the eqwugwu ceremony of the Ibo has been much studied the women clearly know on some level that these mysterious beings are their men folk disguise, yet they are still terrified of them. What do you think their relationship with the eqwugwu is?
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Nine men in the cult of the egwugwu impersonate the nine founders of the villages of Umuofia. During the ceremony, the men are considered to be the spirits of the clan. The transformation is spiritual and complete, in the same way that Catholics believe that the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ.