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Dying Spirits

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Submitted By nwokedi
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Dying Spirits: Conditions for the survival of Igbo Masquerade Tradition in a Post Modern Era.

A paper presented at the third edition of the monthly lecture series of Mbari Literary Society, Owerri, Imo State Nigeria. 1st August 2009.

Greetings to my veritable ancestors.
Greetings to the progenies and prodigies whose unequalled prodigy and genius produced this sacred art that is now singing an extinction dirge.
All the Ancestral Spirits hovering unackno-wledged around this atmosphere, accept my unworthy salutations.
Ndi Mbari Ibem, Welunu Ekene m,
Onye m kporo ya kpoba ibe ya
Onye na nke ya, onye na nke ya
Nke onye chiri ya zere.

If at the end of this intellectual discourse, the contents of this paper are merely seen as mere academic exercises, it would have failed. This point is made at the background of our realization that it is only practical dialectics that would save the African Viz a Viz. Igbo cosmology in its mortal struggle with the nihilating forces of globalization.

By practical dialectics we mean a dialectics whose spine and pedagogy will bother on practice rather than theory. The guest lecturers of the first and second editions of this lecture series dwelt on topics that bothered on the preservation of our cultural heritage and language respectively. This paper shall not depart from that line. The difficulty in presenting this type of lecture is that a topic which hitherto is not discussed amongst women, particularly those that have not attained the sacrosanct menopause will now be discussed openly amongst them and even amongst men who are not initiated. I am still at loss on how to divulge this metaphysical secrets without bringing disrespect to our ancestors, thereby currying their unsavoury retribution. I shall only go on bended knees to ask my ancestors to pardon me for the sacrilege which I am about to utter. Great! Great ancestors,...

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