The Egungun masquerade of Benin Republic
It has been revealed that in Benin Republic, there are strange robed figures, known as Egunguns that represent the souls of the dead who have returned to Earth to pass on advice to the living.
According to SDE, the Egunguns, are known as “Living Ghosts” in the West African country and contact with them are said to have deadly consequences.
The mysterious robed figures arrive in villages, pass judgements and give advice and their word is final as their advice is a direct word of the Gods.
Villagers believe the Egungun are so powerful, possessed by the spirits of the ancestors and if they are touched by anyone they will die.
The Egungun may appear at any time in villages and instantly attract a crowd. But their ‘minder’ uses a stick to protect villagers and ensure they are not touched.
The robed figures – give the impression that the deceased is making a temporary reappearance on Earth and speak in a high-pitched, un-human and unsettling falsetto tone.
The cloth and design used is said to express the power of the ancestor