In Enugu, south-eastern Nigeria, belief in the spirit world is widespread. The spirits, called Mmawu, are said to crawl out of holes in the ground during festivals to entertain the crowd or chastise them for their bad behaviour.
The sounds of the Ekwe gong, carved from a single length of tree trunk, and the high toots of the wooden Oja flute fill the air. The bass sounds are made by the Udu, a large earthenware pot played with a paddle.
The Igbo spirits are divided into two kinds, the visible and the invisible. Visible spirits take part in traditional festivals, while invisible ones stalk the village at night, shrieking. This is Iga, a spirit who keeps order.
Ojionu is Iga's opposite, the spirit of chaos and misrule. Ojionu spirits often carry canes to whip people with. They have grotesque crocodile-like heads carved from wood.
Other masquerades are meant to lighten the atmosphere. The police masquerade is a comic one, making pratfalls and bringing slapstick laughs to the occasion.
His opposite number is the miner. Enugu, during the colonial era, was the centre of Nigeria's coal production. Police and illegal miners clashed in running battles over Nigeria's resources. Now people laugh at their antics.
These are king and queen masquerades, they get the crowd dancing, and represent hierarchy and the upper echelons of society.
This is the Agbogho maiden spirit, who represents beauty and joy. Each masquerade has its own musical rhythm and dance.
Masquerade troupes are secret societies who guard the identity of the men in the costumes and the traditions. During the harvest "new yam" festivals towns can be invaded by hundreds of masquerades.
What are these?