Sounds of drums and energetic movement to its rhythm comes to mind at the thought of an African festival, In these festivals beauty of the African culture comes to limelight. Eyo festival is one of a kind and an amazing experience for anyone who is privileged to watch.
Lagos which is a beautiful city in Nigeria and the former Capital of the country is one city a tourist is sure to have a memorable time in the city .The Eyo festival is a festival that is unique to the Isale Eko people of Lagos State, Nigeria.
Eyo festival which is also called the Adamu orisa play began as far back as 20th February 1854 to commemorate the life of Oba Akintayo, ideally Eyo festival usually holds when a prominent chief dies, the festival was meant to escort the spirit of the departed chief as well as welcome a new one in.
Eyo means costumed dancers or Masquerade, the Eyo are usually dressed in white and colorful hats. The Eyo are meant to be adult males and sometimes you may notice a child eyo but never is a female allowed to be part of the Eyo.The Eyo all come out from their various palaces also called Iga at the sound of the Gbedu and Koranga drums which are only beaten during an Eyo festival.The festival is limited to Lagos Island , all movement and display takes place on the Lagos Island.
The fun aspect of Eyo festival:
Eyo Festival which was originally meant to escort the soul of the departed Chief and usher in a new chief has now become a major attraction to tourist.There are somethings that actually make Eyo festival fun to watch, they are;
- The Outfits of the Eyo(masquerade)
The Eyo are dressed in white and covered from head to toe , holding a staff and wearing a hat which is the color of the Iga it represents. It’s usually colorful when watching the various Eyo in their different colored hats, sitting over their white flowing outfit.
2)The skillful procession
One thing you will notice at first glance aside the hats and the white outfit is the fact that no part of the Eyo body is seen or exposed no matter how long the movement is you will not see any part of the body exposed not even that of the child Eyo in their midst.The fact that they will dance for long distances makes it interesting that despite all they maintain their appearance and stick to the performance as required by tradition.
Imagine a large number of people dancing to traditional songs and drums, the Eyo festival is widely known for the open display of dance by the Eyo and also the other people joining in the festivity. You are likely to see even top dignitaries dance in the public.
4) Acrobatic display
There is no Eyo festival without some unusual dance steps and Acrobatic display this is one of the most interesting aspect of the festival seeing the several Eyo in their mass displaying some weird dance steps , this is a delight to many visitors and even indigenous people.
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