Masquerades in Akwa Ibom State
You Are Here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome>About Akwa Ibom>People>Culture>Masquerades

"The Akwa Ibom Project involves attitudinal re-orientation; cultivation of a positive mindset; instilling self-confidence through massive empowerment of our people; and the inculcation of the moral values of hard work, courage, honesty, service and pragmatic peaceful co-existence"

- Akpabio

Ekpo is founded on the belief in life after death; and it is regarded as the soul or ghost of ancestors that return to the land of the living in masquerade form to participate with their kinsmen in communal festivals such as farming and rites of passage. As a secret society, membership is strictly by initiation; hence, every aspect of Ekpo is designed to strike awe, fear and caution among women and non-initiates.In the pre- colonial era, Ekpo served as the government of the entire Akwa Ibom people performing such functions as judicial, administrative and religious duties.


From the pre-civilization era, the Akwa Ibom people used traditional cultural institutions such as Ekpo and Ekpe to maintain order in the society. These institutions stood out as government of the time.

Ekpe equally falls into the same category. Drawn from the concept of the leopard being King, Ekpe therefore performs the role of Government. Visitors and researchers will be amazed at the stories of the powers and exploits of these masquerades in the enforcement of social norms and discipline.


Utuekpe means spider, and as the name implies, its performance is spider-like in space, using a unique traditional technological approach known only by the initiates. Like the spider its masquerades scale heights on strings, even riding motorcycles on strings up a dazzling height.

Ekpri Akata

This is a cultural society that serves as a powerful medium of disseminating of information in the communities. It has the power to reveal and transmit to the populace secret deeds of men, women and youth in the society, thereby curbing crime and promoting integrity. In this orchestra, the message of the text takes precedence over the music, which is used to attract attention.



Ntok Odio-Odio

This is a sensational traditional play performed in very few communities in the State. Its awesome appeal is typified by the security role it played in the traditional Akwa Ibom setting. Ubiquitous and magical in role and performance.There are also such institutions for the regulation of moral values among women such as ‘Asian Uboikpa’. This is very popular among the riverine dwellers of the State. This is probably due to its relationship with ‘Ndem’ a water related spirit and its associated deities. This explains why Obon is an ensemble performance.

The performance of this traditional music is attributed to the belief in purity. Its masks and costumes are of white and sparkling colours, depicting innocent. The music is instrument. Apart from its colourful appearance, the beauty of this performance is in the non-verbal communication between the drummers and the dancers. There are other groups that distinguish themselves either through their exemplary mastery of a particular instrument for example xylophone or what can be referred to as the Total Theatre.

  About Akwa Ibom Government State Development News Center Site Info  
  People Executive Infrastructure Development State News Site Map  
  Social Legislative Service Delivery Features Feedback  
  Resources Judicary People Development In Newspapers FAQ  
  Investing Federal Legislators Mega Projects Events Gallery Contact Us  
  Geography and Location Laws of Akwa Ibom Interministerial Photo Gallery Accessibility  
  Culture Ministries State Projects Article Search Privacy  
  Tourism State Agencies Transforming Projects Flight Schedule Blog  
  Cuisine Local Government Movie Schedule  
Copyright © 2012 Government of Akwa Ibom State