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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Spiritual and physical identity of Yoruba Egungun costumes: a general survey
Author:Aremu, P.S.O.
Periodical:Nigeria Magazine
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:African religions
Abstract:Egungun masquerades can best be referred to as the spirits of the deceased Ara Orun kinkin, the dwellers of heaven. To the Yoruba in general, the 'dead' are not dead; they later come back to earth as either grandchildren or Egungun masquerades. This is demonstrated through the existence of the concept of the 'living dead' among the Yoruba. This is usually portrayed with the use of Egungun costumes through which the souls of the departed ancestors return to earth in a physical form to see to the welfare of their people they left behind on earth. This paper starts with the possible legends and myths surrounding the origin of Egungun costumes, proceeds with a classification of the Egungun costumes, and discusses the significance of magical elements in the masquerades. Fig., ref.