Historically belonging to the people of Lagos is presented by the people as a tourist event and traditionally performed on Lagos Island. Also, it is said that Iperu is the source, cradle and originator of Eyo in Nigeria and the world. Eyo also refers to the costumed dancers, known the as masquerades that come out during the festival. The origins of this observance are found in the inner workings of the secret societies of Lagos.
Back in the days, The Eyo festival is held to escort the soul of a departed Lagos King or Chief and to usher in a new king. It is widely believed that the play is one of the manifestations of the customary African revelry that serves as the forerunner of the modern carnival in Brazil. On Eyo Day, the main highway in the heart of the city (from the end of Carter Bridge to Tinubu Square) is closed to traffic, allowing for procession from Idumota to the Iga Idunganran palace. The white-clad Eyo masquerades represent the spirits of the dead, and are referred to in Yoruba as “agogoro Eyo” (literally: “tall Eyo”).
The first procession in Lagos was on the 20th of February, 1854, to commemorate the life of the Oba Akintoye.
Suku hairstyle that is popular among the Yorubas, one that has the hair converge at the middle, then shoot upward, before tipping downward is amongst a list of prohibited things at the festival. Others include Okada, motorcycle, taxis, Bicycles, Sandals, smoking, Female with head tie or head gear or any covering of the head, male with cap of any kind
The masquerades are known to beat people who use any of the prohibited items at sight with their staffs.
There are 5 different branches/types of Iga Eyo in Iperu Akesan
- Iga Pakerike which is symbolized by red cap of éyo
- Iga Agbonmagbe,also symbolized by blue cap of éyo
- Iga éyo Odoru
- Iga éyo Mogusen/Amororo
- Iga éyo Fibigbuwa
The major source of éyo in Iperu is the Iga éyo Pakeriké and other 4 are the Iperu Royal houses.
Eyo boldly inscribed in the eulogy of Lagosians and has also been adopted by icons like Asa in songs.