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Owu Masquerade

In the Igbo masking world, certain masquerades were of theatrical significance. In the Isuama-Ahoada-Ikwere axis of Igboland (in what are now Imo and Rivers States) masquerades known as 'Okoroshi' or 'Owu' were used to tell stories in community-wide dramas. In these plays, masked figures would dress up in a wide variety of costumes that would aid in the narration of their stories. Prior to the advent of Europeans in the late 19th century, Okoroshi and Owu masquerades had masks that represented everyday sights such as men, animals, and women. However, as the presence of white men grew increasingly stronger, they incorporated European characters such as lawyers, policemen, soldiers, and colonial officials into their plays.



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