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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rationalising Culture: Youth, Elites and Masquerade Politics
Author:Rea, William R.
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Nigeria
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This article, which is based on field research carried out in 1990-1992 and 1996, points to transformations and changes in the masquerade society of the Yoruba town of Ěk'.olé Čkětě, in northeastern Yorubaland, Nigeria, and considers the continuing development of the masquerade society as an association. Changes in the masquerade society are being strongly promoted by younger men as a way to establish masquerade as a resource, promoting Ěk'.olé's cultural identity. They are aided and funded by groups of elite citizens who are not necessarily resident in Ěk'.olé. The article examines the relations between the various groups involved in masquerade, as well as the relationship between those often elite town members who support masquerades and Pentecostal Christian groups which would happily see their demise. It shows that while the Ěk'.olé masquerade festival outwardly displays a certain uniformity of identity within the process of masquerading, it is in fact an arena of competing interests. Certain masks acquire a value function, and this may be because of inherent powers residing in the mask itself, but more particularly interest in the ritual is about an insider's right to compete for a role in the event itself. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.