METAPHOR AND THE IGBO MASQUERADE THE EZEAGỤ EXAMPLE
Recently, there is a strong awareness that has been created in the study of African culture, including that of the Igbo. In Ezeagụ, the concept of masquerade is based on the concept of interaction between the living and the dead. In fact, to a good number of people in Ezeagụ Culture Area, the masquerade means a lot of things. The masquerade is metaphorically used in Ezeagụ. That is why every male in the culture area is addressed as masquerade. This work looks at the metaphoric aspects of the masquerade using Ezeagụ as an example. In Ezeagụ, the masquerade is a communal symbol because masquerade performances are taken very seriously by the people. When its performance is successful, the people feel proud and fulfilled, for success is an index of the solidarity and moral health of its people. The masquerade is metaphorical in Ezeagụ when we look at it from the perspectives of physical human attributes, entertainment, and in its behavioural patterns. The masquerade performs a lot of social, religious and security function in Ezeagụ Therefore, we can look at the masquerade and everything about it as a human. It also metaphorically performs spiritual functions and that is rwhy the masquerade is said to be a spirit in the area. But finally, the masquerade in Ezeagụ culture area is neither human nor spirit. The masquerade is metaphor in Ezeagụ.