The African masquerade is an ageless phenomenon in most African communities and cultures. It plays a very unique role in the people’s belief system and lives. It is universally believed that they are spirits and not humans.
It is believed that the spirits and ancestors are embodied in them. these masquerades usually come in various styles, shapes, sizes and colour. Some appear very horrifying that people are scared away and often afraid to get close to them. Some believe that the bearer of the masquerade can not be seen by mortals as anybody who does dies. Hence they are highly respected. Some however are very colourful and attractive.
Most masquerades are for entertainment to mark special ceremonies and occasions like new yam festivals. Some masquerades operate exclusively at night while others operate during the day. Some masquerades are not to be seen by women and children because of the age long myths surrounding them. Masquerade is part of the cultural heritage of many African communities and passed on from generation to generation.