Agbogho Mmuo is annual performance held in the northern part of the Igbos’ traditional territory. Performed only by men wearing masks, the masquerades imitate the character of adolescent girls, exaggerating the girls’ beauty and movements, the smallness of a young girl’s features and the whiteness of her complexion, which is an indication that the mask is a spirit. Most maiden spirit masks are decorated with representations of hair combs, and other objects, modelled after late 19th-century ceremonial hairstyles.
Igbo culture in precolonial times was a culture in which gender was re-constructed and performed according to social need, where gender and sex did not coincide. Instead, gender was flexible and fluid, allowing women to become men and men to become women. In most cases Igbo women did not cover their chest areas. Maidens usually wore a short wrapper with beads around their waist with other ornaments such as necklaces. Both men and women wore wrappers.
The idea that men were free spirited and able to celebrate femininity is admirable. These men dressed up in elaborate costumes and had fun without a care in the world. Nowadays individuals who are different are disinvited from a world where being basic is the new form of dress up. Fruché aspires for a world where free spirited Nigerians are free to express themselves whichever way they choose without the fear of being judged.