Things Fall Apart-Egwugwu Mask
The Egwugwu were a considerable part of not just Umuofia, but the Ibo culture as a whole. They represented the spiritual ancestors of Umuofia. They were similar to the “justice system” these days. The Egwugwu were viewed as smart and eventually the most reputable members of the clan. They would evaluate a case of individuals and settle on a judgment they felt was “simply”. For example, Achebe writes about the Egwugwu judging the case of Uzowulu and his continuously abused spouse from page 88 to 94.
Even though there were some individuals who did not concur with the decisions of the Egwugwu, they never attempted to speak out versus them. Achebe tells the reader the origin of the Egwugwu when composing “… the spirits of the ancestors … emerged from the earth. The Egwugwu home … faced the forest, away from the crowd, who saw only its back with the many-colored patterns and illustrations done by specially selected females” on page 88.
This explains the reader the secrecy and importance of the Egwugwu. They were so spiritual that the house they originated from couldn’t even face the rest of Umuofia. For my project, I developed a mask comparable to the one Achebe explains on page 90. This spirit is portrayed to” [have a] springy walk. He looked horrible with the smoked raffia body, a huge wooden face painted white other than for the round hollow eyes and the charred teeth that were as big as man’s fingers.” (Achebe 90).
I have actually added clay shaped as teeth to my mask to represent the “charred teeth” (Achebe 90). In addition, I was unable to find horns as Achebe likewise tells us the spirit has, so I have actually included feathers rather. This mask would be utilized anytime the Egwugwu is out in public. The spirits are not able to get rid of theses masks since doing so would be “murder” (Achebe 186). Likewise, I have actually included scorings to the mask to show the in-depth markings sculpted into real tribal masks.