Despite being deceased, it is believed that our ancestors are part and parcel to the larger family. They are regarded as the collective spirits of the ancestors who occupy a space in heaven.
It is pertinent for Ifa/Orisa practitioners both at home and in the diaspora to know what and what not is Egungun to broaden and widen their scope on the sacred term.
1. The word Egúngún has no translation in to another language.
2. Egúngún is not a masquerade.
3. Egúngún is a sacred representation of the Yoruba ancestors.
4. Egúngún worship is dedicated to the people who lived on the earth and died “Ara Orun”.
5. Egúngún worship is part of the Yoruba traditional Religion.
6. Egúngún is not an Òrìsà.
7. Egúngún is representing forms of human of deceased.
8. Egúngún is covered from head to foot with cloth similar to the deceased.
9. Egúngún dress consists of cloths of various colours .
10. Egúngún dress can be as well with feathers of different kind of birds.
11. Skins and bones of different animals can be used too for Egúngún dress.
12. Egúngún cloth is called Eku
13. Egúngún shoes are made of Iyamoje cloth
14. Egúngún speaks with an unnatural tone of voice.
15. Egúngún drums Bata, Gangan, Agere, Dundun, Adamo, etc
16. The mysteries of Egúngún are held sacred.
17. Egúngún mysteries are not known by women.
18. Ato is a name given to a female child, who belongs to
Egúngún since birth.
19. Ato born with a veil covering the face of the new born baby girl.
20. Ato has access to the mysteries of Egúngún since a tender age.
21. Iya Gan is a title given to an elderly woman.
22. Iya Gan can have access to the mysteries of Egúngún
23. The high priest of Egúngún is called Alagba.
24. In a big town each quarter has its own Alagba.
25. Next to Alagba in Egúngún is Alaran.
26. Next to Alaran is Esorun.
27. Next to Esorun is Akere.
28. Akere is the one who carries the Atori whips.
29. The highest rank in Egúngún worship is the Alapinni.
30. Alapinni is one of the seven noblemen of Oyo Mesi.
31. Alapinni is a political leader.
32. Egúngún is worship with beans cake and palm oil (olele).
33. Kolanut (obi) is used to consult Egúngún.
34. Egúngún Festival normally is between May and July.
35. Egúngún Festival symbolizes the re-appearance of the ancestors.
36. Egúngún Festival normally takes 17 to 21 days.
37. Every Yoruba community is involved in celebrating Egúngún.
38. Egúngún is divided in 4 categories.
39. Egúngún Babalawo represents the worship of the ancestors.
40. Egúngún Apidon, Orebe, Paka, Eleru, Alagangan have the function of entertaining showing their power.
41. Egúngún Alagbo has the function to protect the community. In the Olden days led the war.
42. Egúngún Layewu belongs to the Ode (hunters) to chant Ijala.
43. Alapinni’s Egúngún is called Jenju .
44. Egúngún Ologbojo is Baba Egúngún.
45. Alaafin’s Egúngún is called Mohuru.
46. Egúngún chanting is called Esa.
47. Egúngún priest is called Oje.
48. Egúngún shrine in the bush is called Igbale.
49. Egúngún shrine in the house is called Ilesanyin.
50. Egúngún initiation is done on the feet.
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