Saturday, 20 March 2010

Phyllis Galembo ~ "Ojuju Calabar"

As a child, anytime i wanted to scare my little brother,i threatened him with the prospect of 'ojuju calabar' coming to get him. He would cry, and I would laugh (harmless sibling fun). The look of the menacing masquerades covered in grass from head to toe revealing just their cut out eyes forever stuck in my mind. Phyllis Galembo  started photographing people in festival costumes in the 1970s. Her interest in ritual costumes continued after a 1985 trip to Nigeria, where she photographed traditional priests and priestesses & years later explored Calabar, Cross River and Benin by show casing the cultural significance of the costumes, capturing the astonishing colors and creativity of the elaborate attires. I love the vibrant colors used for the costumes and masks. Im intrigued about the stories and myths surrounding them and  its hard to think why i was once scared of them. "Ojuju Calabar" looks pretty darn fabulous from where I'm sitting. 
              Affianwan, Calabar South, Nigeria
                                                                             Mami Wata Mask, Cross River, Nigeria,
                                                              Minor Ekpe Masquerade with Mango Leaves, Calabar South
                                                                                      Ekpe, Calabar South, Nigeria
                                                           elede Masquerade, Agonli-Houegbo Village, Benin,
                                                                                   Ekong Ikon Ukom, Calabar, Nigeria
                                                     Egungun, Djidjimbo Safou Ognon Warrior, Adandokpodji Village, Benin
 OtogheToghe, Aromgba Village, Nigeria
                                                                                Koko Ekpo, Calabar South, Nigeria
                                                                                 Ekpokang, Calabar South, Nigeria,

                                                                           Mustapha Masquerade, Calabar South, Nigeria
                Ekpeyong Edet Dance Group, Calabar, Nigeria
                  Okpo Masquerade, Calabar South, Nigeria
                         Creek Town Youth Group Ekpo Masquerade, Calabar, Nigeria
                                                                                             Akata Dance Masquerade, Cross River, Nigeria
                                                                Nnabo Dance Group, Akpabuyo Village, Cross River, Nigeria
                          Ekpo, Calabar South, Nigeria
                                                   Egbele Dance Masquerade, Osibi, Cross River, Nigeria
                           Jaguar style or Ekong-Itaghafon, Calabar, Nigeria
               Baby Dance of Etikpe, Cross River, Nigeria
                     Ngar Ball Traditional Masquerade Dance, Cross River, Nigeria
                                                                                      Atam Masquerader, Alok Village, Nigeria
                                        Elap Warrior Masquerade dance, Nkum Abanyum, Cross River, Nigeria
 "These times are the masquerade of the eternities". Ralph Waldo                                                 


Nnamdi said...

This is a visual masterpiece. Gotta love Christmas period in the East when the masquerades come out to play!

Ms. Yvonne said...

They should have a runway of their own. FIERCE!!!