Some historians claim that Egungun was introduced to Oyo from Nupe.  According to Babayemi, the people of Nupe are said to have been led by their Egungun when they invaded Oyo in the sixteenth century.

Egungun Suit.

Egungun Suit.

Ogbomoso, Oyo and Modakeke are very famous for their Egungun masquerades.  Some Egungun are very fierce and feared for the stories of their actions and the powerful charms they possess.  The names of some of the Egungun at Mdakeke are Agbabu, Elebiti Kikika and Faola.  Some of the famous Egungun in Ibadan includes Oloolu, Alapansanpa and Atipako.  In Ile Ife there were Egungun names like Gbandu and Adegboro Egungun that have been brought out in times of wars to invoke the warriors during th Yoruba fratricidal wars.  There are stories that some Alafin even wore  Egungun masquerade in moment of crisis.  An example of this is Alaafin Atiba at Oyo who was believed to have led his forces in Epo War wearing his mask, and Oluyole of Ibadan, who also used to wear his mask in wars.   Some said that Egngun was invented in the old Oyo empire for religious control and to maintain political power. That may be the reason for the clashes between the Alagbaa, which is a groupof Egungun cults associated with the Alafin, and Alapini another Egungun cult associated with the Oyomesi in the old Oyo Empire.  There are different types of Egungun, depending on their lineage. Layewu is the Egungun of hunters.  Egungun alare are the ones who make music and dances to entertain the creowd.  They are ususally very playful and dance around the village praying for the people.  some of the decorations on the masquerades have horns and hides of very exotic animals on the masks.  It demonstrates the fierceness of the egungun.  There are also youthful Egungun who dimnostrate how much young adults can tolerate pain by flogging each other with sticks in the festivals.  Sometimes that is how the stronger men are recruited for war and actions.  Gelede and Epa Masquerades are common among the Egbas and the Ijebu, but they are not exactly like the Egungun Oyo.  The origiin of Egungun is not really known because there are different versions of the story. The Egungun festival is one of the Orisa worships where you see a lot of women participating.  Yoruba says that “Awo Egungun lo binrin lese awo gelede to binrin lemo Bo binrin fojo kan oro. Oro agbe” (Women can know the cult of Egungun, they can know the cult of Gelede but they can not know the cult of Oro because the ceremony is done in secret at night in the deep jungle).  Only certain people are allowed to be around.