True Origin Of The Yoruba Drama

Drama is a genre of literature that can be found in every dialect,

language or race. It normally deals with dialogue and most times in

theaterical form.

The origin of the Yoruba drama can be traced far back to the era when

the Yoruba people lacked the knowledge of reading-and-writing and the

use of play-script was not in existence. Those known for such classic

drama are called the Magic Masquerades (Egungun Onidan) they were

known for their public dramatic performances.

The Magic Masquerades are circus of the Yoruba version, they used to

wear funny regalias, they perform playful somersaulting and daring

magics like disappearing or transforming to something else or

something strange. The Magic Masquerades (Egungun Onidan) is said to

be very older than the Shakespearean dramatic style.

As tales of ancient days have it, the Magic Masquerades of the Yoruba

people emerged from Ologbojo, the great father of all Yoruba

masqueraders; the great masquerade's public appearances with used to

occur with his singing envoys, let to the beginning of the Magic


The Magic Masquerades were very entertaining; they would sing, dance,

pray, pay hommages, somersault, speak satire, send proverbial messages

to audience and viewers, disappear to reappear, transform to any form

of deadly animal only to become masquerade again. The Magic

Masquerades used to perform their dramatic in public places like

king's palace, marketsquare, open spaces, or in the masquerade shrine

during the masquerade festival.




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