Art and Death in A Yoruba Community

by Norma Wolff
Professor Emerita, Iowa State University

Egungun owner, Yoruba peoples, Nigeria. Photo by Norma H. Wolff.


Not all egungun come out each year but the owner may still take part in the egungun festival. This man owns a masquerade that comes out only every third year.  On the off years he wears cloth and medicines to show that he is a carrier of an egungun.  His red cloth and the attached cowries indicate that he takes the role of the ijanjuku violent type of egungun.  The beaded container on the back holds the medicines that are applied to his head when he takes on the persona of his egungun.