Friday 25 April 2014


A Masquerade

A very long time ago, long in the days of my forefathers, there used to be this masquerade called Amuludun meaning the one that enlivens the village. This masquerade was a magician known throughout the village and beyond. The art of magic was his discipline even though he was a good dancer too. Whenever or wherever Amuludun was performing, the crowd would gather around him to see his magic and dance. And he was a good performer. While performing the art of his magic, good drumming would be going on by the talking drummers and he would be chanting and singing simultaneously. Amuludun would trill the audience by transforming himself to all sorts of animals and transformed back to the real masquerade that he was in the end. 
Masquerade Chiefs & Olalekan Oduntan

And the crowd would not only be applauding, they would be giving out money too in appreciation. After finishing a performance in his village, he and his drummers would move on to the neighboring villages to perform again. And this is what they would be doing for a period of six months or more touring and performing within the villages that were far and near. 

After the tour, Amuludun and his crew would come back home with their proceeds to plan ahead for another tour. Meaning, he would learn a new set of magic, new songs and chants, drumming and dances against the next tour. This is where the travelling
Chief of  Masquerades & Olalekan Oduntan
theatre groups emanated from in those days. They all copied what the travelling masquerades like Amuludun were doing to make their business successful. But unfortunately today, some of the practitioners in the movie and theatre industry do not know this brief history. Where am I going? Our culture and tradition should be flaunted at all time to show that we are a people with lineage and direction. 

Preservation and documentation of our ancestral tradition and culture will give our children yet unborn the history and information that they so deserve. No nation becomes great when its cultural norms and values are confronted with extinction. Even though, Amuludun was a masquerade but it is our history and it is where we are coming from.  Let us learn something from there to be able to set our cultural values and goals right so that our children and children's children will learn from our history.

If we do not where you are culturally coming from, we can never know where we are going as a people. The story of Amuludun should be an eye opener for us a people.

© Olalekan Oduntan 2014.

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