma). The c o n c e p t s o f "god" and "ghost" form t h e major c o n t r a s t p a i r i n Igbo r e l i g i o n , two f o r c e s i n o p p o s i t i o n which, however, i n t e r p e n e t r a t e through t h e p r o c e s s o f r e i n c a r n a t i o n . T h i s b e l i e f a l s o p o s t u l a t e s a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f w o r l d s (uwa) i n which e x i s t e n c e o c c u r s . The number o f t h e s e worlds i s i n d e f i n i t e , but from t h e p o i n t o f view o f men i n h a b i t i n g t h i s one, the o t h e r worlds a r e a l l " l a n d s o f the dead" (anj nmuo), i n t o which a l l persons who d i e s h o u l d s u b s e q u e n t l y be i n c a r n a t e d . . On the o t h e r hand, t h e s e l a n d s o f t h e dead a r e a l s o the s o l e . s o u r c e o f a l l new human beings i n the e m p i r i c a l w o r l d ; Men, wherever they a r e , a r e b e l i e v e d t o be l o o k i n g i n t o the o t h e r w o r l d s , communicating w i t h p e o p l e t h e r e , and c o n s i d e r i n g b e i n g i n c a r n a t e d t h e r e anew.. A l l the dead are b e l i e v e d t o take a c o n t i n u o u s i n t e r e s t i n t h i s w o r l d . Indeed, some never l e a v e i t , but wander about i n i t m o s t l y i n a s t a t e o f p e r p e t u a l , i n c o r p o r e a l u n r e s t ; t h e s e a r e the "bad d e a t h s " ( a j o onwu), f o r t h e s e v i o l a t e d the wo r l d o r d e r . They belong nowhere and do l i t t l e but make t r o u b l e f o r the l i v i n g . The dead who a r e viewed h o p e f u l l y as s o u r c e s of-human b e i n g s a r e those whose l i v e s were exemplary, f u l f i l l e d and who were s e n t out o f t h i s w o r l d w i t h g l o r i o u s f u n e r a l s which f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r subsequent e s t a b l i s h m e n t i n o t h e r w o r l d s , and t h e r e f o r e l o o k back here w i t h p l e a s a n t memories and thoughts o f r e t u r n i n g . These dead a r e e x h o r t e d by the l i v i n g i n r i t u a l s and ceremonies to r e t u r n as i n f a n t s , and p e r i o d i c a l l y , i n o t h e r forms, c h i e f o f which i s t h e mask. The worlds o f the dead are c o n c e i v e d as l o c a t e d nearby, i n the v i c i n i t y o f the e a r t h i n which t h e y were b u r i e d . I t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t 61 the c l o s e r a person was b u r i e d t o a house, the more l i k e l y he o r she w i l l choose to r e i n c a r n a t e t h e r e as an o f f s p r i n g o f i t s o c c u p a n t s . Hence, h i g h l y v a l u e d p e rsons a r e b u r i e d w i t h i n t h e i r own house o r compound t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e i r r e t u r n , w h i l e t h o s e whose l i f e c o u r s e s have been condemned, are c a s t away i n t o d i s t a n t bush so t h a t t h e y w i l l not r e t u r n . Those b u r i e d n e a r b y . a l s o c o n t i n u e to observe and p r o t e c t t h e i r l i v i n g c h i l d r e n ; may be p e r i o d i c a l l y f e d r i t u a l l y , and i n v o k e d to r e t u r n p h y s i c a l l y to the w o r l d i n the form o f r e i n c a r n a t e d dead (nmanwu, i . e . masquerade o r mask), to i n s p e c t and j u d g e the community:, t o e x p r e s s t h e i r p l e a s u r e a t the c e l e b r a t i o n s o f t h e i r kinsmen or t o demand t h a t laws they have helped t o s u p p o r t be u p h e l d . They may a l s o be invoked t o . e n t e r i n c o r p o r e a l l y i n t o o b j e c t s c o n s t r u c t e d i n t h e i r name to be f e d , v e n e r a t e d , prayed t o , and thanked f o r t h e i r s p i r i t u a l a s s i s t a n c e i n m a i n t a i n i n g l o n g . l i v e s f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n and i n b r i n g i n g some c h i l d r e n i n t o t h i s w o r l d . The major c a t e g o r i e s o f Igbo r e l i g i o n have no t been exhausted i n the d i s c u s s i o n o f the p e r s o n a l g o d , . i t s r e l a t e d but " u n i v e r s a l i z e d " concept o f g r e a t god and g h o s t , and a n c e s t o r s ; f o r the o b j e c t s o f the p h y s i c a l u n i v e r s e (which may r e p r e s e n t t h e s e components) a r e a p p r o p r i a t e symbols because they a r e b e l i e v e d t o be imbued w i t h i n t r i n s i c f o r c e s and i n t e n t i o n a l powers t h a t a r e a l s o r e l e v a n t to the needs o f the l i v i n g . These f o r c e s and powers a r e subsumed under the terms o f s p i r i t s ( a l u s i ) and m e d i c i n e (ogwu). These two terms i n t r o d u c e numerous com-, p l e x i t i e s i n Igbo b e l i e f system.. T h e i r meanings i n t e r p e n e t r a t e not o n l y one a n o t h e r but w i t h t h e i d e a s o f gods and g h o s t s . M e d i c i n e s r e t a i n e d o v e r time can become s p i r i t s ; s p i r i t s , under c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s 62 can make p a c t s w i t h p e r s o n a l gods and t h e r e b y become a t t a c h e d t o i n d i v i d u a l s ; and s p i r i t s a r e re g a r d e d as such p a r t l y because t h e i r , power a t t r a c t s the gh o s t s o f the dead. To make t h e i r importance i n the b e l i e f system c l e a r , . s o m e extended d i s c u s s i o n o f s p i r i t s and me d i c i n e s i s n e c e s s a r y . Igbos b e l i e v e t h a t when the g r e a t god c r e a t e d the u n i v e r s e , he endowed some o f . i t s o b j e c t s w i t h s p i r i t u a l power. These s p i r i t s a r e a b s t r a c t but p u r p o s e f u l f o r c e s t h a t r e s i d e i n n a t u r a l o b j e c t s , p o s s e s s moral commitments, and may be h e l p f u l or harmful t o man. L i k e p e r s o n a l gods, t h e y a r e l i m i t l e s s i n t h e i r d u r a t i o n . U n l i k e the g r e a t god, they a re s p a t i a l l y l o c a l i z e d f o r c e s t h a t a c t d i r e c t l y a n d . i n t e n t i o n a l l y upon men, and n e g o t i a t i o n s can be made w i t h them. For example, the sun (anyahwu) and the moon (dnwa) a r e messengers o f the g r e a t god; they t r a v e r s e the sky (igwe) o v e r the l a n d ( ani o f a l a ) i n i n t e r s e c t i n g paths which d i v i d e the e a r t h i n t o quadrants a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t he f o u r days (eke, oye o r o r i e , a f o and nkwo) o f the Igbo week and w i t h m a r k e t s ^ ; Thus a c o n c e p t u a l l i n k a g e i s made between time and s p a c e , f o r each Igbo day i s a s s o c i a t e d and i d e n t i f i e d w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r market p l a c e h e l d i n a p a r t i c u l a r l o c a t i o n communicated and l i n k e d w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r s e c t o r o f the e a r t h . A l l t h e s e phenomena-days o f the week ( o f t e n r e p r e s e n t e d as f o u r women c a r r y i n g market b a s k e t s o r as a f o u r - f a c e d p e r s o n ) , sun, moon, the l a n d , e t c . , a r e thought o f as imbued w i t h s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s . The r i v e r o r stream i s o f t e n the k i n g o f t he s p i r i t f o r i t was t h e r e o r r a t h e r was c r e a t e d a t t h e same time t h a t t he (female ) l a n d was c r e a t e d . The o g i 1 i s i o r egbo t r e e i s re g a r d e d as the f i r s t t o grow on the l a n d and i s a l s o s p i r i t u a l l y 63 p o t e n t . T h i s i s why i t a l o n e i s s u i t a b l e f o r an o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f a p e r s o n a l god and as the t r e e - s h r i n e o f l a n d . A l t h o u g h the meaning o f a l u s i v a r i e s among d i f f e r e n t Igbo communities, and t h e r e a r e many v a r i e t i e s i n a s i n g l e community, the meaning o f the term becomes c l e a r when one c o n s i d e r s the most r e v e r e d and most a n c i e n t and a l s o t he most common among the Igbos.- T h i s i s the oath or i y i . When a major d i s p u t e a r i s e s i n the community and each p a r t y r e f u s e s to admit t h a t the o t h e r i s r i g h t , an o b j e c t may be brought from a r e v e r e d s h r i n e and p r e s e n t e d t o a member o f each o f the p a r t i e s to swear the t r u t h o f t h e i r c o u r s e . I f t h a t member o f one o f the p a r t i e s d i e s w i t h i n a s p e c i f i e d time a f t e r s w e a r i n g to the o a t h , i t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t the s p i r i t has k i l l e d him f o r den y i n g a c r i m e o f which he was g u i l t y ; i f he l i v e s t h e s p i r i t has e x o n e r a t e d him and h i s c o h o r t s . ( I f both l i v e then an o r a c l e i s r e s o r t e d t o ) . . In b r i e f , t h e s e s p i r i t s b r i n g i l l n e s s and death to whoever has v i o l a t e d moral s t a n d a r d s , and t h i s power t o harm i s the b a s i s o f t h e i r v e n e r a t i o n , f o r t h e y a r e c r i t i c a l s a n c t i o n s . o f m o r a l i t y t h r o u g h o u t I g b o l a n d . The most u b i q u i t o u s s p i r i t u a l agent among t h e Igbos i s the l a n d , f o r i t s s a n c t i o n i s i n e s c a p a b l e . A l l s t r o n g l y v a l u e d s o c i a l norms are t h i n g s o f the l a n d ( o d i n a n i o r bmenani), i . e . custom. T h i s term c o v e r s ai;wide range o f t h i n g s . ' W i t h i n t h i s c a t e g o r y , two ki n d s o f s a c r e d v i o l a t i o n s a r e d i s t i n g u i s h e d : 1, A c t s not s t r i c t l y f o r b i d d e n by the l a n d (Nso o r a l u ) ; 2. A c t s t h a t a r e - f o r b i d d e n by the l a n d (Nso a n i ) , a b o m i n a t i o n . The a c t s 1 above a r e r e s t i t u t i v e s a n c t i o n : . o n e must p e r f o r m a r i t u a l a c t t h a t negates t h e i r v i o l a t i o n , e.g. i f a son s h o u l d push down 64 h i s f a t h e r i n an argument o r f i g h t , he has committed an nso and has t o p e r f o r m a r i t u a l t o l i f t h i s f a t h e r up a g a i n . He has to s a c r i f i c e a c h i c k e n to the f a m i l y a n c e s t r a l s h r i n e . However, a c t s o f the type i n 2 above a r e v e r y s e r i o u s . These a r e abominations and the o f f e n d e r must " c o v e r " the a b o m i n a t i o n . For example, i n c e s t cannot be undone, i t i s a permanent damage. A l s o , s h o u l d a member v i o l a t e the r u l e s o f a s e c r e t s o c i e t y by unmasking a masquerade, i . e . d i s c l o s i n g the i d e n t i t y o f the a c t o r to a n o n - i n i t i a t e ( o u t s i d e r ) , he has committed an a b o m i n a t i o n ( t h i s depends on t y p e o f d i s c l o s u r e and the s e r i o u s n e s s a t t a c h e d to such i n f o r m a t i o n ) , f o r which a permanent damage has been done; The l a n d i s thus angry and w i l l c e a s e ' t o be i n h a b i t a b l e . A r i t u a l t o c o v e r t h i s a b o m i n a t i o n i s s e r i o u s and i n o l d e n times the c u l p r i t was e i t h e r k i l l e d o r e x i l e d or s o l d i n t o s l a v e r y . Nso has a n o t h e r r e l a t e d meaning Aso which i s " h o l i n e s s " , e.g. the g r e a t god i s h o l y . We a r e t h e r e f o r e d e a l i n g w i t h a t h r e e - l e v e l s emantic s t r u c t u r e i n t h i s c l a s s o f r e i i g i o u s norms (see F i g . I I I ) . F i g . I I I . Semantic S t r u c t u r e o f NSO. (Taken from Henderson, 1972. NS0-, (the g e n e r a l meaning: s a c r e d —V t h i n g s and a c t s t h a t a r e \ h o l y and/or f o r b i d d e n ) p. 116). 65 R e g a r d l e s s o f the k i n d o f m o r a l i t y they s u p p o r t , two d i s t i n c t k i n d s o f s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s may be d i s t i n g u i s h e d i n any Igbo community: those a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p e r s o n a l gods o f p a r t i c u l a r human b e i n g s , and those w i t h power o v e r a c o l l e c t i v i t y , e.g. a v i l l a g e group. The same d i s t i n c t i o n a p p l i e s to most o t h e r s p i r i t s . There i s an i m p o r t a n t dynamic r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e s e two c a t e g o r i e s ; s p e c i f i c a l l y , t h e r e i s a tendency, o v e r t i m e , f o r p e r s o n a l s p i r i t s t o become c o l l e c t i v e . Men know t h a t t h e r e a r e , g o d s , s p i r i t s and g h o s t s , know t h e i r p u t a t i v e l o c a t i o n s , . a n d know t h a t t h e s e may-act on them. However, w h i l e the c o u r s e o f human l i v e s and communities a r e presumed t o be s e t by the w i l l o f t h e s e s p i r i t s , t hey a r e l a r g e l y unknown to men. C o n s e q u e n t l y , men c o n t i n u a l l y seek t o b r i n g them i n t o p e r s o n a l o r p u b l i c awareness through a c t s o f communication. Messenger s p i r i t s such as masks [and a l s o udene, " v u l t u r e " ) a r e b e l i e v e d to s e r v e t h i s purpose, but communication through them i n t u r n r e q u i r e s p h y s i c a l m e d i a . These p h y s i c a l media are m e d i c i n e (ogwu) which a r e p u t a t i v e i n t r i n s i c p r o p e r t i e s o f p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s — b o n e s , p l a n t s , l i q u i d s , s t o n e s , m e t a l s , b o d y . p a r t s and e f f l u v i a l o f a n i m a l s and men—which are b e l i e v e d t o produce c e r t a i n e f f e c t s a u t o m a t i c a l l y by v i r t u e o f . t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s , e.g. (dmu), young green shoots o f the o i l palm ( E l a i s a g u i n e e s i s ) i s c o n s i d e r e d p r o t e c t i v e . . The f u n n e l e d c l a y o f a t e r m i t e h i l l (nkpu) i s r e g a r d e d as a channel o f communication w i t h s p i r i t s and the dead l o c a t e d i n the e a r t h , and i s t h e r e f o r e used i n making powerful m e d i c i n e s . I t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t masks ';" come up from and r e t i r e and r e s t i n t e r m i t e h i l l s . The most i m p o r t a n t m e d i c i n a l medium i n Igboland i s c a l 1 e d o f o CDetafium s e n e g a l e s e ) , and 66 i t i s owned by i n d i v i d u a l s and groups. Important and s e r i o u s masquerades a l s o have t h i s s t a f f o f Igbo manhood, the o f o , e.g. the Ozoebunu o f Ozubulu i s b e l i e v e d t o use the o l d e s t o f o o f the v i l l a g e . And i n t h i s r e g a r d t h i s mask i s a s t o r e o f knowledge. Important m e d i c i n a l media such as the o f o and v a r i o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s o f m e d i c i n e s , cannot s i m p l y be o b t a i n e d and u t i l i z e d ad hoc, f o r s p e c i a l i z e d knowledge i s r e q u i r e d t o make them work. H e r e - i n comes the importance o f the s e r v i c e s o f the d i b i a ( " d i v i n e r , medicine-man o r d o c t o r " ) who c o n t r o l s m e d i c i n e , g i v i n g them r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the messenger s p i r i t s . Some d i b i a a r e t r a i n e d by o t h e r s , w h i l e o t h e r s i n h e r i t the t r a i t s . The d i b i a s u p e r v i s e s the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f m e d i c i n a l o b j e c t s such as goods, s h r i n e s , and o b j e c t s d e d i c a t e d t o the g h o s t s o f the dead ( a t t i m e s t h i s i n c l u d e s the c a r v i n g o f masks). They a l s o d e d i c a t e s h r i n e s , and must be p r e s e n t b e f o r e the mask i s worn and would be r e q u i r e d t o watch i n c a s e e v i l s p i r i t s i n t e r v e n e i n a masquerade performance. More w i l l be s a i d about t h i s i n the next c h a p t e r . In c o n c l u d i n g t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i t may be i n s t r u c t i v e t o r e p r e s e n t the dynamic a s p e c t s o f Igbo r e l i g i o n s c h e m a t i c a l l y . T h i s s u g g e s t s a developmental p r o c e s s t h a t r e l a t e s persons to r o l e s , c o l l e c -t i v i t i e s , and t o the c o n c e i v e d moral o r d e r o f the u n i v e r s e . The d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s c h a p t e r i s l e n g t h y and v e r y i m p o r t a n t because i t i s b a s i c to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the mask and masquerade p e r -formance o f the Igbos. I t o f f e r s a c o s m o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n f o r the concept o f the mask. The mask f i t s i n t o t h i s cosmology through the wood (because o f the s a n c t i t y o f the t r e e ) used i n making i t , t h e p a i n t s 67 Symbol o f S e l f The G r e a t God Chukwu or Chineke CREATES 7AND DETERMINES The P e r s o n a l god I t s g h o s t l y elements L i f e b i r t h " 1 Ills a s s o c i a t e d m e d i c i n e s and s p i r i t s I I s ATH I : e s s i o n to c o n t r o l by — 1 -H descendants i C o l l e c t i v e l y worshipped s p i r i t s and m e d i c i n e s A t t a c h e d bad | ghosts I Good death ^ B a d death- r LAND OF THE DEAD R e v e r s i b l e Time I r r e v e r s i b l e Time F i g . IV. R e l i g i o u s Symbol o f S e l f , Role and C o l l e c t i v i t y . (Taken from Henderson, 1972. p. 123), which put s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s i n t o i t and because i t i s an i n v o c a t i o n o f the dead. In the-inex¥" diagram, I have m o d i f i e d Henderson's c h a r t t o l o c a t e the p l a c e o f masks i n Igbo cosmology. 68 R i t u a l t h e a t r e o f The D e a d f >The L i v i n g Return o f the dead as masquerades I n i t i a t i o n ( i k e n g a ) Making o f masks] ( R i t u a l s & M e d i c i n e Land o f the Dead ) f 1 The L i v i n g Death REVERSIBLE TIME IRREVERSIBLE TIME V. P l a c e o f the Masquerade*in Igbo Cosmology. 69 CHAPTER I I I Notes and R e f e r e n c e s 1. H a r t l e " A r c h a e o l o g y i n E a s t e r n N i g e r i a " i n the West A f r i c a n A r c h a e o l o g i c a l N e w s l e t t e r . (1966: No. 5, p.13), f f a l s o (1969: No. 11, p. 35). 2. c f Shaw's e x c a v a t i o n s a t Igbo-Ukwo. P u b l i s h e d i n 2 volumes. London, 1970. 3. 'ccf Wi11 e t : " N i g e r i a " i n P.L. S h i n n i e ( e d . ) . The A f r i c a n Iron Age., O x f o r d (1971:19); a l s o H a r t l e (1966:13) and (1969:35). 4. c f A l e x a n d e r and Coursey,."The o r i g i n s o f yam c u l t i v a t i o n " i n P.J. -Ucko and G.W. Dimbleby ( e d s . ) . The D o m e s t i c a t i o n and E x p l o i t a t i o n o f P l a n t s and A n i m a l s . London, 1969. 5. c f Buchanan and Paugh (1964:60). 6. I s i c h o i (1973:7) noted t h a t Thompson, a c o n s e r v a t o r o f f o r e s t s i n N i g e r i a , r e p o r t e d t h i s a s t o n i s h i n g f a c t o v e r s e v e n t y y e a r s ago. 7. V i r i l o c a l r e s i d e n c e r e s u l t s when a c o u p l e e s t a b l i s h e s a household w i t h the husband's p a r e n t s . 8. P r o v e r b i a l l y , Igbos l i k e n c h i l d r e n t o the t i e - c l o t h which s u p p o r t s a person's b e l l y , h e l p i n g him t o walk the r o a d o f l i f e . I t i s s a i d t h a t b e f o r e one d i e s , h i s o f f s p r i n g s s h o u l d be as numerous as the g r a i n s o f sand t h a t bury a yam. The v a l u e o f c h i l d r e n i s o f t e n a f f i r m e d i n the p e r s o n a l names g i v e n t o them, e.g. Nwa-Ka-ego ( " c h i l d s u r p a s s e s money"), Nwa-bu-nda ( " c h i l d i s shelter " 7 7 9. For a d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n , , a n a l y s i s and u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h i s c o n c e p t o f " c h i " , p l e a s e r e f e r t o T a l b o t (1926), Horton (1956, 1961, 1967), and.Bradbury (I960).' 10. T a l b o t (1926:2:40-41) c l e a r l y p e r c e i v e d the c e n t r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the n o t i o n o f " c h i " and i t s r e l a t i o n t o the c o n c e p t i o n s o f s e l f and u n i v e r s e . 11. For and b e t t e r and deeper e x p l a n a t i o n o f s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the f o u r days o f the Igbo week, see Horton, 1956:17-28. 70 CHAPTER IV ETHNOGRAPHIC DETAILS OF IGBO MASKS AND MASQUERADE PERFORMANCE In t h i s c h a p t e r , I w i l l b r i e f l y i n t r o d u c e t he r e a d e r to an example o f the appearance o f the mask. The c o n c e p t and meaning o f the mask w i l l then be d i s c u s s e d . T h i s w i l l be f o l l o w e d by a d e s c r i p -t i o n o f the c a r v i n g o f the mask, and making o f costumes. The r e m a i n i n g p a r t o f the c h a p t e r w i l l be devoted t o i n i t i a t i o n i n t o t he mmuo. The S e t t i n g I t i s v e r y a p p r o p r i a t e to commence w i t h an i n t r o d u c t o r y i l l u s -t r a t i o n o f the appearance o f the masks. In the d r y season, i . e . between the months o f Oc t o b e r and March but p a r t i c u l a r l y i n December, i t has become.customary f o r Igbos t o e x h i b i t o r d i s p l a y t h e i r masked r i t u a l p l a y s on eke days^. These p l a y s a r e performed e i t h e r i n the market s q u a r e , the v i l l a g e s q u a r e , o r on r i t u a l p l a y - g r o u n d p r e s c r i b e d and t h e r e f o r e r e s e r v e d f o r such an o c c a s i o n . - In one Igbo community, Ozubulu, such a p l a y - g r o u n d has a l i t t l e hut b u i l t nearby. Both the hut and the square a re c o l l e c t i v e l y c a l l e d dbimmuo, meaning l i t e r a l l y "the abode o f s p i r i t s " . I t i s on such obimmuo, a b b r e v i a t e d t o dbom, t h a t masquerades p e r f o r m on eke days to e n t e r t a i n the community. S i n c e eke i s the h o l y day o f the Igbo week, and l i t t l e o r no work i s done, a d u l t s perform r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e s t o t h a n k . t h e gods and 71 a n c e s t o r s . I n d i v i d u a l s may s a c r i f i c e c h i c k e n to t h e i r ikenga ( the p e r s o n a l god o f f o r t u n e ) and ask f o r l i f e and f u r t h e r a c hievements. Li n e a g e heads, d i - o k p a l a , may a l s o s a c r i f i c e to the l i n e a g e a n c e s t r a l s h r i n e to ask f o r p r o t e c t i o n and b l e s s i n g s f o r the kinsmen., A l s o , the e n t i r e community w i l l o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s through the v i l l a g e p r i e s t to the v i l l a g e gods, a n c e s t o r s and o t h e r s p i r i t s a s k i n g f o r f o r g i v e n e s s o f the t r a n s g r e s s i o n s o f the pe o p l e and p r a y i n g f o r b l e s s i n g s i n the form o f l i f e , h e a l t h , c h i l d r e n , f o o d , and g e n e r a l l y peace, harmony and p r o s p e r i t y . T h i s i s a c o r p o r a t e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . In a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n , members o f the mmuo s e c r e t s o c i e t y p e r f o r m s a c r i f i c e s to the gods and a n c e s t o r s through t h e i r masks. The mmuo s o c i e t y i s comprised o f o n l y a d u l t males who have been i n i t i a t e d i n t o 3 the masquerade s o c i e t y . Women and c h i l d r e n a re never members . The mmuo so c i e t y , m a y s a c r i f i c e some palm wine, k o l a nuts and c h i c k e n . L a t e r , the meat o f the fowl i s cooked and eaten by members p r e s e n t . In the ev e n i n g s o f - s u c h eke days, members put on masquerade performances to demonstrate t h a t t he gods and s p i r i t s have.heard the p r a y e r s o f the community; t h a t the a n c e s t o r s a r e 1 h a p p y and have a c c e p t e d the s a c r i f i c e s and s u p p l i c a t i o n s . o f t he community. I t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t when evoked, the a n c e s t o r s ( t h e dead members o f the community), would appear as masked and costumed f i g u r e s - - m a s q u e r a d e s - - t h u s g i v i n g t he i m p r e s s i o n t h a t t he dead have t e m p o r a r i l y r e t u r n e d to the w o r l d o f t h e l i v i n g i n happy moods. In a r e l i g i o u s sense, t h i s r e - e n a c t e d r e t u r n g i v e s c r e dence t o a b e l i e f i n the p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f the s p i r i t s i n human a f f a i r s . One i m p o r t a n t p o i n t needs t o be made here. The reason f o r the masked r i t u a l p l a y s o f the Igbos i n the d r y season (when t h e r e i s l i t t l e 72 o r no work on the f a r m s ) , on f u n e r a l o c c a s i o n s and on such i m p o r t a n t t r i b a l ceremonies l i k e the New Yam f e s t i v a l , i s n o t o n l y to demon-s t r a t e t h a t the e n t i r e community i s a t the mercy o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s , but a l s o to e n t e r t a i n the community who a r e a t the same time the a u d i e n c e a t such p e r f o r m a n c e s . People have t o l d me t h a t o r i g i n a l l y t h e s e performances were a r r a n g e d by a g u i l d o f masked a c t o r s , but l a t e r on the g u i l d expanded i n t o the mmuo s e c r e t s o c i e t y , which o p e r a t e s even today,.and r e q u i r e d the i n i t i a t i o n o f a l l a b l e - b o d i e d , 4 courageous Igbo males . T h i s e v o c a t i o n o f the a n c e s t o r s and s p i r i t s t o p e r f o r m f o r t h e community as masquerades i s an e x p l i c i t a s p e c t and f u n c t i o n o f Igbo r e l i g i o n and what A d e d e j i (1972:255) c a l l s " r i t u a l f e s t i v a l drama" when d e s c r i b i n g the egungun o f the Yorubas. Donald Baker (1976:58) c a l l s i t the f e s t i v a l drama phase o f t h e a t r e . In t h i s t h e s i s I would l i k e to d e s c r i b e Igbo•masquerades as r i t u a l t h e a t r e s . . The r i t u a l s and p r a y e r s o f the s e c r e t s o c i e t y members a r e p r e l i m i n -a r y to t h e appearance o f the mask; and a f t e r t h o s e , the masks and costumes a r e put on and the s t a g e i s s e t . F i r s t l y , t h r o u g h the wooden gong, the appearance o f the mmuo i s announced to the community, who q u i c k l y assemble a t the obom o r h o l y s q u a r e . Then, w i t h the mask i n f r o n t , members dance t o the rhythm o f music and songs to the square and t o the welcome c h e e r o f t h e i r a u d i e n c e . I f the performance i s g o o d , t h e a u d i e n c e c h e e r s and sometimes p a r t i c i p a t e s i n some o f the songs. L a t e r , they p r e s e n t g i f t s t o the masks; t h i s i s g i v i n g g i f t s t o the s p i r i t s . The mask i s admired w i t h a w e a n d r e v e r e n c e . The u n i n i t i a t e d a re not supposed to lo o k a t the mask i n the f a c e w h i l e women and c h i l d r e n watch a t a s a f e d i s t a n c e . We have a l r e a d y noted t h a t , among the Igbo, 73 masks and masquerades a r e male a f f a i r s and though women may o r g a n i z e t h e i r own dance performance, they never put on masks. A f t e r i t s performance, the mask r e t i r e s i n t o the hut i n the obom where the costumes and o t h e r masquerade p a r a p h e r n a l i a a r e s t o r e d u n t i l r e q u i r e d a g a i n f o r performance. I t i s u s u a l l y the duty o f the most s e n i o r member o f the mmuo s o c i e t y to c a t e r to the need o f the mask and a v o i d i t s d e s e c r a t i o n o r p o l l u t i o n by u n a u t h o r i z e d p e r s o n s . I f t h i s i s not done, the a n c e s t o r s w i l l wreak vengeance on the.community i n the form o f i l l n e s s o r famine. The Concept o f the Mask The above i l l u s t r a t e s t he Igbo b e l i e f t h a t masks g i v e v i s i b l e i d e n t i t y and form to the unseen s u p e r n a t u r a l . T h e m a s k i s s p i r i t and a l s o a means o f communicating w i t h s p i r i t s . I t s t o o d i n i t s o r i g i n a l r i g h t as an i n d i v i d u a l and group e x p r e s s i o n o f the l i k e n e s s o f the s p i r i t s . A g r e a t many p e o p l e , e s p e c i a l l y the Western v i s i t o r s to museums or a r t - g a l l e r i e s , . t h i n k o f t h e mask as a s e p a r a t e e n t i t y and as l a r g e l y d i s t i n c t from i t s costumes. T h i s must have l e d Jones (1973:58) to d e f i n e a mask as "a term which i s p o p u l a r l y used t o r e f e r t o any k i n d o f c o n c e a l i n g headpiece worn by an a c t o r i n a performance g i v e n by an a s s o c i a t i o n , which i n West A f r i c a i s c a l l e d a s e c r e t s o c i e t y " . To most Westerners, the mask u s u a l l y has one m e a n i n g — i t i s , say, a b e a u t i f u l w h ite mask t h a t l o o k s f e m i n i n e and they t h i n k o f i t t h a t way. The m i s t a k e i n t h i s type o f assumption i s t h a t t h e Igbos do not 74 j u s t l o o k a t the mask as a hea d p i e c e . I t i s not a s e p a r a t e e n t i t y , d i s t i n c t from i t s costume.. As one who has p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e s e r i t u a l p l a y s and a l s o as o b s e r v e r ; my r e s e a r c h p o i n t s u n m i s t a k a b l y t o the f a c t t h a t when an Igbo t h i n k s o f a mask, he g e n e r a l l y c o n c e i v e s o f i t as an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f a costume r a t h e r than i n i s o l a t i o n , and as b e l o n g i n g w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r d r e s s s t y l e and forms o f p l a y and dance. The name o f the mask may a l s o be the name o f the costume worn w i t h i t or the p l a y o r the dance i n which i t i s used. The Igbo agbogho mmuo ("female s p i r i t mask") (see p l a t e I X ) , r e f e r s not p a r t i c u l a r l y t o the headpiece but a l s o t o the b e a u t i f u l d r e s s ( s i g n i f y i n g f e m i n i n e q u a l i t i e s ) as w e l l as the music and dance t h a t accompany i t . The mask i s an element i n a l a r g e r whole. The symbolism o f the mask v a r i e s a c c o r d i n g t o , i t s p a r t i c u l a r use i n a p a r t i c u l a r c o n t e x t . The f a c e o f agbogho can be used i n . a n o t h e r c o n t e x t t o r e p r e s e n t Onukwu ( " f o o l " ) . Thus, the meaning o f the " f a c e " depends upon the whole. The form o f the mask i s o r d e r e d by r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t s which p e r m i t s the a r t i s t o r the c a r v e r a l a t i t u d e o f i n d i v i d u a l e x p r e s s i o n i n h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the s p i r i t , d e i t y o r a n c e s t o r , but u s u a l l y w i t h i n t r a d i t i o n a l l i m i t s . T h i s c o u l d be seen i n c a r v i n g s o f I g r i masks w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l A f i k p o g e o m e t r i c p a t t e r n s , r e c o g n i z a b l e as d i s t i n c t l y A f i k p o but showing i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n o f the c a r v e r . A l s o , c a r v i n g s o f the agbogho masks o f the No r t h e r n Igbo show t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l a r t s t y l e s i n c o r p o r a t i n g i n d i v i d u a l c r e a t i v i t y . In the e x h i b i t "The World o f S p i r i t s " , one n o t i c e s i n d i v i d u a l e x p r e s s i o n w i t h i n t r a d i t i o n a l s t y l e s . See d e t a i l s i n the photographs accompanying the documentation o f e x h i b i t i n Chapte r I I . 75 P l a t e IX. L i v e performance o f the Igbo agbogho masquerade a t the Gre a t H a l l o f the Museum on J u l y 17, 1977. (Photograph was taken by W i l l i a m McLennan, U.B.C. Museum o f A n t h r o p o l o g y ) . 76 In one r e s p e c t , the mask has, f o r the Westerner, the same c l a i m t o e x i s t e n c e as a work o f a r t such as the c a r v e d o r p a i n t e d Madonna of F l o r e n c e and V e n i c e . However, the mask i n i t s Igbo frame o f the c a r v e d h e a d p i e c e , costume, dance, r i t u a l and ceremony, has not the same s e p a r a t e e x i s t e n c e as the I t a l i a n Madonna surrounded by a g i l d e d moulding. The Igbo mask i s not so d e t a c h a b l e from i t s f r a m e w o r k — s u c h as the c h u r c h i n the c a s e o f the Madonna. The mask i s not an i d o l ; i t may be thought o f as an i d e n t i t y o f the d e i t y o r a n c e s t o r , but m o s t l y i t i s r e c o g n i z e d as a c a r v e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o r countenance. I t i s f u r t h e r a f o c u s on the broader e f f e c t i n i t s e l a b o r a t e framework o f r i t u a l , , i n which myth and b e l i e f a r e c e r e m o n i a l l y e x p r e s s e d i n music, dance, pageant, drama and s c u l p t u r e . The dancer who wears the mask i s c a l l e d mmuo or mma, meaning the s p i r i t o r g h o s t . He i s supposed by i t s a i d and h i s s k i l l t o evoke the p r e s e n c e o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l . H i s b o d y . i s m o s t l y c o m p l e t e l y c o v e r e d by costume, a l t h o u g h t h e r e a r e l o c a l v a r i e t i e s . In A f i k p o , the hands and l e g s may be l e f t u ncovered, but i n O n i t s h a the e n t i r e body and l i m b s a r e c o v e r e d . . The reason f o r the complete c o v e r i n g o f the body i s to make the d i s g u i s e complete. The dancer even t a l k s i n s t r a n g e tongue t o d i s g u i s e h i s n a t u r a l v o i c e . A n o t h e r r e a s o n f o r the complete d i s g u i s e i s t h a t o f t e n men v e r s e d i n " m e d i c i n e " may d e c i d e to " t r y o u t " the dancer by c a u s i n g him b o d i l y harm i n an e f f o r t t o t e s t h i s manhood o r to d i s g r a c e him i f he i s n o t p o w e r f u l . To s a f e g u a r d a g a i n s t such an o c c u r e n c e , the dancer i n the costume i s f o r t i f i e d w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l p r o t e c t i v e s . Even to the c a s u a l t r a v e l l e r i n Igbo c o u n t r y ( o r i n A f r i c a g e n e r a l l y ) , 77 unversed in'Jthe b e l i e f s and customs o f ' t h e p e o p l e , music and d a n c i n g s t a n d out as the r u l i n g p a s s i o n s . I t i s the form i n which both v i s u a l and a u r a l e x p r e s s i o n has p l a c e and o r i g i n o r i s i n some way c o n n e c t e d . Head worsh i p or the c u l t o f the head which i s p r e s e n t i n v a r i o u s forms a l l o v e r A f r i c a , g i v e s t h e mask a p r e d o m i n a t i n g i m p o r t a n c e . The head, r e g a r d e d by the Igbos as the s e a t o f a l l human wisdom, i s s y m b o l i c . Igbos say t h a t one's head ".isnrioteeorEect^^ -the person has been a t t a c k e d by e v i l s p i r i t s o r i s p o s s e s s e d , i . e . the person i s mad.- In t h i s way,,the mask r e p r e s e n t s the countenance o f wisdom and i n the case o f e v i l masks, i n v e r t e d o r d i a b o l i c a l wisdom. T h i s i s l o g i c a l because the mask i s s p i r i t , and a c c o r d i n g t o Igbo b e l i e f , the s p i r i t s a r e o m n i p r e s e n t and o m n i s c i e n t i n world a f f a i r s . On a c c o u n t o f t h i s importance o f the head, the mask, as the p i e c e de r e s i s t a n c e o f dance and ceremony, i s o f t e n times g i v e n g r o t e s q u e p r o p o r -t i o n s d e p e n d i n g , o f c o u r s e , on c i r c u m s t a n c e s . Underwood (1951:1), i n comparing Greek a n d . A f r i c a n s c u l p t u r e , noted t h a t both have a s t r o n g a l l i a n c e i n myths and b e l i e f . However, i n Greek s c u l p t u r e the body dominated the head because, w i t h t h e i r g r e a t a d m i r a t i o n f o r p h y s i q u e , the Greeks c e n t e r e d t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n i n the m u s c u l a r f e a t u r e s o f the body.. The countenance o f the d e i t y became s u p p r e s s e d and h i s f a c e or mask gai n e d more'and more an e x p r e s s i o n o f i m m o b i l i t y . But the masks o f A f r i c a g e n e r a l l y , and t h o s e o f t h e Igbos i n p a r t i c u l a r , . m a i n t a i n e d l i v e l i e r e x p r e s s i o n s . T h i s v i t a l i t y o f t h e A f r i c a n ' s d i r e c t e x p r e s s i o n i n h i s a r t c o n t i n u e d to d e v e l o p u n t i l i t met the c a t a c l y s m from the West, The p o i n t has a l r e a d y been made t h a t masks a n d m a s q u e r a d e s a r e 78 f a c t s o f l i f e among the Igbos; what needs to be emphasized f u r t h e r i s t h a t t o the Igbos, t h e y a l s o r e p r e s e n t a symbol o r f o c i f o r the s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s t h a t l o a n e d t h e i r a u t h o r i t y to the e d i c t s and a c t s t h a t emanated t h e r e f r o m . T h i s f a c t had and t o some e x t e n t s t i l l has, v a r i o u s s o c i a l consequences f o r which the mask i s i n d i s p e n s a b l e t o Igbo s o c i e t y . To u n d e r s t a n d t h i s , and i n o r d e r t o use y o u r i m a g i n a t i o n to p a r -t i c i p a t e i n the e x p e r i e n c e o f masking, one i s asked t o c o n s i d e r how the mask t r a n s f o r m s the man who wears i t : (a) I t h i d e s h i s f a c e and i d e n t i t y from t h e p u b l i c ; (b) I t f r e e s him from t he r u l e s o f co n d u c t which govern e v e r y d a y l i f e ; (c) I t a l l o w s him to become the o t h e r b e i n g t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s . In t h i s c a s e , i t r e p r e s e n t s the s p i r i t s and a n c e s t o r s who keep watch as g u a r d i a n s and c u s t o d i a n s o f m o r a l i t y i n Igbo s o c i e t y . T h e i r d e c i s i o n i s s u b j e c t t o no a p p e a l . : T h i s i s where the mask d e r i v e d i t s power i n Igbo s o c i e t y and t h i s a u t h o r i t y took r o o t i n Igbo p h i l o s o p h y and r e l i g i o n . A p a r t from t h e r i t u a l s n e c e s s a r y f o r masking,,the mask a l s o a c t e d d i r e c t l y t o make s u r e t h a t s o c i e t y does not t r a n s g r e s s . Because a man c o v e r s h i m s e l f w i t h a mask which t h e r e f o r e i n v e s t s him w i t h powers o u t s i d e the o r d i n a r y , he takes l i b e r t i e s which he o t h e r w i s e c o u l d n o t , and may c r i t i c i z e t h a t which i s c o n s i d e r e d obnoxious i n and t o the s o c i e t y . In t h i s way, the ex c e s s e s o f the e l d e r s , y o u t h s , women and c h i l d r e n , a re checked. By c h e c k i n g p o s s i b l e t r a n s g r e s s i o n s , the Igbos hope t o a v o i d the anger and hence harness the p r o t e c t i o n o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l . 79 In the A f i k p o Okumkpa p l a y , p e r f o r m e r s r i d i c u l e d members o f the p u b l i c . In t h i s way, t h e masks a c t as check on p u b l i c m o r a l i t y . A boy o f twenty wearing a mask c o u l d t a l k d i r e c t l y t o a drunken and l a z y g r a n d f a t h e r o f f i f t y who does not c a r e f o r h i s w i f e , c h i l d r e n and r e l a t i v e s . People would l a u g h a t the man i n p u b l i c and because the mask i s s p i r i t , the young p e r f o r m e r who had taken such a l i b e r t y would not be p e n a l i z e d as would have been the ca s e had he done so i n normal l i f e . T h i s i s an example o f the mask a c t i n g i n r o l e r e v e r s a l . In the o l d e n days and t o some e x t e n t t o d a y , the mask a c t e d as the e x e c u t i v e arm o f the Oha (Igbo l e g i s l a t i v e a s s e m b l y ) . I t was the mask t h a t p u n i s h e d o f f e n d e r s by c o l l e c t i n g f i n e s f r o m t c u l p r i t s , c h a s i n g out from the community tho s e who committed i n c e s t and hanging m u r d e r e r s . In t h i s r e g a r d the mask a c t e d as the p o l i c e o f the community. I t d i d a r r e s t rogues and p r o t e c t community p r o p e r t y . I t undertook to c o n s u l t d i v i n e r s to f i n d out what s i n the community had committed and t o o f f e r a p p r o p r i a t e p r o p i t i a t o r y s a c r i f i c e s . - I t was the g u a r d i a n and p r o t e c t o r o f t he weak. H a r l e y (1950:VIII) d i d r e p o r t , s u c h p o l i c e f u n c t i o n o f masks o f the go ge ("god s p i r i t " ) masks o f the Poro t r i b e s o f N o r t h e a s t e r n L i b e r i a . A l s o , W i s s l e r (1966:238) noted s i m i l a r p o l i c e f u n c t i o n o f the Kachina s p i r i t s o f the P u e b l o , i n d i a n s i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s . I t does appear, t h e r e f o r e , t h a t t he p o l i c e f u n c t i o n o f masks i s w i d e s p r e a d . I t was the s p i r i t s and a n c e s t o r s t h a t performed t he p o l i c e f u n c t i o n through t he mask and so t h e i r a c t i o n was never c h a l l e n g e d . A l t h o u g h t h i s has changed w i t h the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f modern c o u r t s o f law, the p o l i c e f o r c e and the p r i s o n system,.yet i n some Igbo com-m u n i t i e s the mask i s r e q u i r e d t o c o l l e c t f i n e s from r e c a l c i t r a n t o f f e n d e r s . 80 T h i s happens when an o f f e n d e r has been found g u i l t y by the assembly and has r e f u s e d to pay.- The mask goes t o c o l l e c t t h e f i n e by con-f i s c a t i n g some o f h i s p r o p e r t y which the o f f e n d e r would come t o redeem by p a y i n g y e t an a d d i t i o n a l f i n e . I f t h i s f a i l s , t h e o f f e n d e r i s s u b j e c t e d to s o c i a l o s t r a c i s m . He i s t o l d " t o go and buy some matches" which means t h a t he s h o u l d never e n t e r anybody's compound f o r f i " r e o r any o t h e r form o f s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n and v i c e v e r s a . In the o l d e n days, t he mask a l s o performed a d i r e c t j u d i c i a l f u n c t i o n n o t o n l y w i t h i n and among members o f t h e mmuo s o c i e t y but t o the e n t i r e community. T h i s t y p e o f judgement i s b e t t e r r e f e r r e d t o as a r b i t r a t i o n because the mask was brought i n when a cas e was a t an impasse. I t s d e c i s i o n was u s u a l l y s u b j e c t t o no appeal because the s p i r i t s a r e o m n i s c i e n t . However,.secret s o c i e t y members made e v e r y e f f o r t t o a s c e r t a i n the t r u t h o f the m a t t e r so t h a t the d e c i s i o n o f the mask would be j u s t . A l t h o u g h more w i l l be w r i t t e n on t h i s l a t e r , i t i s o n l y n e c e s s a r y here t o p o i n t o u t / t h a t i n i t i a t i o n i n t o t he mmuo s o c i e t y i s both a r e l i g i o u s and f e s t i v e o c c a s i o n which the e n t i r e v i l l a g e l o o k s f o r w a r d to w i t h g r e a t a n t i c i p a t i o n . 1 . I t i s a way i n which boys graduate i n t o men and take up r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n t h e i r communities.. I n i t i a t i o n i s a c l e a r example o f the o v e r l a p o f the r e l i g i o u s and s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s o f masquerades. In f a c t , the v e r y n o t i o n o f community u n d e r l i n e s the 4 i n s e p e r a b l e n a t u r e o f the two , because t h e r e i s no c l e a r d e m a r c a t i o n between the s a c r e d and s e c u l a r f u n c t i o n s o f masks i n t r a d i t i o n a l Igbo communities. Some masks per f o r m f o r b u r i a l o r f u n e r a l ceremonies t o e x p r e s s 81 anger and sorrow a t the death o f a member o f the community. They a l s o p e r f o r m r i t u a l s t o a s s u r e the deceased s a f e passage i n t o the underworld and a c c e p t a n c e by the s p i r i t s . By g i v i n g ' a f i t t i n g f a r e -w e l l to the dead,.they c r e a t e peace and harmony f o r the l i v i n g . S i n c e t h e s e masks pe r f o r m on such sad and solemn o c c a s i o n s , t h e y a t times are g i v e n the b o l d f e a t u r e s the Igbo a t t r i b u t e t o d e a t h , who i s a l s o known as the Rogue. For example, some o f such masks a r e the odogu o r okpoka, and w h i l e t h e y a r e p e r f o r m i n g , the a u d i e n c e s t a y s a t a s a f e d i s t a n c e away,.for t h e r e i s no p r e d i c t i n g what dangerous a c t i o n s t h e y may do.• Masks a l s o p e r f o r m on f e s t i v e o c c a s i o n s such as the New Yam f e s t i v a l and i n t h i s case they g l o r i f y the e a r t h - g o d d e s s a l a f o r g i v i n g f r u i t to the l i v i n g . Such masks a r e u s u a l l y g e n t l e and b e a u t i f u l ; t h e i r d a n c i n g i s g r a c e f u l and accompanied by melodious music. One o f such masks i s the agbogho which r e p r e s e n t female a n c e s t r a l s p i r i t s . What i s b e i n g h i g h l i g h t e d here i s the s o c i a l f u n c t i o n o f e n t e r -tainment and a e s t h e t i c s s u r r o u n d i n g masquerade ceremonies. When masks perform i n the v i l l a g e square on eke days, t h e y e n t e r t a i n the v i l l a g e r s and make them happy. Thompson (1974) w r i t e s t h a t " a r t and goodness are combined". The mask i s an attempt o f man t o come to g r i p s w i t h the powerful f o r c e s which he c a n n o t command, w h i l e a t the same time g i v i n g e x p r e s s i o n t o man's i n n a t e d e s i r e t o c r e a t e p l e a s u r e and goodness. One cannot h e l p but admire the r a p t a t t e n t i o n w i t h which the community, the a u d i e n c e , watches masquerade performances.. The a e s t h e t i c s o f masquerades i s i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n . . When the drum beats i n t o a c r e s c e n d o , a l o n g w i t h the gong and sound o f f l u t e s r e a c h i n g the h i g h heavens, 82 everyone around the obimmuo f i n d s h i m s e l f f o l l o w i n g the i n v i t i n g rhythm. Igbos have a s a y i n g t h a t "when the gong o f the mask sounds, eyen the c r i p p l e walks to the obimmuo--the v i l l a g e ' s p i r i t s q u a r e ' " . And so may i t be f o r a l l t i m e s . The Making o f Masks The p o i n t has b e e n . s u f f i c i e n t l y made t h a t Igbos c o n s i d e r the mask v e r y s e r i o u s l y . In the same l i g h t , the making o f the mask i s taken e q u a l l y s e r i o u s l y . The t r a d i t i o n a l a r t i s t i s u s u a l l y a t r a i n e d c r a f t s m a n , not o n l y i n h i s t r a d e ' p r o p e r , but a l s o may undertake p r i e s t l y or r e l i g i o u s f u n c t i o n s i n the c o u r s e o f h i s j o b . . T h i s i s so because the v e r y wood he c u t s from a t r e e f o r - h i s work i s c o n s i d e r e d to c o n t a i n . s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s . There i s b e l i e f i n the s a c r e d n e s s o f the t r e e among the Igbos and t h i s i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the a n c e s t o r c u l t . The r i t u a l p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r s c u l p t u r e i n t r a d i t i o n a l c i r c u m -s t a n c e s r e f l e c t e d t h i s m y s t i c a l a t t i t u d e toward t h e t r e e . . The Igbo a r t i s t would f i r s t l y s e l e c t what p a r t o f a t r e e he i n t e n d s to use f o r h i s work. T h i s i s u s u a l l y d e termined by h i s a n t i c i p a t e d outcome. When he c u t s down the t r e e , . a r i t u a l i s performed t o p a c i f y the s p i r i t o f the t r e e . T h i s i s a c h i e v e d by a s a c r i f i c e o f k o l a , g i n and c h a l k ; sometimes t h i s i n c l u d e s c h i c k e n . He might invoke a more powerful s p i r i t t o p r o v i d e p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t t h e s p i r i t o f the t r e e but t h i s r e q u i r e s the s e r v i c e s o f a p r o f e s s i o n a l , the d i b i a - - m e d i c i n e man.' The l o g might be l e f t l y i n g i n the bush f o r a w h i l e , t o g i v e the s p i r i t time to l e a v e i t ; but m o s t l y the c u t p i e c e i s immediately hauled t o a 83 s e c l u d e d p l a c e , where the s c u l p t o r g i v e s i t a crude p r e l i m i n a r y s h a p i n g . T h i s f e e l i n g t h a t the wood t o be c a r v e d c o n t a i n e d a s p i r i t u a l o r l i f e f o r c e , c o n t r i b u t e s to the c a r v e r ' s deep f e e l i n g f o r h i s m a t e r i a l s . For him i t was a l r e a d y endowed w i t h power b e f o r e he even shaped i t i n t o a mask. The I g b o . s c u l p t o r working on a mask, a d d r e s s e s h i m s e l f t o h i s t a s k d i r e c t l y w i t h o u t p r e l i m i n a r y s k e t c h e s . He has a remarkable v i s i o n o f the e n d - p r o d u c t from the time o f making the f i r s t c u t . I t i s an amazing e x p e r i e n c e to watch a c a r v e r c u t an e l a b o r a t e i n t e r l a c e d e s i g n c o v e r i n g a l a r g e panel o r c u t t i n g out the f i n e s t y l i z e d d e s i g n s i n a mask w i t h o u t e v e r h a v i n g t o change l i n e , o r modify the s i z e o f the d e s i g n to make the whole t o f i t . T h i s must have t o do w i t h the l o n g p e r i o d o f a p p r e n t i c e s h i p r e q u i r e d f o r t h i s t r a d e . An acknowledged c r a f t s m a n o f the community t r a i n s young a p p r e n t i c e s who may be h i s c h i l d r e n or r e l a t i v e s o r o t h e r v i l l a g e y o u t h s who, a t an e a r l y age, demonstrate p o t e n t i a l a p t i t u d e and s k i l l and a s e r i o u s n e s s o f purpose i n such a v o c a t i o n . The p e r i o d o f t r a i n i n g ranged from f i v e t o t e n y e a r s , d u r i n g which time t r a i n e e s l i v e d w i t h t h e i r master. A t the end o f t h i s p e r i o d the t r a i n e e a r t i s t has a c h i e v e d t h e motor s k i l l s n e c e s s a r y to match h i s v i s i o n . F a t h e r C a r o l l (1967:94) w r i t e s : "No m a t t e r how c o m p l i c a t e d a work may be and though he has no drawing t o a i d him, Bandele never c u t s away by a c c i d e n t any wood he may need l a t e r ; he would be ashamed t o have to add a n o t h e r p i e c e " . Though r e f e r r i n g t o Bandele, a Yoruba, h i s remarks are e q u a l l y a p p l i c a b l e t o Igbo c a r v e r s as w e l l , f o r the o n l y Igbo s c u l p t u r e I know o f i n which an e r r o r was made i n c u t t i n g was the 84 work o f a young a p p r e n t i c e . The m a s t e r d e s t r o y e d i t even b e f o r e i t was f i n i s h e d as v e r y shameful . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the s c u l p t o r o r c a r v e r working on a mask must do h i s work i n s e c r e t e i t h e r i n the bush o r i n an e n c l o s e d hut. T h i s i s so because the knowledge o f the mask i s the e x c l u s i v e p r e s e r v e o f t h e mmuo s o c i e t y members. H a l p i n (1975) noted a s i m i l a r s e r i o u s n e s s i n the c a r v i n g o f m a s k s among the North West Co a s t I n d i a n s . She wrote: "Barbeau (1930:789) r e c o r d e d "... the g i t s o n t k ( p e o p l e s e c l u d e d ) c a r v e d masks and o t h e r naxnox p a r a p h e r n a l i a . I f an o u t s i d e r u n e x p e c t e d l y came upon them w h i l e they were a t work, the o n l y outcome was d e a t h . . . No m i s t a k e s were t o l e r a t e d and the p e n a l t y f o r any l a p s e was d e a t h " ^ . T h i s s e r i o u s n e s s a t t a c h e d t o the c a r v i n g o f masks a l s o appears to be w i d e s p r e a d . The Igbo mask i s c a r v e d or hewn out o f a s i n g l e b l o c k o f wood, i . e . i t i s monoxylous. The s c u l p t u r e emerges out o f a mass o f m a t e r i a l by s u b t r a c t i v e t e c h n i q u e . The f o r c e o r l i f e o r s p i r i t which the wood was supposed to have, seems t o show i n the m a s s i v e n e s s o f the wood and i t s b e a u t i f u l g r a i n . The c a r v e r t a k e s p a i n s t o keep t h i s i n t a c t w h i l e c u t t i n g out the shape o f the mask. The c o n t o u r s f o l l o w the c y l i n d r i c a l form o f the l o g , t o which a l l p a r t s a r e ' k e p t s u b o r d i n a t e . T h i s emphasis on v e r t i c a l l i n e s g i v e s most masks a v e r t i c a l a x i s to which the d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f the s c u l p t u r e have an o r g a n i c c o n n e c t i o n . Segy (1975:81) notes t h a t " i f d i v i d e d a l o n g t h i s v e r t i c a l axis,.many A f r i c a n o s t a t u e s (and masks) would s e p a r a t e i n t o two symmetrical h a l v e s " . When the a r t i s t has f i n i s h e d h i s work on the wood, b r i n g i n g f o r t h as i t were, a "new l i f e " , h e . c o l o u r s h i s p r o d u c t . The most o u t s t a n d i n g 85 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f a l l Igbo masks, as c o u l d be seen from the e x h i b i t , i s t h a t they are a l l p a i n t e d e i t h e r c h a l k w h i t e (which i s the t r a d -i t i o n a l c o l o u r f o r p u r i t y , beauty and peace),ccamwood r e d ( s i g n i f y i n g d a n g e r ) , orange o r y e l l o w ( p o r t r a y i n g l i f e ) and b l a c k made from u n y i ("pot b l a c k " ) and which was meant t o d e p i c t u g l i n e s s o r e v i l . Masked dancers wore e l a b o r a t e costumes and t h i s i s i n agreement w i t h our d e f i n i t i o n o f masks. Sometimes the costumes a r e ornamented w i t h m i r r o r s t o c r e a t e e f f e c t and awe. P a i n t i n g i s not o n l y t o b e a u t i f y the mask. Horton (1966:21) has p o i n t e d out t h a t p a i n t i n g i s not s i m p l y an e n r i c h m e n t o f the s c u l p t u r e ( i n t h i s case the mask), but i s a means whereby the a p p r o p r i a t e s p i r i t i s brought to occupy i t . Thus a f t e r c a r v i n g an agbogho mask, i t i s p a i n t e d white to b r i n g i n t o i t the female a n c e s t r a l s p i r i t s o r t h a t o f the e a r t h goddess. The costume i s then a t t a c h e d t o the new c r e a t i o n and i t i s ready f o r performance a f t e r the n e c e s s a r y r i t u a l s . U n t i l r e c e n t l y , the a e s t h e t i c judgement o f t r a d i t i o n a l people has u s u a l l y been i g n o r e d i n l i t e r a t u r e . Achebe (1965:250-1), an Igbo : w r i t e r , shows v e r y c l e a r l y i n h i s novel t h a t Igbos judge works o f a r t . One o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s , E d o g o , , i s a c a r v e r . "When he had f i n i s h e d c a r v i n g the f a c e and head he had been a l i t t l e d i s a p p o i n t e d . . . b u t the owners o f the work had not c o m p l a i n e d ; i n f a c t t h e y had p r a i s e d i t v e r y h i g h l y . Edogo knew, ..however,. t h a t he must see the mask i n a c t i o n t o know whether i t was good o r bad". To a p p r e c i a t e the mask.as i t was c o n c e i v e d and c a r v e d by the a r t i s t , one needs t o see i t w i t h a l l the n e c e s s a r y attachments and i n movement. I emphasize a g a i n t h a t masks are i n t e n d e d to be seen i n movement, perhaps above the eye l e v e l , and i n a dance, b e f o r e the q u a l i t y c o u l d be j u d g e d . T h i s i s what the Igbos 86 do. The a r t i s t i s as we have seen, a p r o f e s s i o n a l - - h i r e d on com-. m i s s i o n t o c r e a t e a mask e i t h e r out o f w o o d , . f i b r e , c l o t h , r a f f i a o r any o t h e r t y p e s o f costume f o r masked drama. H i s c l i e n t o r p a t r o n i s u s u a l l y an Igbo e l d e r , a l e a d e r o r a spokesmen f o r the community o r group t h a t needs h i s s e r v i c e s . A l t h o u g h the a r t i s t i s h e l d i n . high esteem, he has no e x t r a p r i v i l e g e s . He i s supposed to c r e a t e w i t h i n t r a d i t i o n a l s t y l e s . T h i s e x e r c i s e o f , r e s t r a i n t and c o n t r o l o f the a r t i s t by h i s s o c i e t y o r h i s c l i e n t s , means t h a t t he t r a d i t i o n a l a r t s t y l e s i n e v e r y a r e a a r e p e r p e t u a t e d and h e l d f a s t by the c o n s e r -v a t i s m o f the group t h a t m a i n t a i n e d t he a p p r e n t i c e s h i p t r a d i t i o n . T h i s i s v e r y academic and i s v e r y c l e a r l y seen i n A f i k p o masks. I t must h o t be construed,.however, t h a t t he t r a d i t i o n a l Igbo a r t i s t was so c o m p l e t e l y r e s t r i c t e d by the t r a d i t i o n a l i s m o f h i s t r a i n i n g t h a t he becomes t r e d u c e d ilbjp*•Sbr^fceadtpy.iiisllisifiMbtigb-..shape'si " forms and p a t t e r n s a r e f i x e d by c u s t o m , . i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t most o f the p r e s s u r e s f o r the i n v e n t i o n and development o f new forms a r e s e l f -i n d u c e d , coming from an i n n a t e a e s t h e t i c d e s i r e r a t h e r than by group o r - s o c i e t a l demand. The master c a r v e r c o u l d endow the t r a d i t i o n a l Igbo forms w i t h h i s own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and i n s i g h t ; and t h e s e s p r i n g from h i s p e r s o n a l genius as a p e r c e p t i v e and c r e a t i v e a r t i s t . T h i s f a c t i s b e t t e r a p p r e c i a t e d when i t i s remembered t h a t the a r t i s t a l s o p a r t i c i p a t e s i n the s o c i a l and c e r e m o n i a l f u n c t i o n s o f h i s mask. H i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n has s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e because h i s forms a r e s u b s t a n t i a l l y d e r i v e d from human and animal forms. By o b s e r v i n g h i s fellowmen d u r i n g moments o f p h y s i c a l and em o t i o n a l s t r e s s a t r i t u a l s 87 and c e r e m o n i e s , he i s b e t t e r a b l e t o endow the t r a d i t i o n a l a r t - f o r m s w i t h h i s p e r c e p t i o n and s e n s i t i v i t y . In Ozubulu, one e a s i l y r e c o g -n i z e s the work o f such g i f t e d c a r v e r s such as Obi (two o f h i s Odogu masks a r e d i s p l a y e d i n the e x h i b i t ) . L i k e a r t i s t s everywhere, Igbo c a r v e r s o f masks g i v e form and r e a l i t y to a b s t r a c t i o n w i t h i n t h e i r s o c i a l m i l i e u . The famous dancer Isado r a Duncan was once asked to e x p l a i n what her d a n c i n g meant. She r e p l i e d t h a t " i f I c o u l d say i t , I would not have t o dance i t " . A l s o the famous a r t i s t P i c a s s o s a i d t h a t i f he knew, i f he were c o n s c i o u s o f what he i n t e n d e d t o e x p r e s s i n h i s work, he would not have t o g c r e a t e i t . So i t i s w i t h the Igbo mask-maker. He cannot e x p l a i n i t , i t i s the t e n s i o n o f e x p r e s s i n g what i s as y e t unknown to him, but a s t i r w i t h i n h i s i n n e r - s e l f , t h a t d r i v e s him, as c r e a t o r t o a c t i o n . ' For t h i s he may perhaps be exempted from some o t h e r hazardous communal a c t i v i t y ( a l t h o u g h t h i s i s an e x c e p t i o n r a t h e r than the r u l e ) . He would then have as much time as he needs f o r the l o n g and p a t i e n t c a r v i n g o r f a s h i o n i n g o f the masks and o t h e r r i t u a l o b j e c t s needed f o r the w e l l - b e i n g o f h i s community. I n i t i a t i o n i n t o the Mmuo The "mask b u s i n e s s " i s a guarded s e c r e t o f o n l y those.men who have been sworn i n t o i t . T h i s i s what i n i t i a t i o n i s a l l a bout, and t h i s i s a c u l t u r a l t r a i t o f a l l the Igbos. There a r e l o c a l v a r i a t i o n s i n i t s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n but s t i l l i t s c o n c e p t and c o n t e n t a r e l a r g e l y the same. Oath i s a d m i n i s t e r e d to new i n i t i a t e s t o p r o t e c t the r u l e s and s e c r e t 88 o f the mmuo. No one dares c o n t r a v e n e t h i s r u l e o f s e c r e c y because o f the punishments a t t a c h e d t h e r e t o . In the o l d e n . d a y s , anyone who l e a k e d out the s e c r e t s o f the mmuo was e i t h e r k i l l e d , e x i l e d o r s o l d i n t o s l a v e r y . Today such a person i s n e ver e n t r u s t e d w i t h s e r i o u s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and i s a l a u g h i n g s t o c k o f the community. I n f o r m a t i o n w i t h i n t h e s o c i e t y i s d i s e m i n a t e d o n l y through i n t e r -p e r s o n a l communication. Messages are passed from the e l d e r s o r l e a d e r s 9 o f the s o c i e t y through a p p o i n t e d messengers t o members d i r e c t l y . Members c o u l d a l s o g i v e such i n f o r m a t i o n to o t h e r members'only. A l l male youths i n Igbo l a n d must be i n i t i a t e d i n t o the v i l l a g e s e c r e t s o c i e t y . T h i s event marks the t r a n s i t i o n from the time when the boys use c h i l d r e n ' s masks and i m i t a t e a d u l t c eremonies, to the p e r i o d when they p a r t i c i p a t e i n a d u l t s o c i e t y and i t s masquerades. A f t e r the i n i t i a t i o n , ; t h e y cease b e i n g e m u l a t o r s and o b s e r v e r s o f the a c t i v i t i e s o f the s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s and become a c t i v e members not o n l y o f the mmuo s o c i e t y but o f the e n t i r e v i l l a g e community. I t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g , t h e r e f o r e , t h a t i n the i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies the boys a re i n d i r e c t c o n t a c t w i t h some o f the a d u l t masks and costumes and wear them f o r the f i r s t t i m e . Boys are i n i t i a t e d u s u a l l y between the ages o f t h i r t e e n and t h e i r e a r l y t w e n t i e s . The age o f e n t r a n c e depends upon: a) Whether the f a t h e r o f the n o v i c e i s a l i v e ; i f not h i s i n i t i a t i o n might be d e l a y e d ; b) The w e a l t h o f the f a t h e r o f the n o v i c e ; c) Whether the boy i s the e l d e s t son, and d) How many b r o t h e r s he has. 89 Most Igbo communities have one, though c o s t l y , i n i t i a t i o n ceremony; o t h e r s have more than one. type o f i n i t i a t i o n . One f e a t u r e seems t o be u n i v e r s a l however--the i n i t i a t i o n o f the f i r s t son o f a man appears to be a c o s t l y a f f a i r t h r o u g h o u t I g b o l a n d . T h i s i s s i m p l y a p r e s t i g e a f f a i r because a man i s supposed t o s i g n i f y h i s p l a c e - i n s o c i e t y not o n l y by the number o f wives and t i t l e s he has p e r s o n a l l y t a k e n , but a l s o the s u c c e s s w i t h which he e s t a b l i s h e s h i s sons, most e s p e c i a l l y h i s f i r s t son, okpa!a o f Qkpara, who i s t o take o v e r and c a r e f o r him i n h i s o l d age and g i v e him a b e f i t t i n g b u r i a l a t h i s d e a t h . Masks a r e used i n most types o f i n i t i a t i o n among the Igbos. There i s s t r e s s on p h y s i c a l h a r d s h i p and c o m p e t i t i o n and the o b s e r v a t i o n o f numerous t a b o o s , such as a v o i d i n g c e r t a i n f o o d s , not t o u c h i n g the ground w i t h y o u r back, not showing one's t e e t h , e t c . . A l l forms o f i n i t i a t i o n i n v o l v e the s e p a r a t i o n o f the n o v i c e from h i s home, p a r e n t a l c a r e and normal l i f e a c t i v i t i e s f o r a p e r i o d o f time. There i s a p e r i o d o f i n s t r u c t i o n and t e s t . Simon O t t e n b e r g (1975) has w r i t t e n e x t e n s i v e l y on i n i t i a t i o n i n t o the masquerade s o c i e t y o f A f i k p o Igbo. What I am about t o d e s c r i b e i s the i n i t i a t i o n i n t o the mmuo s o c i e t y i n Ozubulu. Ozubulu, which I use as c a s e - s t u d y , . i s about ten m i l e s south o f O n i t s h a and has a r i c h masquerade t r a d i t i o n . Here, the i n i t i a t i o n t a k e s p l a c e between October and March, i . e . t h e d r y season. A f t e r the u f e j i o k u . o r i i i j i . c e r e m o n y , (meaning " e a t i n g o f the new yam"), p e o p l e get t h e i r yams from the farms.. I t i s time now f o r h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g and o t h e r s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s aimed a t e n t e r t a i n i n g the v i l l a g e r s . I n i t i a t i o n and masquerades p r o v i d e one o f such e n t e r t a i n m e n t s . - Every 90 e f f o r t i s made t o p r o v i d e masquerade e n t e r t a i n m e n t . B u r i a l ceremonies are o f t e n postponed t o t h i s time so t h a t t he r a i n would not d i s t u r b the appearance o f masquerades. In Ozubulu t h e r e a r e two main types o f i n i t i a t i o n — a unique c h i l d i n i t i a t i o n and the r e g u l a r Igbo a d u l t i n i t i a t i o n . The c h i l d i n i t i a t i o n i s t h a t i n which a c h i l d o f about f i v e t o t h i r t e e n y e a r s i s i n i t i a t e d i n t o the mmuo s o c i e t y and the burden o f t h i s i s e n t i r e l y . b o r n e by. h i s f a t h e r . Only a i r i i c h f a t h e r undertakes t h i s i n i t i a t i o n f o r h i s sons, m o s t l y h i s f i r s t son ( d i - o k p a l a ) . The u n c e r t a i n t i e s o f l i f e compel f a t h e r s t o do t h i s i n case o f death. He would then have a c h i e v e d the a m b i t i o n o f most p a r e n t s , and would t h e r e f o r e r e s t i n peace i n the l a n d o f the dead.. I t i s then l e f t t o t h i s d i - o k p a l a t o take o v e r from h i s f a t h e r , and make s u r e t h a t h i s b r o t h e r s a r e i n i t i a t e d . T h i s type i s a token one and the i n i t i a t e i s not supposed t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n s e n i o r s masquerades u n t i l he i s an a d o l e s c e n t . He may r e c e i v e t r a d i t i o n a l r e t u r n s from the proceeds o f f u r t h e r i n i t i a t i o n s a f t e r h i s , but u n t i l he p a r t i c i p a t e s i n the o r d e a l s o f i n i t i a t i o n which e n t i t l e him t o lo o k a t ' t h e mask i n the f a c e , h e . i s not c o n s i d e r e d a d u l t . The o t h e r type which I have c a l l e d a d u l t i n i t i a t i o n i s the most s e r i o u s one. Every man-in Ozubulu must go through t h i s i n i t i a t i o n because i t i s a means o f t r a n s i t i o n from c h i l d h o o d t o m a t u r i t y ^ I t i s not by chance t h a t one goes through t h i s between the ages o f t h i r t e e n and twenty, the a d o l e s c e n t , p u b e r t a l p e r i o d . G i r l s o f t h i s same age group are c a l l e d the Umueleke ( " v i r g i n s " ) and th e y have t h e i r own i n i t i a t i o n which p r e p a r e s them f o r the l i f e o f w i f e and mother. Any 91 a d u l t male who r e f u s e s t o be i n i t i a t e d i n t o the mmuo i s s u b j e c t e d t o r i d i c u l e o r s o c i a l o s t r a c i s m . The e l d e r s o f the community d e c i d e on a date f o r i n i t i a t i o n and p r e p a r a t i o n s b e g i n . T h i s i s a y e a r l y a f f a i r aimed a t u p - g r a d i n g y o u t h s , i . e . i n i t i a t e s , i n t o c i v i c p o s i t i o n s i n the community, t o r e p l a c e the dead o r a g e i n g members o f the community. The p e r i o d o f p r e p a r a t i o n i s u s u a l l y about two weeks. To q u a l i f y f o r a d m i s s i o n i n t o t h i s " s c h o o l o f wisdom", one must f i r s t l y be o f age; n a t u r e must approve o f h i s a d m i s s i o n . S e c o n d l y , he must be known t o be r e s p e c t f u l , honest and hard-working. T h i s i s a s e l e c t i v e p r o c e s s because the s o c i e t y demands i t s f u t u r e l e a d e r s t o be men o f proven i n t e g r i t y . T h i s a l s o a c c o u n t s p a r t l y f o r t h e d i s p a r i t y i n t h e ages o f i n i t i a t e s . I have seen boys o f t h i r t e e n and o t h e r s o f : e i g h t e e n b e i n g i n i t i a t e d a t the same time. Wealth i s the o t h e r p a r t o f t h i s s e l e c t i o n p r o c e s s . The f a t h e r o f the n o v i c e ( i n i t i a t e - t o - b e ) has t o pay a s t i p u l a t e d amount o f money. I f the f a t h e r i s dead, then a g u a r d i a n , b r o t h e r o r the i n i t i a t e h i m s e l f has t o pay. . The mother a l s o c o u l d pay t h i s sum through a p a t e r n a l u n c l e o f the boy i f she i s r i c h enough. However, the d e c i s i o n on who i s to be i n i t i a t e d r e s t s w i t h the e l d e r s . In a d d i t i o n t o t h i s s t i p u l a t e d sum o f money, t h e r e a r e o t h e r items which e v e r y i n i t i a t e must p r o v i d e . These a r e : a) Two kegs o f wine; one keg c o n t a i n s nkwu from the palm t r e e w h i l e the o t h e r c o n t a i n s ngwo.wine from r a f f i a palm and i s , m i l d e r than the f i r s t . b) Four k o l a nuts c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o the f o u r days o f the n a t i v e week. c) A l i v e c h i c k e n , p r e f e r a b l y abuke ("white c h i c k e n " ) . 92 d) A head o f t o b a c c o . e) Some yams, coco-yams; e t c . f ) Some t r a d i t i o n a l c o l o u r s l i k e u l i i ( " b l a c k " ) , u f i e ( " y e l l o w " ) , nzu ("white"). These a r e d i s t r i b u t e d as f o l l o w s : some o f the k o l a , fowl ( e s p e c i a l l y the ab u k e ) , . t o b a c c o and wine a r e g i v e n t o the p r i e s t o f the v i l l a g e s h r i n e , N d i e k w i l i . He d i s t r i b u t e s some o f thes e to o t h e r p r i e s t s who a t t e n d t o o t h e r d u t i e s . . With the s e they a r e supposed t o o f f e r p r a y e r s t o the gods and a n c e s t o r s a s k i n g f o r b l e s s i n g s on the i n i t i a t e s and f o r peace and p r o s p e r i t y f o r the e n t i r e community. P a r t of t h e k o l a , wine, c h i c k e n and t o b a c c o a re a l s o g i v e n t o the e l d e r s o f the v i l l a g e . As l e a d e r s , they s e l e c t those'who a r e t o i n s t r u c t the new i n i t i a t e s and guide them i n t o s p i r i t u a l l i f e . The remainder o f the t o b a c c o , wine,, fowl and k o l a : n u t s a r e g i v e n t o the s e l e c t e d i n s t r u c -t o r s , t he " f i r s t among e q u a l s " . T h e i r number depends on the number o f people t o be i n i t i a t e d . I t c o u l d range from f i v e t o f i f t e e n , . The yams, coco-yams and o t h e r f o o d items a r e . u s e d by the boys themselves d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d o f s e p a r a t i o n from home. The money p a i d by the i n i t i a t e s i s used t o purchase any new costumes t h a t may be r e q u i r e d , t o p r e p a r e the framework f o r new masks, and t o pay f o r o t h e r s e r v i c e s such as thos e o f a d i v i n e r . He chooses the m o s t - f a v o u r a b l e s p o t and date f o r i n i t i a t i o n . U s u a l l y t h i s f a l l s on the eke day. When the m a t e r i a l s have been d i s t r i b u t e d a c c o r d i n g t o custom, and the d i v i n e r has l o c a t e d a s p o t f a v o u r a b l e t o the a n c e s t o r s f o r p r e p a r - . a t i o n , the i n i t i a t e s assemble a t the obimmuo. They get t h e r e i n the 93 morning and the o l d e s t o f the i n s t r u c t o r s prays and s a c r i f i c e s to the a n c e s t r a l t r e e ( u s u a l l y i r o k o ) and s h r i n e a t the obimmuo. He c a l l s f o r b l e s s i n g s , and infor m s the a n c e s t o r s o f the i n t e n t i o n o f the boys, t h e i r f a t h e r s and the v i l l a g e a t l a r g e t h a t i n i t i a t i o n s h o u l d take p l a c e . A t the end o f h i s p r a y e r s , he s a n c t i f i e s h i m s e l f by r u b b i n g white c h a l k on h i s f o r e h e a d — e v e r y b o d y does the same. He then l e a d s the boys to the bush which the d i v i n e r has s e l e c t e d . One f e a t u r e o f t h i s s p o t i s t h a t i t c o n t a i n s a t e r m i t e - h i l l . I t i s the b e l i e f t h a t masquerades appear from underground thro u g h the t e r m i t e -h i l l . The p r i e s t prays as f o l l o w s : Enu t a o j i , a n i t a o j i - ("We o f f e r k o l a nuts t o the sky and the e a r t h " ) Ndu nwoke, ndu nwanyi - ( " L i f e o f everybody male and female o f the v i l l a g e " ) Anyi na erne omenani - ("We a r e p e r f o r m i n g t r a d i t i o n a l r i t e s " ) Ukwu akponafa, i s i awanafa - ("Let t h e r e be n e i t h e r broken l e g s nor headache f o r the i n i t i a t e s " ) Ka a n y i me ka nnanyi f a - ("Let us do l i k e our f o r e f a t h e r s " ) Pi ka ndi mbu - ("Like t he f i r s t p e o p l e " ) [ E v e r y b o d y ] I h i a - ("Let i t be so") A goat i s r o a s t e d and e a t e n by the p r i e s t , t he e l d e r s and the i n s t r u c t o r s . The n o v i c e s do not p a r t a k e , t h e y have y e t t o e a t w i t h the s p i r i t s . The wine i s s h a r e d i n a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n . A f t e r t h i s r i t u a l , the a r e a f o r the i n s t r u c t i o n i s d e l i n e a t e d and Omu ("palm f r o n d s " ) a r e used t o mark out the e n t i r e area as h o l y . Omu i s a r e l i g i o u s symbol o f h o l i n e s s among t h e Igbos.. A t the c e n t r e o f t h i s 94 h o l y s p o t s t a n d s the a n t h i l l . Around t h i s t h e i n i t i a t e s e r e c t s t r u c t u r e s to house themselves d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f i n i t i a t i o n . A f t e r the area has been marked out and a l l n e c e s s a r y r i t u a l s p e rformed, the p r i e s t and e l d e r s take l e a v e . Immediately the i n i t i a t e s g e t i n t o work; They c l e a r the a r e a o f bush and t r e e s and g e t busy c u t t i n g s t i c k s t o b u i l d s h e l t e r . They u s u a l l y come,with u b e j i l i , the f i r s t g i f t o f a man t o h i s son. U b e j i l i i s a s t r o n g k n i f e w i t h s h e a t h and s y m b o l i z e s s t r e n g t h . A f t e r b u i l d i n g s h e l t e r , f i r e i s made by one group on which yam and o t h e r e d i b l e s a r e r o a s t e d . . A n o t h e r group goes to f e t c h s p r i n g water because i n i t i a t e s n e v e r d r i n k water t h a t f l o w s on the ground. They d r i n k water from a s p r i n g . T h i s i s c o n s i d e r e d v e r y o r i g i n a l and pure water. I t i s not p o l l u t e d and t h e r e f o r e h o l y . When th e y have s e t t l e d down, the i n i t i a t e s b e g i n t o r e c e i v e i n s t r u c t i o n s on how t o p r e p a r e f o r a masked performance. They are-i n s t r u c t e d on the language o f the mask and how t o r e a d meaning from the sounds o f a gong. For example*, the masked p e r f o r m e r uses igwe (a wind i n s t r u m e n t ) t o speak. O u t s i d e r s , e x c e p t t h o s e who have been t u t o r e d , do not un d e r s t a n d t h i s language. The boys learn-how to dance to v a r i o u s types o f masquerade music. In between p e r i o d s , t h e y p r a c t i c e by g o i n g t o n e i g h b o u r i n g v i l l a g e s t o watch performance o r put on a performance themselves which the nearby v i l l a g e a u d i e n c e a p p r a i s e s . But u n t i l the f i n a l day o f i n i t i a t i o n , . they n ever put on a p u b l i c performance i n Ozubulu. During t h i s p e r i o d t o o , i n i t i a t e s p r e p a r e o t h e r p a r a p h e r n a l i a used i n masquerading such as p r e p a r i n g agwo ( " r a f f i a " ) and making o f igwe. They a l s o l e a r n how 95 t o compose masquerade music and here s p e c i a l i z a t i o n o c c u r s . There may be those g i f t e d i n drumming, tho s e g i f t e d i n blowing the f l u t e , t h o s e g i f t e d w i t h r a t t l e s , e t c . There a r e a l s o g i f t e d d a n c e r s and s i n g e r s . A l l thes e p r e p a r a t i o n s a r e geared towards p u t t i n g on an i m p r e s s i v e performance; These boys a l s o l e a r n v i l l a g e r u l e s , p r o v e r b s , myths and meanings o f s i g n s and cues.. Through s t o r i e s they l e a r n about the v i r t u e s o f honesty, l a b o u r and ha p p i n e s s , . a n d r e s p e c t f o r e l d e r s and t r a d i t i o n s . Above a l l , t hey come t o v a l u e group l i f e when they w r e s t l e , f i g h t o r d i s a g r e e , but s t i l l must l i v e t o g e t h e r as b r o t h e r s . The f o o d i s m o s t l y r o a s t e d yam; i t i s a most t r y i n g p e r i o d i n which one i s co m p e l l e d t o l i v e i n s c a r c i t y and i n an impov-e r i s h e d environment. A t n i g h t a huge f i r e i s l i t and here v a r i o u s d e v i c e s a r e used to f r i g h t e n t he i n i t i a t e s . One o f such i s t h a t w i t h o u t , warning, a f r i g h t f u l mask'may appear when the f i r e i s d y i n g out and chase the boys about. I n i t i a t e s a r e not supposed to b e . t e r r i f i e d but stand t h e i r ground. As the weeks pass and th e y p e r f e c t , the day o f the i n i t i a t i o n i s chosen. I n i t i a t i o n t a k e s p l a c e u s u a l l y between m i d n i g h t and morning. N o t i c e i s s e n t through to f a m i l i e s t e l l i n g them o f the day o f i n i t i a t i o n . T h i s i s a day o f r e j o i c i n g . Nearby v i l l a g e r s a r e o f t e n i n v i t e d t o come and watch; however, i n v i t a t i o n i s u s u a l l y t h r o u g h f r i e n d l y f a m i l y and a g n a t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Mothers make f o o d ready f o r f e s t i v i t y . F a t h e r s g et as much palm wine as p o s s i b l e f o r f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s . In the morning t he f a t h e r must s a c r i f i c e t o the f a m i l y s h r i n e t o g i v e h i s thanks t o the gods'sfor keeping him a l i v e t o . w i t n e s s the event o f h i s son's i n i t i a t i o n and f o r p r o t e c t i n g t h e y o u n g s t e r t h r o u g h o u t t he 96 p e r i o d . In the bush the i n i t i a t e s a r e b u s i l y g e t t i n g ready f o r t h e i r e n c o u n t e r w i t h the s p i r i t . On t h i s day,.they e a t an e a r l y supper and then make a b i g f i r e . A f t e r a l i t t l e w h i l e t he gong sounds and chants b e g i n . There might be d a n c i n g . Towards m i d n i g h t a mask c a l l e d ukwu-mmuo ("the l e g o f the s p i r i t " ) , appears and be g i n s to chase the boys about. He may f l o g them but not too s e v e r e l y ; one i s supposed to take i t l i k e a man*.no c r y i n g o r s h i v e r i n g or showing o f any s i g n s o f p h y s i c a l d i s c o m f o r t . A l i t t l e a f t e r , the Nne-mmuo o r ozoebunu ("king o f masquerades") appears i n i t s m a j e s t y . There i s h i l a r i o u s s i n g i n g and d a n c i n g but the i n i t i a t e s a r e not supposed t o . l o o k a t i t s f a c e . T h i s ozoebunu and the c h i e f i n s t r u c t o r , . i n t h e pr e s e n c e o f the p r i e s t o f the v i l l a g e s h r i n e , q u e s t i o n s everybody whether t h e y wish to know the mmuo. The answer i s u s u a l l y y e s . One by one the i n i t i a t e s take o a t h , h o l d i n g an a l u s i ( " s h r i n e f i g u r e " ) i n t h e i r hands. They promise the f o r e f a t h e r s and the ozoebunu t h a t what t h e i r eyes have seen t o n i g h t w i l l never be u t t e r e d t o any l i v i n g s o u l ; t h a t t h e i r mouths w i l l remain s i l e n t a g a i n s t f l i p a n c y . They end by s a y i n g okuku  t o f i e onu g b a j i e ya ( " i f a fowl does n o t peck w e l l , l e t i t s neck b r e a k " ) . The sym b o l i c meaning o f t h i s i s t h a t s h o u l d one break h i s o a t h , death awaits him. The s h r i n e f i g u r e i s r o t a t e d from person t o person f o r the oath and i s f i n a l l y g i v e n t o the p r i e s t . When everybody has taken o a t h , the tempo o f the music i n c r e a s e s . The two masquerades ukwu-mmuo and nne-mmuo beg i n to dance to the rhythm o f the music. Everybody who i s t o be i n i t i a t e d watches c a r e f u l l y . G r a d u a l l y the f i r e b e g i n s t o down, a n d , s i m u l t a n e o u s l y the masked 97 p e r f o r m e r s b e g i n t o remove t h e i r masks and costumes. The boys s t a n d w i t h t h e i r mouths open wa t c h i n g the g i a n t ozoebunu remove i t s a p p a r e l and r e v e a l the man i n s i d e . The aim o f the i n i t i a t i o n i s thus accom-p l i s h e d . The i n i t i a t e s a r e made to r e a l i z e t h a t a f t e r a l l i t i s a human b e i n g who puts on the mask. Y e t ' t h e y a r e r e q u i r e d not t o d i s c u s s t h i s o u t s i d e t h e i r new c i r c l e . By t h i s t i m e i t i s g e t t i n g t o morning. The mask d r e s s e s up a g a i n t o a v o i d any u n a u t h o r i z e d i n t r u s i o n o r i n t e r r u p t i o n . Everybody b e g i n s to p r e p a r e f o r the f i n a l r i t u a l . The mask and the boys dance t o the obimmuo and t h e r e perform a r i t u a l o f i n t e g r a t i o n by s a c r i f i c i n g an ebunu ("he g o a t " ) t o the s h r i n e t h e r e . The body o f the s l a i n animal i s taken back t o the bush, i . e . where the i n s t r u c t i o n s took p l a c e . The mask a l s o goes w i t h them and t h e r e everybody h e l p s to unmask the dancer. Meals are p r e p a r e d w i t h the c a r c a s s o f the s a c r i f i e d g o a t . ' Everybody p a r t a k e s o f t h i s meal u n l i k e the b e g i n n i n g when the n o v i c e s were f o r b i d d e n from e a t i n g such meals. The boys then s a c r i f i c e any-t h i n g t h e y wish t o the gods and a r e happy t h a t the end has come. I t i s now a f t e r n o o n and the wooden gong i s sounded a g a i n t o announce t o the community t h a t a performance must take - p l a c e i n the e v e n i n g . : People b e g i n t o g a t h e r a t the obom. Meanwhile, the boys d e s t r o y the camp and e v e r y t h i n g i s burned. They then f o l l o w the mask t o the s q u a r e , wearing o n l y emblems. Here top performance i s put.on because everybody i n the a u d i e n c e i s w a t c h i n g t o see how h i s o r her r e l a t i v e i s p e r f o r -ming. Mothers a r e e s p e c i a l l y a n x i o u s because on the one hand they a r e happy f o r t h e i r sons but on the o t h e r hand, they a r e a f r a i d o f what 98 must have happened i n the bush. Everyone i s happy and the i n i t i a t e s a r e proud. A t the end o f t h i s p u b l i c performance which l a s t f o r about t h r e e hours, everybody d i s p e r s e s t o t h e i r homes, r e j o i c i n g . There i s f e a s t i n g i n the v i l l a g e . F a m i l i e s whose sons were i n i t i a t e d , d e c l a r e open house and f e a s t n e i g h b o u r s , f r i e n d s and r e l a t i v e s . In t h i s way the v i l l a g e i s . a c h i e v i n g the i d e a l s t a t e ' o f mankind which i s to l i v e i n a s t a t e o f community. The i n i t i a t e s have become one w i t h the s p i r i t s - - t h e y have been t r a n s f o r m e d • i n t o men. As a m a t t e r o f f a c t , the song w i t h which t h e y approach the v i l l a g e s q u a r e ' i s s i g n i f i c a n t . They s i n g : o j i j e mmanwu  ad i ka Una y a . T h i s means l i t e r a l l y t h a t " g o i n g t o the s p i r i t i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from r e t u r n i n g from t h e s p i r i t " . In o t h e r words, they a r e s a y i n g t h a t the n o v i c e t h a t went i n t o the bush a few weeks ago has been t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o a n o t h e r p e r s o n . They a r e now mature by.the r i t e s o f which t h e y were p a r t . I t i s v e r y s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t a f t e r i n i t i a t i o n , the "boy-man" r e c e i v e s a second g i f t from h i s f a t h e r . He can own an i k e n g a . . He may purchase a c a r v e d one but the f i r s t o f f e r i n g to t h i s " s t r e n g t h o f man" i s performed by.the boy w i t h the a s s i s t a n c e o f h i s f a t h e r . The boy c o u l d now own a house and c o u l d marry. I t would be a p p r o p r i a t e t o comment on t h i s p a r a d o x , : i n i t i a t i o n ; . namely, the unmasking o r showing t h a t the mask i s a f t e r a l l a human bei n g i n d i s g u i s e . One would suppose t h a t t h i s r e v e l a t i o n s h o u l d d i s -enchant o r d i s i l l u s i o n the i n i t i a t e s . On the c o n t r a r y , i t r e i n f o r c e s o r appears to r e i n f o r c e t h e i r b e l i e f i n the power o f the s p i r i t and the mask. Perhaps they keep s e a r c h i n g f o r the u l t i m a t e answer o r m a i n t a i n t h e i r s i l e n c e so t h a t o t h e r s coming a f t e r them would be as c u r i o u s as themselves were b e f o r e the i n i t i a t i o n . However, the former o b s e r v a t i o n i s i n agreement w i t h the c o n c l u s i o n o f G i l l a f t e r a s t u d y o f a number o f c r o s s - c u l t u r a l i n i t i a t i o n , r i t e s . Wrote G i l l (1976:7): "In t h e s e few examples from a broad spectrum o f r e l i g i o u s c o n t e x t s , t h e r e appears the common-structure o f a t e c h n i q u e o f d i s e nchantment used t o i n i t i a t e t he mature r e l i g i o u s p e r s p e c t i v e and t o promote a u t h e n t i c appre-h e n s i o n o f the s a c r e d . : The a p p a r e n t e f f e c t o f d i s e n -chantment i s i t s e l f i l l u s o r y . A c t s b w h i c h seem t o s p e l l the end o f r e l i g i o n have been found t o be t e c h n i q u e t h a t t h r u s t the i n i t i a t e i n t o the a r e a o f a d u l t r e l i g i o u s l i f e w i t h i n c e n t i v e s t o plumb i t s f u l l d e p t h s . They l a y bare the l i m i t a t i o n s o f n a i v e views o f r e a l i t y so t h a t through deepened p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a r e l i g i o u s community and c e l e b r a t i o n o f the day-to-day e v e n t s o f l i f e i n r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l , the i n d i v i d u a l may i n c r e a s i n g l y e x p e r i e n c e the m y s t e r i o u s ' f u l l n e s s o f the s a c r e d , s u s -t a i n i n g r ealm. And a n a t i v e sense emerges t h a t the s a c r e d symbols can r e v e a l the s a c r e d w i t h o u t e v e r e x h a u s t i n g i t s r e a l i t y " . Commentary The i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies have s u r v i v e d among the Igbos f o r so many r e a s o n s . They s a t i s f i e d b a s i c human d r i v e s ; . t h e y cemented t h e s o c i a l o r d e r w i t h b l o o d and s u f f e r i n g ; they r e s t e d on s a c r e d , a n c i e n t custom. L a s t , but not the l e a s t , the r a r e male who evaded i n i t i a t i o n i n t o the masquerade s o c i e t y found h i m s e l f a s o c i a l o u t c a s t . I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d i s c u s s t h e masquerade elements o f t h e s e c r e t s o c i e t y i n i t i a t i o n w i t h o u t . d i s c u s s i n g t h e s e a s p e c t s o f the r i t e s and f e a t u r e s o f i n i t i a t i o n . ; Throughout Igboland and i n e v e r y form o f i n i t i a t i o n , . 100 the boys are i n t r o d u c e d t o some types o f masks and a s s o c i a t e d c o s -tumes; Net, c a l a b a s h , f i b r e , and wooden f a c e c o v e r i n g s are i n v o l v e d . . The n e t forms a r e most common, s u g g e s t i n g t h e i r g r e a t e r a n t i q u i t y . A f t e r i n i t i a t i o n the y o u t h i s f r e e t o use any o f the s e c r e t s o c i e t y masks a p p r o p r i a t e t o h i s s k i l l s and age. While the i n i t i a t e d boys no l o n g e r p l a y i n the back o f the compounds w i t h the u n i n i t i a t e d boys i n t h e i r p l a y s and masquerades, t h e y b r i n g t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h a t time to bear i n t h e i r own i n i t i a t i o n and i n t h e i r a d u l t masquerading l i v e s . They have worn masks and costumes and l e a r n e d how to- dance and t o p l a y . I n i t i a t i o n , t h e r e f o r e * does not r e p r e s e n t a sharp break w i t h the p a s t but a t r a n s i t i o n , w i t h r i t e s , from n o n - s a c r e d masks o f the boys to the s p i r i t u a l l y more powerful ones o f the s e c r e t s o c i e t y . The p o i n t to note i s t h a t i t i s q u i t e c l e a r t h a t t h e i n i t i a t e d does not p e r f o r m f o r a l i m i t e d audience ( l a r g e l y o f t h e i r own age arid o f t e n i n the back o f the compound), but b e f o r e 1arge 1 numbers o f the g e n e r a l p u b l i c and on o c c a s i o n s such as a f t e r i n i t i a t i o n b e f o r e v i r t u a l l y the e n t i r e v i l l a g e p o p u l a t i o n , as w e l l as s t r a n g e r s . When, b e f o r e the i n i t i a t i o n i n t o s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s , . the u n i n i n i a t e d youths o p e r a t e , they do s o . l a r g e l y on t h e i r own, w i t h o u t p a r e n t a l s u p p o r t . T h i s i s t r u e i n a sense o f the y o u t h ' s a c t i v i t i e s w i t h i n the r e a l s e c r e t , s o c i e t i e s . But, i n a n o t h e r s e n s e , i n the i n i t i a t i o n c eremonies, r i t u a l s and masquerades, t h e r e i s a s t r o n g sense o f f a m i l y support,- o f the i n t e r e s t o f the f a t h e r and mother, and o t h e r r e l a t i v e s o f the boys, p a r t i c u l a r l y a g n a t i c ones. The i n i t i a t i o n i s sponsored by the f a t h e r , backed by h i s p a t r i k i n s and p r o v i d e s s t a t u s f o r the s p o n s o r . I t i s the one time i n the masqueraders 1 l i f e when t h e r e i s a c l o s e 101 a s s o c i a t i o n o f masquerading and f a m i l y . S o c i a l I m p l i c a t i o n s o f I n i t i a t i o n A s i d e from the e a r l i e r comments, i t i s q u i t e c l e a r t h a t i n i t i a t i o n performed-and s t i l l performs c e r t a i n i m p o r t a n t f u n c t i o n s among t he Igbos. B e r g e r and Luckmann (1966:27) have p o s i t e d t h a t i n i t i a t i o n i s one of those secondary s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s e s o f s o c i e t y . The p r i m a r y s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s t h a t which t u r n s the human organism i n t o a n . i n d i v i d u a l . But t h i s i n d i v i d u a l needs to undergo o t h e r c u l t u r a l l y p a t t e r n e d p r o c e s s e s to be a c c e p t a b l e t o the community. Secondary s o c i a l i z a t i o n t a k e s p l a c e when youths are i n i t i a t e d i n t o the mmuo s o c i e t y . T h i s i s the a c q u i s i t i o n o f r o l e - s p e c i f i c knowledge. The mmuo s o c i e t y o r the masquerade s o c i e t y has a s p e c i f i c d uty. I t i s the e x e c u t i v e arm o f the p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s o f the Igbos, the mask a c t e d as p o l i c e — i t drove out t h o s e who committed Nso a n i , i . e . a b o m i n a t i o n , i t e x e c u t e d murderers and pu n i s h e d minor o f f e n d e r s . T h e r e f o r e , t o i n i t i a t e one i n t o the - 1 mmuo s o c i e t y i s a s e r i o u s a f f a i r . I t i s as i f one were bei n g commissioned i n t o a p o l i c e f o r c e . F urthermore, secondary s o c i a l i z a t i o n r e q u i r e s the a c q u i s i t i o n o f r o l e - s p e c i f i c v o c a b u l a r i e s , which means, f o r one t h i n g , the i n t e r -n a l i z a t i o n o f semantic f i e l d s s t r u c t u r i n g r o u t i n e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and conduct w i t h i n an i n s t i t u t i o n — i n t h i s case the s e c r e t mmuo s o c i e t y . The s o c i e t y has t o l e a r n and un d e r s t a n d the language o f the m a s k — a knowledge p r e s e r v e d w i t h i n the s o c i e t y and guarded j e a l o u s l y . T h e r e f o r e , 102 t a c i t u n d e r s t a n d i n g s , . e v a l u a t i o n s and a f f e c t i v e c o l o r a t i o n o f the s e m a n t i c f i e l d a re a l s o a c q u i r e d . ' The "subworlds" i n t e r n a l i z e d i n i n i t i a t i o n a r e p a r t i a l r e a l i t i e s i n c o n t r a s t to the " b ase-world" a c q u i r e d i n p r i m a r y s o c i a l i z a t i o n . Y e t t h e r u l e s o f the s e c r e t s o c i e t y are more o r l e s s c o h e s i v e r e a l i t i e s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by.normative and a f f e c t i v e as w e l l as c o g n i t i v e components. T h i s i s why s e c o n d a r y s o c i a l i z a t i o n , . i . e . i n i t i a t i o n , r e q u i r e s the rudiments o f l e g i m a t i n g a p p a r atus and must g e n e r a l l y be accompanied by r i t u a l which a c h i e v e s t h i s end. I . w i l l argue f u r t h e r t h a t the aim o f the r i t u a l i s not o n l y a r i t e o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o a group.but a l s o a r i t e o f s e p a r a t i o n , accompanying the t r a n s i t i o n from p r i m a r y t o secondary s o c i a l i z a t i o n , i . e . from y o u t h t o . a d u l t h o o d . The ceremony which f o l l o w s , a t which the; i n i t i . a t e s e a t w i t h the gods ( e a t i n g s a c r i f i c e d a n i m a l ) , and the l i t t l e masks they r e c e i v e as emblems,, i s s o c i e t y ' s f u r t h e r a c c e p t a n c e o f t h i s l e g i t i m i z a t i o n . B e r g e r and Luckmann f u r t h e r o b s e r v e d t h a t s e condary s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n v o l v e s the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f an e l a b o r a t e i n i t i a t i o n p r o c e s s , , such as we d i s c u s s e d e a r l i e r i n the c a s e o f the mmuo s o c i e t y , w i t h the aim o f g e t t i n g i n d i v i d u a l s to commit themselves i n a comprehensive way to a new r e a l i t y . Why i s t h i s so? We s h o u l d examine the advantages t o the Igbos o f i n i t i a t i o n i n t o the masquerade s o c i e t y to answer t h i s q u e s t i o n . The s u b m i s s i v e r o l e o f the i n i t i a t e d i n t o the s e c r e t s o c i e t y and h i s f a m i l y i s good f o r the s o c i e t y . H i s t r a i n i n g i n t r a d i t i o n a l customs makes t h i s n a t u r a l f o r him. The new-phase o f h i s l i f e , i n the group, c o n s e c r a t i o n among i t s mature males, appears to him a phase o f 103 d e s t i n y i n which he w i l l be a b l e t o e x p r e s s h i s w i l l and h i s p o t e n c y upon n a t u r e . In t h i s e x a l t e d imagery, so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the g r e a t n o n - m a t e r i a l c u l t u r e o f A f r i c a n s g e n e r a l l y , one can u n d e r s t a n d the r o l e the Igbo y o u t h sees f o r h i m s e l f and the meaning o f i n i t i a t i o n ceremony t o him. The p s y c h o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f i n i t i a t i o n a r e enormous. I b e l i e v e - t h a t the ceremonies c o u l d not have been i n v e n t e d w i t h o u t such knowledge o f t h e i r advantages on the p a r t o f our f o r e f a t h e r s who o r i g i n a t e d the r i t u a l s , and who t h e r e b y showed deep i n s i g h t i n t o the d r i v e s which m o t i v a t e human b e h a v i o u r . S i m i l a r u n d e r s t a n d i n g under-l i e s o t h e r customary r e g u l a t i o n s . The r o l e o f the s e c r e t s o c i e t y i s t h a t o f an i n s t i t u t i o n where i n n a t e impulses a r e o r g a n i z e d and t h i s has advantages f o r the i n i t i a t e s . The r i t u a l e n a b l e s them t o e x p r e s s and a c t o u t , under the mask, t h e i r most hidden i m p u l s e s . A t t h e same ti m e , the r i t u a l s f i x t h e r e s t r i c -t i o n s and t a b o o s , and g u i d e s a c t i o n i n t o t r a d i t i o n a l l y a c c e p t e d customs. In the f i r s t phase o f the i n i t i a t i o n , he f a c e s h a r d s h i p and l i v e s t h r o u g h t h e s e f r e e l y , and i n the second, h i s a c t i o n s a r e t r a n s -formed i n the t r a d i t i o n a l manner, i n t o customs s a n c t i f i e d by Igbo s o c i e t y . T h e - f a c t . - t h a t the i n i t i a t e d underwent the s e p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r o c e s s e s communally and i n a group g i v e s the p r o c e s s e s the power o f i n t e g r a t e d s o c i a l forms; By the p u r i f i c a t i o n i t a f f o r d s , the i n i t i a t i o n p r o v i d e s a b s o l u t i o n f o r the e x p r e s s i o n o f the tabood b a s i c i n s t i n c t s . , which, a t the end o f the ceremony, w i l l l e a d i n t o s o c i a l s u b l i m a t i o n . T h i s i s s o c i a l sanc-t i f i c a t i o n f o r the i n d i v i d u a l ; the r i t u a l b e i n g communal, the i n i t i a t e 104 does not f e e l i s o l a t e d w i t h h i s problems but f e e l s t h a t h i s e m o t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s . a r e s h a r e d . The s a n c t i f i e d t r a d i t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r o f the r i t u a l s , t h e i r sense o f • c o n t i n u i t y w i t h the p a s t , and the f u t u r e , saves the a d o l e s c e n t from l o n e l i n e s s . The Igbo i n i t i a t e emerges from the r i t u a l s w i t h a c l e a r c o n s c i e n c e and a new l i b e r a t e d i d e n t i t y . He i s now s e c u r e as a member o f a v a l u e d s o c i a l group t o whose r u l e s and t r a d i t i o n s he must adhere. Moreover, he g a i n s a d m i s s i o n i n t o , t h i s s o c i e t y on an e x a l t e d e m o t i o n a l l e v e l . He now knows f o r s ure t h a t a human b e i n g t r a n s f o r m s i n t o o t h e r f o r c e s by w earing the mask. The j o y o f a l l h i s s u f f e r i n g i n the camp i s t h a t the i n i t i a t e i s now an a c t o r i n a drama t h a t becomes the most memorable e v e n t i n h i s l i f e — t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n p u b l i c l y i n a masquerade performance. The i n i t i a t i o n ceremony i s , among o t h e r t h i n g s , an i n t e n s i v e e d u c a t i o n a l c o u r s e i n the h i s t o r y and i n s t i t u t i o n s o f the s o c i e t y . T h i s i s not w r i t t e n h i s t o r y but o r a l mythology, t r a n s m i t t e d w i t h an amazing f a c u l t y o f memory, from g e n e r a t i o n to g e n e r a t i o n . ' Myths and t h e i r p s y c h o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e have been the s u b j e c t o f e x t e n s i v e s t u d i e s 1 0 . Here I o n l y wish to p o i n t o u t t h a t myths form a p a r t o f the i n s t r u c t i o n s i n the i n i t i a t i o n . M o s t l y the myths r e l a t e how s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s i n s t r u c t e d the a n c e s t o r s i n v a r i o u s • c r a f t s and ways o f l i f e . The i n s t r u c t o r s a t the i n i t i a t i o n " s c h o o l " a l s o r e l a t e t o the n o v i t i a t e s myths which r e c o r d the g l o r i o u s t r i b a l p a s t — t h e deeds,, o f t e n c o n n e c t e d w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s and a n i m a l s , o f the f o u n d i n g f a t h e r s , and i n c a l c u l a t e s the i d e a i n t o the Igbo y o u t h t h a t the human r a c e (seen as an e x t e n s i o n o f h i s s o c i e t y ) , owes i t s e x i s t e n c e t o the 105 g r e a t f o r e f a t h e r s . T h i s m y t h o l o g y , g i v e s the youths an e x a l t e d o p i n i o n o f th e m s e l v e s . Huxley (1950) p o i n t e d out t h a t t h i s evokes a concept o f d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s , "which almo s t always r a t i o n a l i z e s i n t o s u p e r i o r i t y - f e e l i n g s " . T h i s f e e l i n g i s u n i v e r s a l and not p a r t i c u l a r t o Igbos a l o n e . The e a r l y Jews and the Greeks d i s m i s s e d a l l non-, Jews and non-Greeks as g e n t i l e s and b a r b a r i a n s , r e s p e c t i v e l y . The i n i t i a t e f e e l s t h a t by f o l l o w i n g customary laws, he would be spa r e d a g o n i z i n g p e r s o n a l d e c i s i o n s . He has no need t o r e v o l t a g a i n s t a c c e p t e d customs which h a v e b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d by the s a c r e d a n c e s t o r s , and which have s a c r e d and i n f a l l i b l e meaning. 1 He f e e l s p a r t o f a community i n d i r e c t c o n t a c t w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s . As a member, he too has e n t e r e d i n t o t he w o r l d o f s p i r i t s . T h i s i s emphasized by the s e c r e t language used o n l y by members o f the mmuo s o c i e t y . T h i s d e s i r e t o b e l o n g i n . a group t h a t can p r o t e c t , t o be among the e l e c t who e n j o y honour, i s a deep human d r i v e . Even the Western s o c i e t y . h a s p r e s e r v e d o r g a n i z a t i o n s which a l s o impose s e c r e c y and p r a c t i c e i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies w i t h s y m b o l i c o b j e c t s . I n i t i a t i o n ceremony,is used t o t e a c h the laws o f the s o c i e t y . a n d t h i s d r a m a t i c o c c a s i o n was w e l l chosen t o impress the i n i t i a t e w i t h i t s c a n o n i c f o r c e . A l s o , r e s p e c t f o r the e l d e r s i s g i v e n s p e c i a l s t r e s s . I t i s thus an i n s t i t u t i o n a l d e v i c e to overcome the r e v o l t a g a i n s t t he f a t h e r , and con n e c t e d w i t h the em o t i o n a l complex o f the f a t h e r - s o n r e l a t i o n s h i p . We e a r l i e r noted t h a t Igbos r e g a r d a f i g h t between a c h i l d and h i s f a t h e r as an ab o m i n a t i o n and t h a t the son i s r e q u i r e d t o o f f e r a s a c r i f i c e t o the e a r t h goddess t o c l e a n the e a r t h o f t h i s s i n . I n s t i t u t i n g such i n s t r u c t i o n a t the i m p r e s s i o n a b l e p e r i o d when the 106 y o u t h i s r i t u a l l y a d m i t t e d i n t o the group, i s f u r t h e r e v i d e n c e o f the g r e a t i n s i g h t i n t o t he b a s i c human d r i v e s shown by the f o u n d e r s o r f o r e f a t h e r s . Respect f o r the aged, f o r the f a t h e r and the dead,, has d e v e l o p e d i n t o a v a s t i n s t i t u t i o n c a l l e d a n c e s t o r worship o r c u l t and t h i s e n g r o s s e s the whole a d u l t l i f e o f the Igbos.. T h i s p o w e r f u l , a l l - e m b r a c i n g r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t , gave b i r t h to an.amazing r i c h n e s s o f s c u l p t u r e s i n wood, i v o r y and bronze not o n l y among the Igbos but w i t h i n the e n t i r e c o n t i n e n t o f A f r i c a . C o l l e c t i v e work i n the i n i t i a t i o n camp had been noted e a r l i e r . A s i d e from the immediate m a t e r i a l advantage such as the s a v i n g i n time and l a b o u r when twenty men, i n s t e a d o f one, b u i l t a house, i t g i v e s an added f e e l i n g o f s e c u r i t y i n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n s . The youth knows t h a t s h o u l d s i c k n e s s o r a c c i d e n t b e f a l l him, members o f - h i s s e c r e t s o c i e t y would s t a n d by; i f he t r a v e l l e d he c o u l d f i n d welcome i n the home o f a member s o c i e t y o r - o f an a f f i l i a t e d s o c i e t y . From t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n t h a t s a t i s f i e d b a s i c human d r i v e s , s y m b o l i c and h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d r i t u a l s have e v o l v e d . T h i s r i t e s t r e s s e s p u r i f i c a t i o n and the achievement o f a new l i f e , a new i d e n t i t y . By e a t i n g s a c r e d f o o d , c o n t a i n i n g the energy o f the s p i r i t s , the i n i t i a t e s a c h i e v e d communion w i t h the w o r l d o f s p i r i t s . 107 CHAPTER IV Notes and Re f e r e n c e s 1. Eke i s Igbo sabbath and the h o l i e s t o f the f o u r days t h a t make up the Igbo week. L i t t l e o r no work i s done on t h i s day r e s e r v e d f o r w o r s h i p o f the gods and a n c e s t o r s . 2. Ikenga f i g u r i n e s r e p r e s e n t t h e "gods o f f o r t u n e " . They a r e symbols o f achievement, prowess and i n t e l l i g e n c e and are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a man's r i g h t - h a n d . A t t h e a t t a i n m e n t o f a d u l t h o o d , a young man a c q u i r e s an ikenga t o sy m b o l i z e both h i s i n i t i a t o r y achievement and t o i n s p i r e him t o g r e a t e r a c t i o n s i n the f u t u r e . When such a c t i o n s ' a r e a c h i e v e d , he makes s a c r i f i c e s o f c h i c k e n j k o l a n u t s , o r palm wine t o h i s i k e n g a . An i k e n g a - i s a l s o g i v e n t o a w a r r i o r g o i n g i n t o o r . r e t u r n i n g from b a t t l e o r t o any man. who has a c h i e v e d o r i s a b o u t t o a c h i e v e a brave a c t i o n . 3. There a re a number o f p o s s i b l e r e a s o n s why women a r e never i n i t i a t e d i n t o the mmuo s o c i e t y . As a ma t t e r o f f a c t , masking i s a male a f f a i r ' i n I g b o l a n d . These reas o n s may be any • o r comb i n a t i o n o f the f o l l o w i n g : a) To keep women i n t h e i r p l a c e , b) A d i v i s i o n o f l a b o u r i n s o c i e t y i n which women and o t h e r males come t o be e n t e r t a i n e d by men o f . t h e s e c r e t s o c i e t y , c) S i n c e women ensure the g e n e t i c c o n t i n u i t y o f s o c i e t y and s i n c e masks a r e s p i r i t s , who might be good o r e v i l , men do not wish to endanger t he s u r v i v a l o f the r a c e by l e t t i n g women gamble w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s . A l t h o u g h t h e r e a r e ' women n a t i v e d o c t o r s who deal w i t h s p i r i t s , t h e number i s i n s i g n i f i c a n t l y s m a l l compared w i t h the f a c t . t h a t e v e r y male i s supposed t o be i n i t i a t e d i n t o the mmuo ( s p i r i t ) s o c i e t y . d) Masquerade o r masking r e q u i r e s f o r c e , f e a r l e s s n e s s , courage,, e t c . , e s p e c i a l l y d u r i n g i n i t i a t i o n . . Men do not wish to torment o r expose women t o p h y s i c a l dangers. e) Because o f t h e i r monthly me n s t r u a l p e r i o d s , i t i s f e a r e d t h a t women might p o l u t e t he s p i r i t u a l p u r i t y o f masks.-4. T h i s i s a p o i n t t h a t r e q u i r e s f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . • I o b t a i n e d the i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t the mmuo s o c i e t y e v o l v e d from a . g u i l d o f masked a c t o r s a t Awka. 5. There i s no c l e a r d e m a r c a t i o n between the s a c r e d and the s e c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s i n r u r a l communities. F or a d e e p e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the c o n c e p t o f the community, p l e a s e r e f e r t o N i s b e t (1968:2). 6. I o b s e r v e d t h i s i n Umahia i n December o f 1975 i n the workshop o f Nduka. C a r v e r s o f s k i l l a c c o r d i n g t o Nduka never c u t t w i c e , n e i t h e r do they add p i e c e s t h a t had been c u t away. 108 7. c f H a l p i n (1975) u n p u b l i s h e d seminar p a p e r , , e n t i t l e d "Masks As Metaphor o f A n t i - S t r u c t u r e " . 8. The b r a c k e t and e n c l o s u r e a r e mine.. 9. • P i c a s s o made the statement i n a c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h the famous a r t . c o l l e c t o r and c r i t i c , Segy. c f Segy (1975). 10. Messengers may be i n masks such as the okpa.. However, they a r e s e l e c t e d because o f t h e i r m a t u r i t y i n h a n d l i n g such s e c r e t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . They a r e men o r youths o f proven i n t e g r i t y . 11. For a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the p s y c h o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n o f myths, r e f e r t o Campbell (1949). 109 CHAPTER V , MASKS AS RITUAL THEATRE—THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS In t h i s c h a p t e r * I w i l l argue t h a t Igbo masquerade i s both r i t u a l and t h e a t r e by showing how masks c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e o r e t i c a l models o f both r i t u a l and t h e a t r e . The model I w i l l use f o r the s t r u c t u r e o f t h e a t r e i s t h a t d e v e l o p e d by Elmer R i c e (1955), w h i l e t h a t o f r i t u a l i s the one d e v e l o p e d by Edmund Leach (1963). While combining the i d e a s o f t h e s e two, I w i l l a l s o a p p l y E l i a d e ' s (1959) f o r m u l a t i o n on f e s t i v a l s t o demonstrate t h a t d u r i n g masquerades, Igbos r e c r e a t e and l i v e i n the s a c r e d time o f t h e i r a n c e s t o r s . The problem o f the t h e s i s , which i s o f prime m u s e o l o g i c a l s i g -n i f i c a n c e * i s t h a t the mask as seen i n museum d i s p l a y s i s a l i f e l e s s p i e c e o f c a r v e d and p a i n t e d wood. But to the Igbos i t has a f o r c e o f i t s own.- I t i s c o n s i d e r e d a b e i n g . The paradox i s how to c o n v e r t the p i e c e o f wood i n t o a s p i r i t u a l f o r c e . One i s t h e r e f o r e c o m p e l l e d t o examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y , i n terms o f the models f o r t h e a t r e and r i t u a l , two o f the c o n t e x t s w i t h i n which masks ar e o f t e n worn, and which c o n t a i n w i t h i n themselves the same paradox; e s p e c i a l l y the paradox t h a t r i t u a l can b o t h . c r e a t e and r e v e r s e time.> T h i s i n i t s e l f i s a l s o i l l u s o r y . In o r d e r t o s o l v e t h e s e m u s e o l o g i c a l problems, one must put masks and'masquerades i n t o an a p p r o p r i a t e ethno-g r a p h i c c o n t e x t which I have done i n d e t a i l i n the p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r s . B r i e f l y , t h e s e c o n s i s t o f the v a r i o u s r i t u a l s - i n v o l v e d i n c a r v i n g n o the mask i t s e l f , those r i t u a l s i n v o l v e d i n i n i t i a t i n g n o v i t i a t e s i n t o t he s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h masks, and f i n a l l y , those r i t u a l s n e c e s s a r y f o r p u t t i n g on.the mask.- T h i s l a s t p a r t needs f u r t h e r e l a b o r a t i o n . When the o c c a s i o n i s r i g h t f o r masquerade p e r -formance, the l e a d e r s i n the men's s e c r e t masquerade s o c i e t y assemble i n the men's r e s t house o r the obimmuo and d e c i d e which mask i s to appear.' Then th e y make su r e t h a t t he mask and i t s a s s o c i a t e d costumes a r e i n good shape. F i n a l l y , they announce t h e i r d e c i s i o n t o o t h e r members, e s p e c i a l l y those a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h i s p a r t i c u l a r mask throu g h a p e c u l i a r sounding o f the ekwe (wooden gong). Only tho s e a s s o c i a t e d would u n d e r s t a n d t h i s s e c r e t language and would t h e r e f o r e assemble a t the a p p r o p r i a t e p l a c e . Here a r i t u a l i s performed t o g i v e l i f e f o r c e to the l a t e n t mask. T h i s i s done, by o f f e r i n g some k o l a nuts t o the a n c e s t o r s and thr o w i n g o f w h i t e c l a y o r c h a l k (nzu) t o s i g n i f y t h a t members a r e pure. Then an egg i s thrown on the f a c e o f the mask to r i t u a l l y put l i f e i n t o i t . A l i v e c h i c k e n i s s a c r i f i c e d t o the a n c e s t o r s t o p r o t e c t the mask. Members r o a s t and e a t - t h e meat o f the c h i c k e n . T h i s s h a r i n g o f f o o d w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l i s what a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , would r e f e r t o as commensality o r communion. The mask i s then put on and goes on d i s p l a y to the a u d i e n c e . T h i s happens anytime the mask i s to appear f o r whatever re a s o n t h r o u g h o u t t h e Igbo c o u n t r y , a l t h o u g h forms may v a r y depending on l o c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s . I w i l l now begin my d i s c u s s i o n on the r i t u a l t h e a t r i c a l i t y o f Igbo masks by f i r s t p r e s e n t i n g masks as t h e a t r e . ' m Igbo Masquerade as T h e a t r e Basden (1966:117) wrote c o n c e r n i n g t h e Igbos as he saw them i n the e a r l y 1900's: " H o l d i n g t h e most p r o f o u n d b e l i e f s i n , t h e s u p e r -n a t u r a l , the Ibo i s d e e p l y c o n s c i o u s o f h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e unseen w o r l d , and e v e r y p r e c a u t i o n must be o b s e r v e d i n o r d e r t o keep the s p i r i t o f the d e p a r t e d i n a s t a t e o f p e a c e f u l contentment". One o f t h e s e i n t r i c a t e and e l a b o r a t e d e v i c e s f o r k e e p i n g t h e s p i r i t o f the d e p a r t e d i n a s t a t e o f p e a c e f u l contentment i s t o g i v e a dead r e l a t i v e a p r o p e r b u r i a l , and i n t h i s the mask p l a y s an i m p o r t a n t p a r t . > When a " f u l l grown" man d i e s , , h e i s supposed t o be b u r i e d w i t h a p p r o p r i a t e r i t e s . Perhaps one needs to d e f i n e a f u l l grown man as the Igbos see him. He i s a person who was born a f r e e c i t i z e n o f h i s community, has l i v e d a u s e f u l and s u c c e s s f u l l i f e (by j o i n i n g the s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s , t a k i n g t i t l e s , e t c . ) , has a house, a w i f e and perhaps c h i l d r e n * ' When such a man d i e s , the community i s sad t o l o s e a r e a l "son o f the s o i l " . Youths d r e s s e d i n masks must appear to wish him, who has been a member of the s o c i e t y , a f i n a l f a r e w e l l t o the l a n d o f the dead. Being s p i r i t s , t he masks show t h a t he i s welcome t o t h e i r domain. T h i s has always been the g e n e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n g i v e n t o the masquerade p e r f o r -mance o f y o u t h s a t b u r i a l s . T h i s t r u l y r e i n f o r c e s t h e r e l i g i o u s n a t u r e o f the Igbo masks. What has o f t e n been o v e r l o o k e d i n l i t e r a t u r e i s the f a c t t h a t t h e s e masked performances d u r i n g b u r i a l s a r e a l s o t o T i g h t e n the mood o f p e o p l e deep i n g r i e f . W r i t i n g on death and b u r i a l r i t e s o f the Igbos,, Basedn ( l o c . c i t . ) c o n t i n u e d , "These q u a i n t a p p a r i t i o n s , n e e d l e s s t o 112 s a y , . a r e men d i s g u i s e d i n g r o t e s q u e f a s h i o n , w i t h t h e i r bodies c o m p l e t e l y e n v e l o p e d i n c l o t h , and u t t e r i n g p e c u l i a r sounds by means o f a i r i n s t r u m e n t s f i x e d between the t e e t h . To the e x c i t e d a u d i e n c e t h e s e are v e r i l y b e l i e v e d t o be f i g u r e s animated by s p i r i t s from the underworld". He f a i l e d t o examine the mask as e x c i t i n g an a u d i e n c e i n . g r i e f but d w e l t i n h i s work on the r e l i g i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n o f the masked appearance.' My argument i s t h a t masquerade performance a t b u r i a l ceremonies o f the Igbos a r e as w e l l drama e n a c t e d t o c r e a t e p l e a s u r e and d i v e r s i o n and t h e r e b y l i g h t e n the mood o f an a u d i e n c e i n a "death house". F o r t u n a t e l y , contemporary s t u d i e s o f Igbo masquerades have begun t o examine t h i s c u l t u r a l ' t r a i t i n a t h e a t r i c a l framework, f o c u s s i n g a t t e n t i o n s p e c i f i c a l l y on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the a c t o r s (masked p e r f o r m e r s ) and t h e i r a u d i e n c e (the community). O t t e n b e r g (1973:32), who must be seen as one o f the p i o n e e r s , commented t h a t "a f u l l under-, s t a n d i n g o f the performance r e q u i r e s v e r y c l o s e ' o b s e r v a t i o n o f the a c t i v i t i e s o f the a u d i e n c e as w e l l as the p l a y e r s " . Because he saw masks as t h e a t r e , he d e s c r i b e d some o f the A f i k p o masquerade p e r f o r -mances he had observed as p l a y s , w i t h a c t s and scenes (see O t t e n b e r g , 1975). T h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f mask as t h e a t r e i s shown by the f a c t t h a t s i n g i n g , d a n c i n g and j e s t i n g a r e , s u b j e c t s on which i n s t r u c t i o n s a r e ' g i v e n i n i n i t i a t i o n camps,in the f o r e s t . Music and d a n c i n g a r e most imp o r t a n t t o the Igbos because e v e r y s t e p has t o be,mastered and r e p e a t e d w i t h o u t f a u l t a t masquerade per f o r m a n c e s . T r a d i t i o n a l i s m had a s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t here s i n c e i t was the b e l i e f among the Igbos, t h a t 113 i f t h e r e i s a change, the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f the dance would be l o s t . We.have now a r r i v e d a t the i s s u e o r c o r e o f the t h e s i s ; namely, t h a t masks among the Igbos c o u l d a l s o be i n t e r p r e t e d o r l o o k e d . a t as t h e a t r e . But l e t us examine the n a t u r e o f t h e a t r e t o see i f our c o n c e p t i o n o f the mask as t h e a t r e i s c o r r e c t . - Whether o r not a r t can be d e f i n e d , e v e r y a r t i s t knows o r would know i f he thought about i t , t h a t the a r t i s t i c impulse i s compounded o f two e l e m e n t s . One i s a need f o r s e l f r e x p r e s s i o n i n whatever c o n t e x t , and the second element i s a d e s i r e t o communicate what i s e x p r e s s e d . In o t h e r words, the purpose o f a r t - - b e i t s c u l p t u r e , p a i n t i n g , d a n c i n g , p o e t r y , music o r whatever--i s not complete e x c e p t when i t i s communicated t o o t h e r s who u n d e r s t a n d and a p p r e c i a t e what the a r t i s t has done. I w i l l say f u r t h e r t h a t t h i s p r o c e s s o f a r t i s t i c communication l i k e most o t h e r human-phenomenon, f o l l o w s c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n s , and t h a t a r t i s t i c t r a d i t i o n depends upon a c o l l e c t i v e body o f a p p r e c i a t o r s . T h i s i s what drama and t h e a t r e mean and are a l l about. There must be an a u d i e n c e . With r e s p e c t t o drama, t h e e s s e n t i a l r e q u i r e m e n t o f communication i s s i m p l y s t a t e d : p l a y s a r e to be performed before-<an a u d i e n c e . C o l l e c t i v e l y , t he performance, the a u d i e n c e , the a u d i t o r i u m and many o t h e r elements c o n s t i t u t e an i n s t i t u t i o n which i n t h e modern sense i s c a l l e d t he t h e a t r e . The t h e a t r e , one may say, i s t h e r e f o r e an i n s t r u m e n t f o r the communication o f drama,.much as i t has today an independent s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c e x i s t e n c e o f i t s own., In t r a d i t i o n a l o r r a t h e r p r e - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s , t he problems o f communication o f the work o f a r t a r e f u s e d . , But i n today's Western 114 s o c i e t y , the p r o c e s s e s o f c r e a t i o n and o f communication a r e w h o l l y d i s s i m i l a r . One i s the spontaneous or p l a n n e d , s e l f o r group i n i t i a t e d a c t i v i t y o f an i n d i v i d u a l , group o r community; the o t h e r , an o r g a n i z e d i n d u s t r i a l o r t e c h n o l o g i c a l p r o c e s s , a b u s i n e s s . R i c e (1955:2) w r i t e s t h a t " i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s t h i s d i s p a r i t y may not be e v i d e n t , but i t widens r a p i d l y as the s o c i a l t e x t u r e becomes more i n t r i c a t e and complex; so t h a t i n the modern w o r l d , the machinery o f communi-c a t i o n has a l m o s t a c q u i r e d an i d e n t i t y o f i t s own, w i t h a r e l a t i o n s h i p to the a r t i s t i c t h a t i s m e c h a n i s t i c r a t h e r than o r g a n i c " 1 . W r i t i n g on the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the t h e a t r e whether p r o f e s s i o n a l , amateur, c o m m e r c i a l , . s u b s i d i z e d o r academic, R i c e m a i n t a i n s q u i t e r i g h t l y t h a t t h e a t r e i s a c o l l e c t i v e p r o c e s s , t o which I add t h a t the Igbo masquerade performance i s a c l a s s i c example. To R i c e , the c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e o f the t h e a t r e i s a p p a r e n t i n t h r e e 2 r e s p e c t s . In the f i r s t p l a c e , p l a y s a r e performed i n the p r e s e n c e o f a c o l l e c t i v e e n t i t y — t h e a u d i e n c e . He m a i n t a i n s t h a t p l a y s a r e supposed t o be communicated t o a numerous group g a t h e r e d i n one p l a c e a t one time. In the c o n t e x t . o f t h i s s t u d y , the Igbo a u d i e n c e g a t h e r s a t the obimmuo or v i l l a g e square o r the market square to watch the r i t u a l and m y t h i c a l drama t h a t i s masquerade'performance. The o r g a n i z a t i o n and.assemblage o f the group c a l l s f o r a s p e c i a l s e t o f p r o c e d u r e s , , because the d i f f e r e n c e between a c o l l e c t i v e r e s p o n s e and an i n d i v i d u a l response i s not o n l y one o f degree, but one o f k i n d . T h i s temporal and' p h y s i c a l c o l l e c t i v e assemblage make i t i m p e r a t i v e t h a t the p l a y , both' i n c r e a t i o n and i n performance, be immediately a p p r e h e n s i b l e . There i s no l i n g e r i n g , no t u r n i n g back. The a u d i e n c e must move.forward w i t h 115 the p e r f o r m e r s because what i s not i n s t a n t l y g r a s p e d may be l o s t . I t i s noteworthy t h a t Igbo a u d i e n c e s , as O t t e n b e r g (1975) has shown, ar e a c t i v e o b s e r v e r s a t the masquerade p l a y s . They c l a p and o f t e n move t o the rhythm o f the music, they j o i n i n s i n g i n g a t t i m e s , and 3 t h e y c h e e r top performance but j e e r a poor show . R i c e c o n t i n u e s t h a t s e c o n d l y t h e r e can be no d i r e c t communication between the d r a m a t i s t and the a u d i e n c e . The p r o j e c t i o n o f h i s p l a y e n t a i l s the s e r v i c e s o f a d i r e c t o r and a c t o r s , d e s i g n e r s o f costumes and s c e n e r y , stagehands, e t c . A l l t h e s e must be c o - o r d i n a t e d i n t h e c a r r y i n g o u t o f an o r g a n i z e d p l a n . I n d i v i d u a l ism must both e x p r e s s i t s e l f and be&-tooa l a r g e e x t e n t — s u b o r d i n a t e d t o the o v e r a l l scheme. T h i s c r e a t e s c o r d i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s and a l s o a t times c o n f l i c t s . We have examples o f t h i s c o - o r d i n a t i o n from the Igbo masquerade p e r f o r -mance. In the Okumkpa p l a y o f the A f i k p o Igbos, t h e r e . i s a l e a d e r a n d . a s s i s t a n t l e a d e r who a c t as d i r e c t o r s o f the p l a y . These a r e c a r v e r s , makers o f costumes, e t c . , whose c o l l e c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l s k i l l s make the masquerade.play p o s s i b l e . In t h i s c o n n e c t i o n , one must t a k e c o g n i s a n c e o f the f a c t t h a t the e s s e n c e o f drama i s not words but a c t i o n . P l a y s are w r i t t e n to b e , a c t e d . In A r i s t o t l e ' s c l a s s i c d e f i n -i t i o n , f o r example, a t r a g e d y ( t h a t i s , a p l a y ) , i s an i m i t a t i o n o f an a c t i o n . Comedy means a f e s t i v i t y w i t h music and d a n c i n g o r a f e s t a l p r o c e s s i o n . A revue i s . a r e - s e e i n g , i . e . a re-enactment o f t o p i c a l i n c i d e n t s . Such words as a c t , p l a y , show and s p e c t a c l e put the emphasis upon d o i n g and s e e i n g , so do d i r e c t o r , p r o d u c e r , a c t o r , p e r -former, mime, e t c . Scene, s t a g e , and t h e a t r e a l l r e f e r t o a b u i l d i n g o r s t r u c t u r e d e s i g n e d f o r p e r f o r m e r s and s p e c t a t o r s , w h i l e a u d i e n c e 116 i n d i c a t e s t h a t p e o p l e come t o see and t o hear. I t i s s u b m i t t e d h e r e , t a k i n g i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n e a r l i e r a c c o u n t s o f masquerade p e r -formance i n t h i s s t u d y , . t h a t Igbo masquerades q u a l i f y as t h e a t r e i n t h e i r own r i g h t . T h i r d l y , R i c e s t a t e s t h a t the two c o l l e c t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the t h e a t r e shown e a r l i e r , i . e . the a u d i e n c e and the e x e c u t a n t s , produce the next c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the t h e a t r e which i s i t s p u b l i c n a t u r e . Other works o f a r t may be e n j o y e d not o n l y by i n d i v i d u a l s , but i n p r i v a t e . F a i l i n g a p u b l i s h e r o r an e x h i b i t o r , a poem o r a p a i n t i n g may be passed from hand t o hand. Or, i f i t i s c o n s i d e r e d sub-v e r s i v e o r i n d e l i c a t e , and hence u n a c c e p t a b l e , i t may be read o r d i s -p l a y e d i n a l o c k e d room be h i n d drawn b l i n d s . But the f u r t h e r e s sence o f a . d r a m a t i c performance i s t h a t i t i s p u b l i c . I t i s p r a c t i c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e t o keep s e c r e t an a c t i v i t y t h a t demands the f a c i l i t i e s and the number o f p a r t i c i p a n t s r e q u i r e d f o r the showing o f a p l a y . • I must q u a l i f y t h i s l a s t statement by p o i n t i n g out t h a t a l t h o u g h i n the mas-querade p e r f o r m a n c e , , i n t e r n a l knowledge o f the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the p l a y i s s e c r e t w i t h i n the s e c r e t s o c i e t y and i t s members, t h e i r performance i s done in. the open; o t h e r w i s e i t would be.meaningless t o the community. The t h e a t r e by i t s v e r y n a t u r e i s o u t . i n the open. T h i s makes i t s u b j e c t t o many forms o f t r a d i t i o n a l and/or p u b l i c s c r u t i n y , . i n f l u e n c e , s u p e r v i s i o n and r e g u l a t i o n , c o v e r i n g m a t t e r s t h a t a r e f i s c a l , p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l and governmental by n a t u r e . The masquerade p l a y o f the Igbos, as i n d e e d such performance e i t h e r by the Kwakiutl or the M e l a n e s i a n s , q u a l i f y i n t h i s c a t e g o r y a l s o . A l l t h a t has been w r i t t e n i n e a r l i e r c h a p t e r s f i t s i n n i c e l y . 117 We can t h e r e f o r e summarize t h a t t h e t h e a t r e can t r u l y be s a i d t o have form, a s t r u c t u r e , an i d e n t i t y o f i t s own. I t e x i s t s , even i n the modern sense, f o r the purpose o f s e r v i n g drama and v i c e v e r s a . In a l a r g e r sense, drama and t h e a t r e n a r r o w l y d e f i n e d a r e the same. T h i s i s the case w i t h the masquerade performance o f the Igbos. I t sh o u l d be a p p r o p r i a t e t o use an Igbo example t o demonstrate t h i s . O t t e n b e r g has w r i t t e n on the Okumkpa p l a y s o f the A f i k p o i n which he showed t h a t the p l a y has f o u r a c t s . I d i d w r i t e on the Ozoebunu p e r -formance o f the Ozubulu when I d i s c u s s e d i n i t i a t i o n ceremony. L e t us t h e r e f o r e examine f u r t h e r a n o t h e r Igbo community and'the a c c o u n t o f the i j e l e masquerade as r e c o r d e d by Boston . Boston (1960), wrote o f the masquerades o f the Nri-Awka Igbos. I t s h o u l d be noted i n p a s s i n g 5 t h a t N r i i s c o n s i d e r e d the c r a d l e and a n c e s t r a l home o f the Igbos . His w r i t i n g can be summarized as f o l l o w s . A l l masks among the Nri-Awka Iqbos a r e c r e d i t e d w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l powers, but i n some c a s e s t h i s importance i s a l s o founded on the s o c i a l f a c t s , such as t h e i r c o s t o r the impact o f t h e i r performance on th e l o c a l i t y . The summit o f masquerading i n terms o f o s t e n t a t i o n and s o c i a l p r e s t i g e i s o c c u p i e d by a mask c a l l e d i j e l e and i s owned by a l l t h e f o u r c l a n s , T h i s mask r e q u i r e s y e a r s o f e f f o r t t o purchase and meet t h e c o s t o f u n d e r t a k i n g i t s p erformance. In i t s s o c i a l a s p e c t , the i j e l e i s not u n l i k e t he p o t l a t c h , s i n c e t he p r o d i g a l e x p e n d i t u r e i s c a l c u l a t e d t o make an i m p r e s s i o n o v e r a wide a r e a . The aim o f the i j e l e i s m o s t l y r e l i g i o u s , s i n c e i t i s a symbol o f c o n t i n u i t y and r i t u a l w e l l - b e i n g i n the community o f i t s owners. The mask i t s e l f , l i k e t h e Ozoebunu o f Ozubulu, i s t r e a t e d w i t h g r e a t r e s p e c t , and, a f t e r use when P l a t e X. The i j e l e masquerade. (Photograph by E.C. Onwuzolum). 119 i t s p a r t s a r e d i s m a n t l e d , t h e y a r e c a r e f u l l y p r e s e r v e d as r i t u a l o b j e c t s w i t h powerful a n c e s t r a l s a n c t i o n s a g a i n s t d i s p o s i n g them t o anyone o u t s i d e the umunna ( " c l a n " ) . The i j e l e i s t h e r e f o r e p u b l i c p r o p e r t y . The mask, i j e l e , i s a t a b l e a u o f f i g u r e s w i t h t r a p p i n g s hanging from i t s bottom edge t o c o n c e a l t h e p e r f o r m e r who c a r r i e s the s t r u c t u r e on h i s head (see p h o t o g r a p h ) . The t a b l e a u i s s u p p o r t e d by a framework made o f cane and s l a t s o f palm m i d r i b which c o n s i s t s o f a c i r c u l a r base about s i x f e e t a c r o s s , a p a i r o f a r c h e s s p a n n i n g t h e base and i n t e r s e c t i n g a t r i g h t a n g l e s some e i g h t f e e t above i t s c e n t r e , and a l i g h t open work cone f i t t e d t o the base, w i t h i t s apex a t t a c h e d t o the j u n c t i o n o f the a r c h e s . No p a r t o f t h e framework i s v i s i b l e when the mask i s f i n i s h e d , as the cone i s c o v e r e d w i t h r e d c l o t h and t h e s t r u t s o f the a r c h e s a r e bound a l s o i n r e d c l o t h and f i n i s h e d o f f w i t h t a s s e l s . The theme o f the t a b l e a u t h a t o c c u p i e s the upper s e c t i o n o f the i j e l e i s the l i f e o f a t y p i c a l Igbo community. Human f i g u r e s a r e i n t he m a j o r i t y and a r e a r r a n g e d t o d e p i c t e i t h e r s a c r i f i c e o f a n i m a l s o r t he p l a y i n g o f m u s i c a l i n s t r u m e n t s , e t c . R e a l i s t i c f i g u r e s o f l o c a l a n i m a l s and b i r d s a r e a l s o d e p i c t e d , so a l s o a r e some masks o f the a r e a . I j e l e i s made by p r o f e s s i o n a l men who work i n an e n c l o s u r e e s p e c i -a l l y p r e p a r e d f o r them a t the edge o f the c l e a r i n g i n which the mask w i l l e v e n t u a l l y perform. The c o m p l e t i o n o f the work i s u s u a l l y i n time f o r the m i d d l e o f t h e d r y season f e a s t p e r i o d and i n v i t a t i o n s a r e s e n t out t o persons o f both sexes o v e r a wide a r e a t o come and watch. Much o f t h e time o f the a c t u a l performance i s taken up by the owners and 120 t h e i r male r e l a t i v e s , i n s i n g i n g and d a n c i n g and d i s p l a y i n g the cows, goats and yams, and money t h a t a r e b e i n g p r e s e n t e d t o the i j e l e . But from time t o time the f i e l d i s c l e a r e d and t h e i j e l e o r c h e s t r a t a k e s command w h i l s t the mask dances out o f i t s h i d i n g p l a c e , f o l l o w i n g i t s g u i d e who i s the d i r e c t o r o f t h e p l a y , swaying and t u r n i n g g r a c e -f u l l y as i t goes t o v i s i t each s e c t i o n o f the huge a u d i e n c e . We need not b e l a b o u r the p o i n t t h a t the i j e l e p l a y and performance i s t h e a t r e because.the d e s c r i p t i o n demonstrates q u i t e c l e a r l y the t h r e e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the t h e a t r e which R i c e p o s t u l a t e s . R i c e (1955:12) has h i m s e l f shown t h a t t h e a t r e l i k e o t h e r human a c t i v i t i e s i s shaped and d e v e l o p e d by the s o c i a l environment. He used t h e examples o f r u r a l Mexico and i n d u s t r i a l i z e d Germany t o demonstrate t h i s , and f o r the purpose o f our a n a l y s i s i t i s q u i t e n e c e s s a r y t o quote h i s Mexican example: "The t h e a t r e . . . i s a v i l l a g e a f f a i r , a communal e n t e r p r i s e known as f i e s t a , i n which the e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n u s u a l l y p a r t i c i p a t e s e i t h e r as p e r f o r m e r s o r as s p e c t a t o r s . O f t e n t h e s e f i e s t a s t a k e on the a s p e c t o f a f a i r , l a s t i n g f o r s e v e r a l days, and combining w i t h the t h e a t r i c a l performance a market, r e l i g i o u s o b s e r v a n c e s w i t h v a r i o u s forms o f d i v e r -s i o n . . . U s u a l l y the d r a m a t i c f e a t u r e o f the f i e s t a i s performed by a group o f v i l l a g e r s who s p e c i a l i z e i n the s k i l l s o f d a n c i n g , s i n g i n g or p l a y i n g m u s i c a l i n s t r u m e n t s . These s k i l l s a r e f r e q u e n t l y handed down from f a t h e r t o s o n , so t h a t the p e r f o r m e r s have almo s t a p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a t u s , though o f c o u r s e p e r f o r m i n g i s an a v o c a t i o n w i t h them. Many o f them have g r e a t t h e a t r i c a l t a l e n t and p e r f o r m most a r t f u l l y . . . The dramas a r e s i m p l e . . . a r e s i m i l a r t o t h e m e d ieval m y s t e r y and m i r a c l e p l a y s w i t h a s t r o n g emphasis on t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l " . R i c e c o n c l u d e d h i s e x a m i n a t i o n o f the Mexican v i l l a g e t h e a t r e by p o i n t i n g o u t t h a t such a t h e a t r e can f l o u r i s h i n a p r e - i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t y among pe o p l e who a r e r o o t e d i n the v i l l a g e and d e e p l y imbued w i t h t r a d i t i o n . T h i s i s the c a s e w i t h Igbo masks and p l a y s ; i n f a c t , 121 h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s a r e apt f o r our p r e s e n t s t u d y and f o r most o t h e r s o c i e t i e s t h a t have masks. For example, Machon (1966:39-46) d e s c r i b e d the drama o f the Kwakiutl masked ceremonies t h u s : "Songs and rhythm were i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r s i n t h e c r e a t i o n o f a . t h e a t r i c a l mood. Each p e r f o r m e r r e q u i r e d a number o f s e c r e t songs which s t r e s s e d h i s s p i r i t u a l powers, and t h e s e were composed-by the song-maker. The c h o r u s l e a r n e d the songs i n s e c r e c y , p u b l i c p r e s e n t a t i o n o c c u r r i n g f o r the f i r s t time d u r i n g the i n i t i a t i o n ceremony. The beat o f the song was kept w i t h a drum and w i t h batons which were beaten upon a board. The b e a t i n g o f time and the words o f the songs s e r v e d t o impress upon t h e s p e c t a t o r s the s u p e r n a t u r a l powers o f t h e performance". Igbo Masquerade as R i t u a l I t has been demonstrated t h a t Igbo. masquerade i s t h e a t r e . However, t h i s i s o n l y p a r t o f t h e s t o r y because, t o t h e Igbos, the masquerade has r e l i g i o u s i m p l i c a t i o n s . I t was noted e a r l i e r t h a t t h e Igbos b e l i e v e t h a t t h e mask i s imbued w i t h r e a l meaning and c a r r i e d v e r y r e a l s u p e r -n a t u r a l powers which i n v e s t e d power i n t h e wearer, the costume, and t h e mask i t s e l f d u r i n g (and even a f t e r ) such times as i t was brought f o r t h i n r i t u a l ceremony and t h e a t r i c a l p e rformance. Even the p r e p a r -a t i o n o r c a r v i n g o f the mask seems t o agree w i t h C o l e ' s c o n c e p t o f " a r t - f o r - 1 i f e sake; s i n c e i n most c a s e s the mask was c l o s e l y a l l i e d t o t h o s e c u l t u r a l mechanisms d e d i c a t e d t o the maintenance o f o r d e r and w e l l - b e i n g among the Igbos" . The mask i s o r i e n t e d t o t h o s e s o c i a l v a l u e s upon which depend t h e sense o f i n d i v i d u a l and community s e c u r i t y . 122 .There is.-.a-puzzle'to be s o l v e d . A l l o v e r the w o r l d men mark out t h e i r c a l e n d a r s by means o f f e s t i v a l s , which a r e forms o f t r a n s -f o r m a t i o n , and i n a l l t h e s e f e s t i v a l s , r i t e s o f passage a r e used t o mark s o c i a l development o f both i n d i v i d u a l s and the s o c i e t y . Why s h o u l d time be demarcated i n t h i s way? Why s h o u l d i t be a p p r o p r i a t e t o wear t o p h a t s a t Western f u n e r a l s , and masks on i f e j i o k u ceremony among the Igbos? F r a z e r e x p l a i n e d such b e h a v i o u r by t r e a t i n g them as s u r v i v a l o f p r i m i t i v e magic. His e x p l a n a t i o n i s q u i t e i n a d e q u a t e . I t i s not good enough t o e x p l a i n a world-wide phenomenon i n terms o f p a r -t i c u l a r , l o c a l i z e d , a r c h a i c b e l i e f s . The o d d e s t t h i n g about time i s s u r e l y t h a t men have such a c o n c e p t a t a l l . We e x p e r i e n c e i t , but not w i t h our s e n s e s . We do n o t see time o r t o u c h i t , o r s mell i t , o r t a s t e i t o r hear. i t . A c c o r d i n g t o Leach (1963:132-6), human b e i n g s e x p e r i e n c e time i n t h r e e ways. F i r s t l y , we r e c o g n i z e r e p e t i t i o n which b r i n g s out time i n t e r v a l s . Time i n t e r v a l s - - d u r a t i o n s - - a l w a y s b e g i n and end w i t h the same t h i n g , e.g. a p u l s e b e a t , New Year's day, e t c . S e c o n d l y , we r e c o g -n i z e e n t r o p y , a g e i n g . L i v i n g t h i n g s a r e b o r n , grow, o l d and d i e . Ageing i s t he i r r e v e r s i b l e f a t e o f us a l l , but a g e i n g and i n t e r v a l a r e s u r e l y two q u i t e d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f e x p e r i e n c e , We lump t h e s e two e x p e r i e n c e s t o g e t h e r and d e s c r i b e them both by one name--time--because a c c o r d i n g t o Leach (1963:133), "We would l i k e t o b e l i e v e t h a t i n some m y s t i c a l way b i r t h and death a r e r e a l l y t h e same t h i n g " . T h i r d l y , our e x p e r i e n c e o f time c o n c e r n s t h e r a t e a t which time p a s s e s . There i s e v i d e n c e t o show t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l ages a t a pace t h a t i s e v e r s l o w i n g down i n r e l a t i o n t o the sequence o f s t e l l a r t i m e . The f e e l i n g t h a t the f i r s t 123 ten y e a r s o f c h i l d h o o d " l a s t e d much l o n g e r " may not be an i l l u s i o n . B i o l o g i c a l p r o c e s s e s such as wound h e a l i n g o p e r a t e much f a s t e r ( i n terms o f s t e l l a r time) d u r i n g c h i l d h o o d than i n o l d age. T h i s i r r e g u l a r f l o w o f time i s o b s e r v a b l e i n p l a n t s ; t h e y grow much f a s t e r i n t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e i r l i f e c y c l e . Such f a c t s show t h a t t he r e g u l a r i t y o f time i s not an i n t r i n s i c p a r t o f n a t u r e ; i t i s a man-made n o t i o n which human be i n g s p r o j e c t i n t o t he environment f o r t h e i r own pu r p o s e s . Men t r y t o f i x a "chronometer" by which t o measure t h e a f f a i r s o f l i f e . I t i s t h e annual sequence o f a c t i v i t i e s which p r o v i d e s t he measure o f t i m e . F o r . p e o p l e who do not po s s e s s c a l e n d a r s o f t h e n a u t i c a l almanac t y p e , t h e p r o g r e s s o f t i m e , e s p e c i a l l y t h e y e a r ' s p r o g r e s s , i s marked by a s u c c e s s i o n o f f e s t i v a l s . Each f e s t i v a l r e p r e s e n t s a temporary s h i f t from t he "normal - p r o f a n e " o r d e r o f e x i s t e n c e i n t o t he "abnormal - s a c r e d " o r d e r , and back a g a i n . The t o t a l f l o w o f time then has a p a t t e r n which might be r e p r e s e n t e d as shown below. / \ A S a c r e d ,C A r Sacred C V ^ s n s n s u ' / u 5 Fig.- V I. R i t u a l S e p a r a t i o n (Taken w i t h m o d i f i c a t i o n s from Leach (1963:134)). 124 Such f l o w o f time as shown above i s man-made. I t i s o r d e r e d i n t h i s way by the s o c i e t i e s ( t h e "moral p e r s o n " t o use Durkheim's t e r -m i n o l o g y ) , which p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e f e s t a l r i t e s , and t h i s a g r e e s w i t h the d e f i n i t i o n o f comedy. The r i t e s t h e m s e l v e s , e s p e c i a l l y s a c r i f i c i a l ones ( a f t e r which masquerades may appear among many p e o p l e s , t h e Igbos i n the c o n t e x t o f our a n a l y s i s ) , a r e t e c h n i q u e s f o r c h a n g i n g the s t a t u s o f the moral person from p r o f a n e t o s a c r e d , o r from s a c r e d t o p r o f a n e . Viewed i n t h i s Durkheimian way, t h e t o t a l sequence embraces f o u r d i s t i n c t phases, o f s t a t e s o f the community. Phase A. These a r e r i t e s and r i t u a l s o f s a c r a l i z a t i o n and/or s e p a r a t i o n . The moral person i s t r a n s f e r r e d from the s e c u l a r t o the s a c r e d w o r l d . T h i s i s most s y m b o l i c o f i n i t i a t i o n i n t o t h e Igbo mmuo or masquerade s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s . The whole s o c i e t y i s o f f e r i n g s a c r i f i c e s t o make the t r a n s f e r s u c c e s s f u l and b e n e f i c i a l t o a l l . Phase B. The m a r g i n a l s t a t e . The moral person i s i n a s a c r e d c o n d i t i o n , a k i n d o f suspended a n i m a t i o n , O r d i n a r y time has s t o p p e d . T h i s i s s y m b o l i c o f f e s t i v i t y - - m a s q u e r a d e s among the Igbos. Both the p e r f o r m e r s and the a u d i e n c e ( i . e . c o m p r i s i n g the community), a r e i n a s t a t e o f suspended a n i m a t i o n . P r a y e r s and s a c r i f i c e s have made the s o c i e t y p e a c e f u l and pure. The masks ( s p i r i t s - m m u o ) appear t o shower b l e s s i n g s on t h e p e o p l e and t o d r a m a t i z e the m y t h i c a l f o u n d a t i o n and b e l i e f s o f the a n c e s t o r s and t h e i r p r e s e n t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s — t h e community. The s o c i e t y i s r e v e r s e d t o the time o f t h e a n c e s t o r s . We s h a l l r e t u r n t o t h i s l a t e r . Phase C. The r i t e o f d e s a c r a l i z a t i o n . The moral p e r s o n , t h e community, i s brought back from the s a c r e d t o the p r o f a n e w o r l d . He 125 i s r e b o r n , s e c u l a r time s t a r t s anew. The community has r e a f f i r m e d i t s e l f t hrough r i t u a l and accompanying masked performance. Phase D. T h i s i s the phase o f normal s e c u l a r l i f e , t h e i n t e r v a l between s u c c e s s i v e masquerade p e r f o r m a n c e s . So much f o r Leach, but l e t me draw a t t e n t i o n t o c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s i n t h e f o r e g o i n g t h e o r e t i c a l argument. F i r s t l y , i t s h o u l d be emphasized t h a t , among the v a r i o u s f u n c t i o n s which the h o l d i n g o f masquerade p e r -formance o r s o c i a l drama may f u l f i l l t o the Igbos, one v e r y i m p o r t a n t f u n c t i o n i s the o r d e r i n g o f c a l e n d r i c a l t ime, The i n t e r v a l between such masquerade and/or i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies and f e s t i v a l s o f the same type i s a p e r i o d , u s u a l l y a named one, e,g. i z u ("Igbo week"), a f o , ( " y e a r " ) , e t c . Without the f e s t i v a l s , such p e r i o d s would not e x i s t , and a l l o r d e r would go out o f s o c i a l l i f e . S e c o n d l y , t h e r e i s the m a t t e r o f r o l e r e v e r s a l . I f we a c c e p t Leach's a n a l y s i s o f the s t r u c t u r e o f r i t u a l which I have o u t l i n e d above, then one might argue t h a t the r i t u a l s o f Phase A and the r i t u a l s o f Phase C ought, i n some s e n s e , t o be the r e v e r s e o f one a n o t h e r . S i m i l a r l y , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e diagram, Phase B ought somehow t o be t h e l o g i c a l o p p o s i t e o f Phase D. These o p p o s i t e s o r r e v e r s a l s a r e exem-p l i f i e d i n Igbo masquerade performance, We may d i s t i n g u i s h t h r e e s e e m i n g l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y t y p e s o f b e h a v i o u r i n masquerades a s , i n f a c t , on most r i t u a l o c c a s i o n s . On the one h a n d — a n d t h i s c o r r e s p o n d s t o Phase A i n F i g . V I - - t h e r e a r e b e h a v i o u r s i n which f o r m a l i t y i s i n c r e a s e d . D i f f e r e n c e s o f s t a t u s a r e p r e c i s e l y demarcated by e t i q u e t t e ; moral r u l e s a r e v i g o r o u s l y and o s t e n t a t i o u s l y obeyed. T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y the c a s e w i t h r i t e s and r i t u a l s d u r i n g 126 i n i t i a t i o n and/or b e f o r e the mask i s "brought f o r t h i n t o l i f e " , i . e . put on a dancer f o r p u b l i c performance. In c o n t r a s t , t h e second b e h a v i o u r (Phase B) i s t h a t i n which the i n d i v i d u a l seeks t o d i s g u i s e h i s s o c i a l p e r s o n a l i t y and h i s o f f i c i a l s t a t u s . The w o r l d goes i n t o a mask ( s a c r e d t i m e ) and t h e f o r m a l r u l e s o f o r t h o d o x l i f e a r e f o r -g o t t e n . F i n a l l y , i n some i n s t a n c e s o f Igbo masquerades, we f i n d an extreme form o f r e v e l r y i n which p a r t i c i p a n t s p l a y - a c t a t b e i n g p r e c i s e l y the o p p o s i t e o f what t h e y r e a l l y a r e ; men d r e s s up and a c t as women, e.g. t h e agbogho mmuo o f the N o r t h e r n Igbos and the n j e n j e parade o f the A f i k p o . In such s i t u a t i o n s , normal s o c i a l l i f e i s p l a y e d i n r e v e r s e . The y o u t h s m i g h t ' o p e n l y d i s r e s p e c t and c h a s t i s e the e l d e r s , t a k i n g l i c e n c e from the mask. T h i s i s p a r t o f Phase B and a l s o Phase C. I t becomes Phase C towards the end o f the masquerade ceremony when t h e a c t s a r e about t o engage i n r i t u a l s f o r s t o p p i n g the c e l e b r a t i o n s . They may j o k e and behave i n c o n t r a s t t o e t i q u e t t e . L e t us r e c a l l t h a t t h e s e t h r e e t y p e s o f r i t u a l b e h a v i o u r found i n Igbo masquerade drama, i . e . f o r m a l i t y , masks, and r o l e r e v e r s a l , a r e i n p r a c t i c e c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d even though t h e y a r e c o n c e p t u a l l y d i s t i n c t s p e c i e s o f b e h a v i o u r . A r i t e which begins w i t h f o r m a l i t y ends i n masquerades and r o l e r e v e r s a l , and v i c e v e r s a . E l i a d e has w r i t t e n f u r t h e r on the n a t u r e o f time i n a n o t h e r d i m e n s i o n . For him, annual p e r i o d s o f f e s t i v i t i e s and accompanying r i t u a l s such as masquerades, a r e ways o f c r e a t i n g not o n l y c a l e n d r i c a l time but s a c r e d p r i m o r d i a l t i m e . W r i t i n g o f such t i m e , E l i a d e (1959: 68) commented: "For r e l i g i o u s man, time t o o , l i k e s p a c e , i s n e i t h e r homogeneous nor c o n t i n u o u s . On t h e one hand t h e r e a r e the i n t e r v a l s o f s a c r e d t i m e , t h e time o f f e s t i v a l s 127 (by f a r t h e g r e a t e r p a r t o f which a r e p e r i o d i c a l ) ; on t h e o t h e r t h e r e i s p r o f a n e t i m e , o r d i n a r y temporal d u r a t i o n , i n which a c t s w i t h o u t r e l i g i o u s meaning have t h e i r s e t t i n g . Between t h e s e two k i n d s o f time t h e r e i s , o f c o u r s e , s o l u t i o n o f c o n t i n u i t y ; but by means o f r i t e s r e l i g i o u s man can pass w i t h o u t danger from o r d i n a r y temporal d u r a t i o n t o s a c r e d t i m e " . One e s s e n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e between t h e s e two q u a l i t i e s o f time s t r i k e s i m m e d i a t e l y : by i t s v e r y n a t u r e s a c r e d time i s a p r i m o r d i a l m y t h i c a l time made p r e s e n t . Every r e l i g i o u s f e s t i v a l , any l i t u r g i c a l t i m e , r e p r e s e n t s t he r e a c t u a l i z a t i o n o f a s a c r e d time t h a t took p l a c e i n a m y t h i c a l p a s t - - i n t h e " b e g i n n i n g " . R e l i g i o u s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a f e s t i v a l i m p l i e s emerging from o r d i n a r y temporal d u r a t i o n and r e i n -t e g r a t i o n o f the m y t h i c a l t i m e , r e a c t u a l i z e d by the f e s t i v a l i t s e l f . Hence, s a c r e d time i s i n d e f i n i t e l y r e c o v e r a b l e , i n d e f i n i t e l y r e p e a t a b l e . From one p o i n t o f view, i t c o u l d be s a i d t h a t i t does not p a s s , t h a t i t does not c o n s t i t u t e an i r r e v e r s i b l e d u r a t i o n . I t i s an o n t o l o g i c a l t i m e ; i t always remains equal t o i t s e l f , i t n e i t h e r changes nor i s exha u s t e d . With each p e r i o d i c f e s t i v a l , such as annual i f e j i o k u , i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies and masquerade p l a y s , t he p a r t i c i p a n t s f i n d t h e same s a c r e d t i m e - - t h e same t h a t had been m a n i f e s t e d i n the f e s t i v a l o f the p r e v i o u s y e a r or t h a t o f a c e n t u r y e a r l i e r . I t i s the time t h a t was c r e a t e d and s a n c t i f i e d by the gods. In o t h e r words, the p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e f e s t i v a l meet i n i t s f i r s t a p pearance, i . e . t h e f i r s t appearance o f s a c r e d t i m e , as i t appeared ab o r i g i n e , i n i l l o tempore. In such annual Igbo f e s t i v a l s , i t i s o n l y n a t u r a l and l o g i c a l t h a t masquerades which a r e t h e d r a m a t i z a t i o n o f t h e myths o f the p e o p l e , s h o u l d be put i n t o performance. My argument hence f o l l o w s c l o s e l y the f i r s t , t h a t masquerades a t annual f e s t i v a l s a r e t o c r e a t e not o n l y t he r e l i g i o u s 128 framework f o r the f e s t i v a l i t s e l f , but a l s o t o c r e a t e a d d i t i o n a l p l e a s u r e and amusement f o r a p e o p l e i n a s t a t e o f r e l i g i o u s j o y . I t i s a means o f g e t t i n g the community t o g e t h e r as an au d i e n c e t o move i n t o sacred: t i m e — t h e time o f the a n c e s t o r s , Igbo Masquerade as R i t u a l - T h e a t r e Thus f a r I have p r e s e n t e d two a s p e c t s o f t h e ma s q u e r a d e — n a m e l y , t h e a t r i c a l i t y and r i t u a l . The r i t u a l o f the mask e n a b l e s t he Igbos t o s e p a r a t e space and time and t e m p o r a r i l y l i v e i n the m y t h i c a l b e g i n n i n g s o f t h e i r s o c i e t y , t he time o f the a n c e s t o r s . The paradox o f t h e mask w i t h i t s r i t u a l and t h e a t r i c a l i t y becomes the same as the paradox o f the p r e s e n t and the p a s t . The mask i s t h a t p o t e n t symbol throu g h which d e v i c e the Igbos l o o k a t the p a s t . T h i s i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t because the mask i s not j u s t an a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n , but a much b i g g e r phenomenon. Through i t s t h e a t r i c a l i t y , Igbos r e l a x and e n t e r t a i n t h e m s e l v e s . Through i t s r i t u a l s they a l s o r e l i v e t h e i r h i s t o r i c p a s t , i n t h e company o f t h e i r a n c e s t o r s , t h e f o u n d i n g f a t h e r s o f the s o c i e t y who have been evoked and g i v e n form. The mask r e p r e s e n t s the paradox o f man and t h e unseen o r a b s t r a c t f o r c e s . Through i t , man communicates w i t h t h e s e unseen but s u p e r n a t u r a l and s u p e r p o w e r f u l f o r c e s . The wood t h a t i s mask i s g i v e n power th r o u g h r i t u a l , and t h i s i s a v e r y i m p o r t a n t and powerful medium o f communication w i t h t he p a s t . The mask i s t h e r e f o r e not the wood we hang on museum w a l l s but an i m p o r t a n t r i t u a l and t h e a t r i c a l agent. My argument o r t h e s i s then i s t h a t Igbo masquerade performance i s 129 not o n l y drama or t h e a t r e i n i t s own r i g h t , but i s s y m b o l i c o f a complete t r a n s f e r from the s e c u l a r - p r o f a n e w o r l d o f e v e r y d a y l i f e t o t h e s a c r e d f e s t a l time o f the a n c e s t o r s d u r i n g which time the myths o f Igbo s o c i e t i e s a r e d r a m a t i z e d . F u r t h e r , masquerades e n a b l e the Igbos t o l i v e o t h e r t y p e s o f l i f e , i . e . l i v e i n the p a s t , and h e l p s them t o overcome monotony. By so d o i n g , t h e y r e a f f i r m the c o n t i n u i t y o f t h e i r s o c i e t y , because the mask h e l p s them r e t a i n the i n d i v i s i b i l i t y o f t h e i r a c t i o n s , purposes and v a l u e s , a l l o f which a r e n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e maintenance o f the community. Community r e p r e s e n t s the y e a r n i n g s o f men " f o r a commonality o f d e s i r e , a communion w i t h t h o s e around us, an e x t e n s i o n o f the bonds o f k i n and f r i e n d t o a l l t h o s e who s h a r e a common f a t e w i t h us" (Minar and G r e e r , 1970:IX). Because t h e masquerade performance a c h i e v e s t h i s , i t i s a p r o p e r r i t u a l - f e s t i v a l . In the a r t i s t i c s e n se i t i s a l s o t h e a t r e . One i s t h e r e f o r e r i g h t t o i n t e r p r e t masks and masquerades as r i t u a l - f e s t i v a l and t h e a t r e , o r r i t u a l t h e a t r e f o r s h o r t . 130 CHAPTER VI  CONCLUSION In t h i s s t u d y j u s t c o n c l u d e d , we have t r i e d t o p r e s e n t the masquerade p l a y s o f the Igbos i n a r i t u a l - t h e a t r i c a l c o n t e x t . But why s h o u l d one devote a t t e n t i o n t o . t h e o s t u d y o f masks i n the f i r s t p l a c e ? What a r e the advantages t h a t come from t he st u d y o f masquerade as t h e a t r e ? F i r s t l y , I b e l i e v e t h a t p r e s e n t i n g the mask as r i t u a l t h e a t r e has o b v i o u s m u s e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . We now know t h a t the mask i s not j u s t a f a c e c o v e r i n g , but a l s o has a s s o c i a t e d costumes and i s used as s o c i a l drama. F u r t h e r , as S i e b e r (1962) has r i g h t l y p o i n t e d o u t , d i s p l a y i n g a mask i n a museum as an i s o l a t e d p i e c e , c o n s t i t u t e s a g r o s s m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n not o n l y o f t h e s o c i a l v a l u e s i n h e r e n t i n t h e mask, but a l s o o f the a e s t h e t i c component o f the mask i n i t s o r i g i n a l c o n -t e x t . Masquerade performance, l o o k e d a t i n terms o f r i t u a l t h e a t r e , i n c l u d e s music, dance, s c e n e r y , e t c . , as w e l l as the r i t u a l s c o n n e c t e d t h e r e t o . These a r e i d e a s c u r a t o r s , d e s i g n e r s and o t h e r museum o f f i c i a l s s h o u l d bear i n mind i n d i s p l a y i n g Igbo, any A f r i c a n , o r masks from any o t h e r c u l t u r e s . We d i d i n t e n d t o put the mask i n i t s p r o p e r c o n t e x t i n t h e e x h i b i t "The World o f S p i r i t s " which preceeded t h i s t h e s i s . Having s t u d i e d t he mmuo s o c i e t y , one i s i n c l i n e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t t o t he Igbos, t h e s e c r e t s o c i e t y remains an i n d i s p e n s a b l e i n s t i t u t i o n . I t i s so t o the Yorubas, K a l a b a r i s and I b i b i o s , a l l o f whom a r e the 131 n e i g h b o u r s o f the Igbos. The Egungun masks o f the Yorubas "brought back t h e s p i r i t o f i m p o r t a n t a n c e s t o r s and gods t o the towns' 1^. Among the K a l a h a r i , t h e e k i n e dance s o c i e t i e s p e r f o r m e l a b o r a t e mask p l a y s , whose purposes a r e not o n l y t o r e f l e c t t he l i f e o f K a l a h a r i towns and v i l l a g e s , but a l s o t o c r e a t e e n t e r t a i n m e n t f o r t h e p e o p l e . o I t had the o t h e r f u n c t i o n o f e s t a b l i s h i n g the p r e s e n c e o f the s p i r i t s . The mask as an i n s t i t u t i o n i s t h e r e f o r e not unique t o the Igbos a l o n e but i s common t o most o t h e r s o c i e t i e s i n N i g e r i a , A f r i c a and the w o r l d a t l a r g e . I, t h e r e f o r e , c o n s i d e r i t n e c e s s a r y t h a t s i n c e s i m i l a r a t t r i b u t e s a r e found i n masks o f o t h e r s o c i e t i e s , the mask i s a s u b j e c t t h a t r e q u i r e s d e t a i l e d s t u d y as a human i n s t i t u t i o n . T h i s s t u d y . t h e r e f o r e h e l p s t o answer the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l q u e s t i o n s r e l a t e d t o why men d i s g u i s e themselves i n masks, and why they behave d i f f e r -e n t l y when they put on the mask^. A l t h o u g h the s t u d y i s p r i m a r i l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h the Igbos, as a humble b e g i n n i n g , i t n e v e r t h e l e s s c o u l d be used t o s t u d y t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n i n o t h e r s o c i e t i e s and c r o s s -c u l t u r a l l y . I t h i n k t h a t t h i s i s what a n t h r o p o l o g y i s a l l about, i . e . h e l p i n g us, a c c o r d i n g t o Sanday (1976:XV), " t o seek a g r e a t e r under-s t a n d i n g o f how the c u l t u r e i n which we l i v e a f f e c t s our l i v e s " . I wish to p o i n t out t h a t t h i s i s even more demanded i n a n t h r o p o l o g y t o d a y , because o f the need t o study and d e s c r i b e c u l t u r e s , and i n o r d e r t o b u i l d a body o f knowledge and t h e o r y t h a t p o r t r a y s and e x p l a i n s "both the s i m i l a r i t i e s and t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n t h e c o n d i t i o n o f mankind, t o g e t a t what' i s common throu g h the d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t have a r i s e n t h r o u g h an i n t e r a c t i o n o f men w i t h e x t e r n a l n a t u r e and each o t h e r i n d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g s " (Hymes, 1969:12). 132 S t u d i e s o f t h i s type have become i n d i s p e n s a b l e t o the emergent c o u n t r i e s o f t h e t h i r d w o r l d , o f which N i g e r i a i s one. The a u t h o r o f t h i s s t u d y i s h i m s e l f from N i g e r i a where he has worked and may c o n t i n u e t o work i n a museum. The museums a r e p a r t o f th o s e mechanisms through which s o c i e t i e s p r o t e c t t h e i r c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . The advantages t o s o c i e t i e s o r c o u n t r i e s t o p r o t e c t t h e i r c u l t u r e can be seen from the d e f i n i t i o n o f t h a t t e c h n i c a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l term i t s e l f as g i v e n by Belshaw (1969:12). To him, c u l t u r e has t h r e e a s p e c t s : a) "That a s p e c t i n which i t i s c o n s i d e r e d as the end r e s u l t o f s o c i a l a c t i o n " . b) " I t s n a t u r e as a s t o c k o f r e s o u r c e s and c a p a b i l i t i e s which can be used f o r f u r t h e r a c t i o n " . c) " I t s n a t u r e as an o p e r a t i o n a l system which i n f l u e n c e s a c t i o n , t h a t i s , as a c u l t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o r the anol o g y o f s o c i a l o r g a n -i z a t i o n " . Masquerade performances i n the p a s t and p r e s e n t d e p i c t some i f not a l l o f t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . o r a s p e c t s o f c u l t u r e as I have shown. I t i s not an i n s t i t u t i o n t h a t s h o u l d be a l l o w e d t o d i s a p p e a r w i t h s o c i a l change, and h a p p i l y t he mmuo s o c i e t y o f t h e Igbos has adapted t o change and t h i s has made i t f u n c t i o n a l l y dynamic. T h i s mmuo s o c i e t y c o u l d be u t i l i z e d f o r development i n such a r e a s as i n community e f f o r t s and development. But t h i s i s a p o l i t i c a l q u e s t i o n . ; We i n the museums have the p r i e s t l y duty t o : a) P r e s e r v e both o b j e c t s o f c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e and i n f o r m a t i o n p e r t i n e n t t o them. 133 b) To s y s t e m a t i c a l l y and d e l i g h t f u l l y p r e s e n t what the museum has p r e s e r v e d t o t h e p u b l i c . c) To i n t e r p r e t what i t has p r e s e n t e d i n d i f f e r e n t ways f o r t h e v a r i o u s s e c t i o n s o f t h e community; hence I b e l i e v e t h a t l a b e l s , diagrams and photographs s h o u l d be so used i n d i s p l a y t h a t the v i s i t o r s c o u l d r e l a t e them t o the a r t e f a c t s on e x h i b i t . d) To s t i m u l a t e and encourage r e s e a r c h and stu d y i n t o c u l t u r e , and a l s o t o p r o v i d e e n t e r t a i n m e n t and enjoyment i n an atmosphere o f beauty and r e l a x a t i o n . The d e c i s i o n t o encourage t he u t i l i z a t i o n o f our c u l t u r a l o b j e c t s and the i n f o r m a t i o n c o n n e c t e d w i t h them f o r t h e purpose o f d e v e l o p -ment, may be the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , I t h i n k t h a t e d u c a t i o n and development t h a t does not take i n t o a c c o u n t t h e c u l t u r a l r e a l i t i e s o f the s o c i e t y i s l i k e b u i l d i n g a house w i t h o u t a f o u n d a t i o n . Such a house w i l l s u r e l y c o l l a p s e w i t h time and e x t e r n a l p r e s s u r e . I t i s i n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n t h a t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s can come t o be h e l p f u l , i f a l l o w e d t o be, i n development p l a n n i n g . When museums i n N i g e r i a undertake and p u b l i s h works such as t h i s one, d e a l i n g w i t h the masks o f a p a r t o f N i g e r i a , i t c o u l d be c o r r e c t l y s a i d t h a t N i g e r i a ' s government i s t a k i n g c a r e o f i t s c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e . The advantages o f such a measure a r e f o u r f o l d : 1. To i n c u l c a t e a sense o f p r i d e among i t s c i t i z e n s , t h e r e b y promoting n a t i o n a l p r i d e and i d e n t i t y ; 2. The p r e s e r v a t i o n o f c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e i s the f o u n d a t i o n on which t o b u i l d adequate and e v e r l a s t i n g p o l i t i c a l frameworks, because t h e p r e s e n t has i t s b a s i s i n i t s p a s t , and the f u t u r e w i l l have 134 i t s b a s i s i n the p r e s e n t . I t i s i m p o r t a n t , t h e r e f o r e , t o p r e s e r v e the i n s t i t u t i o n s o f s o c i e t y so t h a t the youths w i l l be b e t t e r a b l e t o i n t e r p r e t the s o c i a l happenings i n the c o u n t r y o f t h e i r b i r t h ; 3. There i s , o f c o u r s e , t he i n d i s p u t a b l e advantage o f both the edu-c a t i o n a l and h i s t o r i c a l importance o f c u l t u r e . As s a i d e a r l i e r , e d u c a t i o n i s not meaningful which does not r e f l e c t i t s c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g ; 4. I t i s thro u g h t h e museum, w i t h i t s f u n c t i o n as a p l a c e where o b j e c t s a r e p r e s e r v e d , t h a t such i n t e r n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s as the UNESCO and ICOM d e r i v e p a r t o f t h e i r f u n c t i o n . I t i s i n t h i s r e s p e c t t h a t c u l t u r e h e l p s t o f o s t e r the u n i v e r s a l o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l b r o t h e r h o o d o f mankind, which the w o r l d r e q u i r e s so much i n t h i s n u c l e a r age i f i t i s t o s u r v i v e . I t i s hoped t h a t t h i s s t u d y o f Igbo masks f i t s i n t o the g e n e r a l attempt t o p r e s e r v e t he p a s t o f not o n l y N i g e r i a , but s h o u l d form a s t a r t f o r such s t u d i e s e l s e w h e r e . I t may not have a l l t he answers, e s p e c i a l l y when i t i s noted t h a t Igbo s o c i e t y , . T i k e most A f r i c a n s o c i e t i e s , has undergone a l o t o f change r e c e n t l y because o f the urge t o modernize and t h e r e i s the t e m p t a t i o n t o f o r g e t t r a d i t i o n as a r c h a i c and c o n c e n t r a t e on i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . R i c e b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e a t r e o f t h e s o r t demonstrated i n t h i s study can f l o u r i s h o n l y i n a p r e - i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t y , among p e o p l e who a r e r o o t e d i n the v i l l a g e and d e e p l y imbued w i t h t r a d i t i o n . As i n d u s t r i a l i z e d urban c e n t r e s m u l t i p l y and v i l l a g e r s a r e drawn t o them by b e t t e r means o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r employment, the v i l l a g e u n i t y and t h e h e r i t a g e o f 135 s k i l l s w i l l be weakened, and g r a d u a l l y the machinery o f mass com-m u n i c a t i o n — m o v i e s , r a d i o , t e l e v i s i o n — m i g h t push the f i e s t a o r masquerades i n t o o b s o l e s c e n c e . I s i n c e r e l y hope t h a t t h i s does n o t happen t o Igbo t r a d i t i o n , because t h i s i s too i m p o r t a n t f o r r e a s o n s a l r e a d y demonstrated. In the words o f Njoku, " t h i s a s p e c t o f the Igbos and N i g e r i a n c u l t u r e s h o u l d never be a l l o w e d t o be f o r g o t t e n , 9 e l s e p o s t e r i t y w i l l not f o r g i v e t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s " , i . e . o u r s e l v e s . I w i l l end t h i s t h e s i s w i t h a statement by Edmund Leach (1963:5). He wrote: " G e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s i n d u c t i v e ; i t c o n s i s t s i n p e r c e i v i n g g e n e r a l laws i n the c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f s p e c i a l c a s e s , i t i s guesswork, a gamble, you may be r i g h t o r wrong, but i f you happen t o be r i g h t you have l e a r n t something a l t o g e t h e r new. In c o n t r a s t , a r r a n g i n g b u t t e r f l i e s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r t y p e and sub-types i s t a u t o l o g y . I t m e r e l y r e a s s e n t s something you know a l r e a d y i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t form". 136 CHAPTERS V & V I Notes and R e f e r e n c e s 1. Elmer R i c e i s an a r t i s t and has w r i t t e n e x t e n s i v e l y on drama and t h e a t r e . A l s o , F r e e d l e y and Reeves (1941) have w r i t t e n on drama and t h e a t r e , e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r o r i g i n and communal n a t u r e . 2. c f R i c e (1955:14-28) f o r a d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e a t r e . A l s o c f F r e e d l e y and Reeves (1941:8). 3. c f O t t e n b e r g ' s a n a l y s i s o f t h e A f i k p o Okumkpa p l a y (1975:104). 4. Boston (1960). "Some No r t h e r n Ibo Masquerades". R e p r i n t e d from the J o u r n a l o f the Royal A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l I n s t i t u t e . V o l . 90, P a r t I. 5. T h i s f a c t has a l r e a d y been made i n C h a p t e r II on Igbo h i s t o r y . c f Basden, 1966; I s i c h e i , 1973 and .1976. 6. c f H.M. C o l e , A f r i c a n A r t s o f T r a n s f o r m a t i o n , 1970. 7. c f H o r t o n - W i l l i a m i n Forde (1971:672-3). 8. c f Horton i n Forde (1971:605). 9. c f Njoku (1974) "Death and B u r i a l Customs, B e f o r e C u l t u r e Change i n T r a d i t i o n a l Ibo S o c i e t y " . 137 BIBLIOGRAPHY Achebe, C 1965. Arrow o f God. A f r i c a n w r i t e r s s e r i e s . London. A d e d e j i , J . 1972. "The O r i g i n and Form o f the Yoruba Masque T h e a t r e " . V o l . XII o f C a h i e r s D'Etudes A f r i c i n e . ( P a r i s , Mouton). Amankulor, J.N. 1977. "The F i r s t All-Ngwa C u l t u r a l F e s t i v a l " i n A f r i c a n A r t s . J a nuary 1977, V o l . X, No. 2. A r d e n e r , E.W. 1954. "The K i n s h i p T e r m i n o l o g y o f a Group o f Southern Ibo". A f r i c a , V o l . 24, No. 2, Baker, D. 1976. " S t r u c t u r a l Theory o f T h e a t r e " i n The Y a l e T h e a t r e , V o l . 8, 1976. New Haven, C o n n e c t i c u t . Basen, G.T. 1966. Among the Ibos o f N i g e r i a . Frank Cass & Co. L t d . , London. . 1966. N i g e r I b o s . Frank Cass & Co. L t d . , London. New Im p r e s s i o n . Belshaw, C S . 1969. The C o n d i t i o n s o f S o c i a l Performance: An E x p l o r a t o r y T h e o r y . Routledge and Kegan P a u l , London. Benda, W.T. 1945. Masks. W a t s o n - G u p t i l l P u b l i c a t i o n s , New York. B e r g e r , P.L. and Luckman, T. 1966. The S o c i a l C o n s t r u c t i o n o f R e a l i t y : A T r e a t i s e i n t h e S o c i o l o g y o f Knowledge. Doubleday & Co. I n c . , Garden C i t y , New York. Boas, F. 1931. The Mind o f the P r i m i t i v e Man. M a c m i l l a n Co., New York. Boston, J.S. 1960. "Some N o r t h e r n Ibo Masquerades". R e p r i n t e d from the J o u r n a l o f the Royal A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l I n s t i t u t e , V o l . 90, P a r t I. B r e t o n , A. 1960. Phoenix o f the Mask. XX e S i e c l e , New S e r i e s , 22nd y e a r , no. 15. 138 Buchanan,,K.M. and Paugh, J.C. 1964. Land and Peoples i n N i g e r i a . London ( r e p r i n t ) . Campbell, J . 1949. The Hero w i t h a Thousand Faces.,New York. • 1959. The Masks o f God: P r i m i t i v e Mythology. V i k i n g P r e s s , New York. C a r o l l , K.C. 1967. Yoruba R e l i g i o u s C a r v i n g . London. C o l e , H.M. 1970. A f r i c a n A r t s o f T r a n s f o r m a t i o n . C a l i f o r n i a . Crowder, M. 1966. A S h o r t H i s t o r y o f N i g e r i a . R e v i s e d and e n l a r g e d e d i t i o n . F r e d e r i c k A. P r a e g e r P u b l i s h e r s , New York, Washington. Durkheim, E. 1915. The Elementary;Forms o f the R e l i g i o u s L i f e . T r a n s . Joseph Ward Swain. London: George A l l e n and Unwin L t d . E i n s t e i n , C. 1921. A f r i k a n i s c h e P l a s t i k . B e r l i n . E l i a d e , M. 1959. The S a c r e d and the P r o f a n e : The Nature o f R e l i g i o n . • H a r c o u r t , Brace & World I n c . , New York. F l i n t , J . E . 1966. N i g e r i a and Ghana. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J. P r e n t i c e - H a l l . Forde, D. 1971. Peoples and C u l t u r e s o f A f r i c a . O x f o r d P r e s s . Ford e , D. and Jones C.I. 1950. The Ibo and the I b i b i o - S p e a k i n g P e o p l e s of South E a s t e r n N i g e r i a . O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s f o r the I n t e r -n a t i o n a l A f r i c a n I n s t i t u t e . F r a z e r , D. 1966. The Many Faces o f P r i m i t i v e A r t . P r e n t i c e - H a l l I n c . , Englewood C l i f f s , N.J. Freed!ey, G. and Reeves,.J.A. 1941. The H i s t o r y o f t h e Theatre..Crown P u b l i s h e r s , New York. G a s k i n , L.J.P. 1965. A B i b l i o g r a p h y o f A f r i c a n A r t s . L o n d o n : . I n t e r -n a t i o n a l A f r i c a n I n s t i t u t e , A f r i c a B i b l i o g r a p h y S e r i e s B. G i l l , S.D. 1976. "Disenchantment", In P a r a b o l a : Myth and the Quest f o r 139 Meaning. Volume 1, Issue 3, Summer 1976. H a l p i n , M. 1975. "Masks as Metaphor o f A n t i - S t r u c t u r e " . U n p u b l i s h e d seminar paper. H a r l e y , G.W. 1941. Notes on the Poro i n L i b e r i a . Cambridge, M a s s a c h u s e t t s . P u b l i s h e d by the Peabody Museum. H a r t l e , D. 1966. "Bronze O b j e c t s from E z i r a , E a s t e r n N i g e r i a " , The West A f r i c a n A r c h a e o l o g i c a l N e w s l e t t e r , No. 4. . 1966. "A r c h a e o l o g y i n E a s t e r n N i g e r i a " . The West A f r i c a n A r c h a e o l o g i c a l N e w s l e t t e r (1966), No.-5. Henderson, R.N. 1972. The King i n Every Man. Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , New Haven. Horton, R. 1966. K a l a h a r i S c u l p t u r e . Lagos.' H u i z i n g a , F. 1949. Homo Ludens: A Study o f the P l a y Element i n C u l t u r e . Routledge and Kegan Paul L t d . , London. Huxley, J . 1950. "New B o t t l e s f o r New Wine: I d e o l o g y and S c i e n t i f i c Knowledge". The J o u r n a l o f the Royal A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l I n s t i t u t e , Volume IXXX, P a r t 1.11. Hymes, D. (ed.) 1969. R e i n v e n t i n g A n t h r o p o l o g y . Pantheon P r e s s , New York. I s i c h e i , E. 1973. The Ibo People and the European, Faber and Faber L t d . , London., Lear' . :.1976. The H i s t o r y o f the Igbo P e o p l e . The Ma c m i l l a n P r e s s L t d . , London.. Leach, E.R. 1963. R e t h i n k i n g A n t h r o p o l o g y . U n i v e r s i t y o f London, The A t h l o n e P r e s s . L e i t h - R o s s , S. 1939. A f r i c a n Women: A Study o f the Ibo o f N i g e r i a . 140 Routledge and Kegan P a u l , London. Levy, ; B r u h l , L. 1923. P r i m i t i v e M e n t a l i t y . M a c m i l l a n Co., New York. . 1935. P r i m i t i v e s and the s u p e r n a t u r a l . E.P. Dutton & Co., New York. L i p s , E. The O r i g i n o f T h i n g s : A C u l t u r a l H i s t o r y o f Man. George A. Harrap L t d . , London. Lowie, R. An I n t r o d u c t i o n t o A n t h r o p o l o g y . R i n e h a r t & Co., New York. Machon, M.J. 1966. Masks o f the Northwest C o a s t , P u b l i c a t i o n s i n P r i m i t i v e A r t 2. Milwankee P u b l i c Museum. Minar, D.W. and G r e e r , S. 1970. The Concept o f the Community. A l d i n e P u b l i s h i n g Co., Chicago., N i s b e t , R. 1968. S o c i o l o g i c a l T r a d i t i o n . New York. N j a k a , E.N. 1974. Igbo P o l i t i c a l C u l t u r e . Northwestern U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . Njoku, 0. 1974. "Death and B u r i a l Customs B e f o r e C u l t u r e Change i n the T r a d i t i o n a l Ibo S o c i e t y " . In B u l l e t i n o f the I n t e r n a t i o n a l  Committee on Eagen A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l and E t h n o l o g i c a l R e s e a r c h , No. 16, Vie n n a . N z i m i r o , I. 1972. S t u d i e s i n the P o l i t i c a l Systems. U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , B e r k e l e y and Los A n g e l e s . . Ottenberg,- S. 1971. A n t h r o p o l o g y and A f r i c a n A e s t h e t i c s . U n i v e r s i t y o f Ghana P r e s s , A c c r a . O t t e n b e r g , S. 1973. " A f i k p o Masquerades: Audience and P e r f o r m e r s " i n A f r i c a n A r t s . Summer 1973, V o l . VI, No. 4. O t t e n b e r g , S. 1975. Masked R i t u a l s o f A f i k p o . The U n i v e r s i t y o f Washington P r e s s , S e a t t l e and London. R i c e , E. 1955. The L i v i n g T h e a t r e . Harper & B r o t h e r s , New York. 141 R i l e y , 0. 1955. Masks and Magic. S t u d i o P u b l i c a t i o n s . o f T . I . C r o w e l l Co., New York. 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O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . Thomas,.K. 1973. R e l i g i o n and the D e c l i n e o f Magic. W e i d e n f e l d & N i c o l s o n . Thompson, R,F. 1974. A f r i c a n A r t i n Motion. C a l i f o r n i a . T u r n e r , V. (ed.) 1975. D r a m a s , . F i e l d s and Metaphors. Symbolic A c t i o n i n Human S o c i e t y . C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , I t h a c a . Uchendu, V.C. 1965. The Igbo o f South E a s t e r n N i g e r i a . H o l t R i n e h a r t & S i n s t o n , New York. Ucko, P.J. and Dimbleby, G.W. 1969. The D o m e s t i c a t i o n and E x p l o i t a t i o n o f P l a n t s and A n i m a l s . London. Underwood, L. 1952. Masks o f West A f r i c a . A l e c T i r a n t i L t d . , London. 142 V a l e n t i n e , C A . 1961. Masks and Men i n a M e l a n e s i a n S o c i e t y . U n i v e r s i t y o f Kansas P u b l i c a t i o n , Lawrence, Kansas. Webster, H. 1932. 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