HISTORY OF EBIRA SEVENTH PAGE

HISTORY OF EBIRA SEVENTH PAGE

Eche-Ori We are farmers and farming is the pride of the Anebira economy, 'Eche Ori' is our new yam festival celebrated only in two districts of Ebiraland. These are Ihima and Eganyi. During the festival, traditional worshippers make sacrifices in the secret groove of 'Ori' (deity) high up in the mountain to show gratitude for its protection and provision of bounteous harvest.
The worshipers carry long canes with which they whip one another in turns without anyone exhibiting any sign of pain. This is a mark of strength or manhood. Another important attraction of the festival is the delightful 'Echori' music in which female singers feature prominently.
Only after this festival one can eat or sell new yams in our markets as it is a taboo to do so before the festival in Ihima and Eganyi.

Ekuechi (traditional night masquerade) This is a night masquerade festival which marks the end of the Ebira calendar year and the beginning of a new one. Ododo is popularly acclaimed to be the initiator of this masquerade festival.
The 'Akatapa' masquerade heralds the beginning of the festival often saying "Irayi ododo osi gu, Irayi akatapa osi gu eeeh! Osa yeee h!" which means "the year of the Ododo has ended; the year of Akatapa has ended. Here is another year".
The festival begins with a festival eve in which folk singers (omikede) perform to the delight of both men and women. The following day, the real festival in which masquerades sing and dance to entertain people from dust to dawn takes place. It is restricted to men and few special women called onoku only so all and majority of our women stay indoors throughout the duration of the festival.
#to_be_continue.

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