By Iyiola Pedro & Franklin Ohaegbu
The Adamu Orisa Plays popularly known as Eyo festival is customarily staged for the smooth passage of a late monarch, chief and by extension an important Lagosian.
The word “Eyo” also refers to the costumed dancers, known as the masquerades emerge during the festival clad in immaculate white regalia, a hat, and wields a staff made from palm frond.
The first procession in Lagos was on the 20th of February, 1854, to commemorate the life of the Oba Akintoye.
Video edited by Iyiola Pedro
This year’s performance marks the 84th. It is staged in honour of the immediate past Oba Elegushi of Ikateland, His Royal Majesty Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi (Kunsenla II).
However, the performance coincides with the golden jubilee anniversary celebration of the creation of Lagos State.
A total of 53 groups participated in this year’s procession headed by five groups of the Orisas.
The masquerades are known to beat people who use any of the prohibited items at sight with their staffs.
Some prohibited items include riding of motorcycle, bicycles, wearing of sandals/shoes, headgear, suku – hairstyle, smoking, and taking photographs of Eyo Orisa.
NAN reports that dignitaries that graced the event included, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, and Nike Okundaye, artist and designer.