The annual Egúngún.

One of the most fascinating spectacles of my childhood days was the annual Egúngún.

Egungun means something that is perfect, balanced, or straight, formed from the word gún.

In Yoruba, you repeat something to emphasize it: guńgún refers to the absolutely or superlatively gún element of life.

It is from gún that Àdìgun, an oríkì, emerges: it means something that is dì or constructed to be gún or perfect.

Egúngún, or ará ọ̀run comes from the other world of the ancestors annually to reconstruct the world so that it could be gún. Egungun reconfigures the passing year and redesigns the new year so that it is gún or straight.

To qualify gún, we may add régé, as in Ó gún régé, or it is fully aligned.

A prayer that may be related to gun, therefore, is Kí Olódùmarè jẹ́ kí ayée wa gún régé nínú ọdún tuntun. (Meaning, “May Olodumare enable our lives to be in perfect alignment in this new year).

It is a prayer that I offer to myself and also to you.


The picture shows me with the Egungun that I painted on canvas to emphasize the idea of gún or perfect alignment in our lives..

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