An Evaluation of Cultural Symbolism of Selected Items on the Lomolehin Masquerade Costume

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Adeyemo, Peter Adewole, PhD.


The masquerade culture is so significant and usually well celebrated annually among the Yoruba of South-western Nigeria that, just like their counterparts in the Eastern part and some areas in the former Middle Belt of the country, they cannot do without honouring their departed ancestors in costumed figures. This is a sequel to their strong belief in life after death and that these departed individuals have pivotal roles they play in the lives of the living. It is against this backdrop that the veneration of the dead via ancestral worship is taken seriously among the aforementioned ethnic groups. This paper, however, evaluates the cultural symbolism embedded in selected elements of the Lomolehin masquerade costume of Ogbomoso in Oyo State, offering insights into the rich cultural heritage and significance or even meaning of this traditional attire to determine their relevance in the masquerading tradition. A qualitative methodology was adopted using historical and descriptive approaches to analyze the cultural essence of the selected items, and collected data from the sampled population, using a purposive technique to exclude people that do not fit into the profile. By and large, the study articulates the nuances of the selected magical items on the Lomolehin masquerade costume and concludes that the items or amulets have dual functions in that they are both symbolic and aesthetic. However culturally, their symbolical values are more significant than the visual appeal and aesthetic sensibility the costume evokes. Hence, it is recommended that the potency of spiritual powers inherent in the various magical items on the costume such as Ado-Oyin and Arinu-Rode, among others, should be embraced, adapted and collaborated with relevant agencies to advance knowledge in technological studies to contain the diverse security challenges bedevilling the Nigerian space.

Keywords: Evaluation, Cultural Symbolism, Lomolehin Masquerade, Costume, Amulets

Article Details

Adeyemo, P. A. (2024). An Evaluation of Cultural Symbolism of Selected Items on the Lomolehin Masquerade Costume. African Journal of Humanities and Contemporary Education Research, 15(1), 235-247.

Copyright (c) 2024 Adeyemo, Peter Adewole, PhD. (Author)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Alagba Ojewale Adigun – Age: 76 years, Traditional herbalist and custodian of Lomolehin masquerade, an elder and custodian of Lomolehin masquerade, Olugbade Ajigbotifa’s compound, Oke-Ajawa, Ogbomoso. Interviewed on 27/8/2017 during the festival.

Idowu Adedeji – Male, age: 36 years, Musician and masquerader, Lomolehin masquerade,

Olugbade Ajigbotifa’s compound, Oke-Ajawa, Ogbomoso, Interviewed on 26/8/2016, and 27/8/2017 at his residence and through mobile phone on several occasions.

Mama Gbemisola Adedeji – Age: 64 years, Tailor and wife to the late masquerader, Pa Moronfade Adedeji, Aged member, Olugbade Ajigbotifa’s compound, Oke-Ajawa, Ògbomoso. Interviewed on 26/8/2016 and 27/8/2017 respectively at her residence.

Moses Adedeji – Male, age: 55 years, Auto-mobile mechanic and custodian of Lomolehin masquerade. Olugbade Ajigbotifa’s compound, Oke-Ajawa, Ogbomoso. Interviewed on 26/8/2016 and 27/8/2017 at his residence.