Updated: Oct 6, 2021
In addition to gardening, RA Kids study cultural traditions around the world. During the month of November students have become familiar with celebrations of the dead in many different countries, including Dia de los Muertos- celebrated in many hispanic communities, and the Odo Festival- still celebrated today by the Igbo who originate from northern Nigeria, as well as in other West African cultures.
In Nigeria and many other African nations, it is believed that loved ones who have passed on (“odo”) are neither gone nor forgotten, and that they protect and guide the living as an integral part of daily life. During Odo, it is believed that the ancestors who have passed on return to dwell with living family members. Spirits of the dead arrive sometime between September and November and remain for about six months. This celebration occurs once every two years and features masks and ceremonial dress, food, music and dance. The festival culminates with an emotional departure ceremony in which the living once again usher their departed loved ones back into the spiritual realm.
In honor of this cultural celebration, RA Kids created and decorated their own masks. Check out their artwork, and click the links below to learn more about this important cultural tradition.