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Monday, June 7, 2010


The Efik people live in and around Calabar in Eastern Nigeria.The Ibom Masquerase is one of their most colourful masquerades and the costume worn is of most complicated nature.

The dancer first puts on a close-fitting net-like garment made of string which completely covers the whole body and is fastened down the back.Next,a skirt and pair of cuffs are fastened on.Those portions of the dress are usually made of grass or horse hair.Finally the main portion of the costume is fitted all over the shoulders and under the arms in much the same way as a pack or haversack.It is all in one piece- a complicated snake-like structure made of coconut fibre held on wire or bamboo frames and dyed alternative colours.A great trunk-like piece rises from the back of the dancer and hangs over his head,the end of the trunk being several feet in front of the wearer.Only men wear these costumes.

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