EGBO , asecret society flourishing chiefly among the Efiks of the
See also:district, West Africa . Egbo or Ekpe is a mysterious spirit who lives in the
See also:jungle and is supposed to preside at the ceremonies of the society . Only
See also:males can join, boys being initiated about the age of puberty . Members are bound by
See also:oath of secrecy, and fees on entrance are payable . The Egbo-men are ranked in seven or nine grades, for promotion to each of which fresh initiation ceremonies, fees and oaths are necessary . The society combines a kind of
See also:freemasonry with
See also:political and
See also:law enforcing aims . For instance any member wronged in an Egbo district, that is one dominated by the society, has only to address an Egbo-man or,
See also:beat the Egbo
See also:drum in the Egbo-
See also:house, or "
See also:blow Egbo " as it is called, i.e. sound the Egbo
See also:horn before the hut of the wrong-doer, and the whole machinery of the society is put in force to see
See also:justice done . Formerly the society earned as
See also:bad a name as most secret sects, from the barbarous customs mingled with its
See also:rites; but the
See also:British authorities have been able to make use of it in enforcing
See also:order and helping on
See also:civilization . The Egbo-house, an oblong
See also:building like the
See also:nave of a
See also:church, usually stands in the
See also:middle of the villages . The walls are of
See also:clay elaborately painted inside and ornamented with clay figures in
See also:relief . Inside are wooden images, sometimes of an obscene nature, to which reverence is paid . Much social importance attaches to the highest ranks of Egbo-men, and it is said that very large sums, sometimes more than a thousand pounds, are paid to attain these dignities .
At certain festivals in the
See also:year the Egbo-men
See also:wear black wooden masks with horns which it is
See also:death for any woman to look on . See Mary H .
See also:Kingsley, West
See also:African Studies (1901); Rev . Robt . H .
See also:Nassau, Fetichism in West Africa (1904) ; C .
See also:River Natives (1905) .
PIERCE EGAN (1772-1849)
HANS EGEDE (1686–1758)
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