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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From the heart of masculinity: Ogbodo-Uke women's masking
Author:Okafor, Chinyere GraceISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819842
Abstract:Ogbode-Uke is a mask performance that is organized and performed by women of the Izzi clan in Igboland in Nigeria. Amongst the Igbo, masking is the special prerogative of men, who are entrusted to use it as a ritualistic instrument for approaching the unknown. Although particular categories of women are often drafted to perform roles in the masking performance, they never function in the centre of power by controlling the organization of the performance or wearing the mask. It was therefore innovative and extremely radical when the women of Izzi, during the Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967-1970, ventured into the masking domain. The author examines the origins and performance of Ogbode-Uke masking by women of the Aba community of Abakiliki. She shows that Ogbodo-Uke originated in an emergency situation which called for the use of women's progenitive powers; that it is organized, produced and performed by women; that it is a new phenomenon that is viewed with mixed feelings; and that it is an expression of Igbo women's independence and of gender cooperation. Bibliogr., notes, ref.