The 9th Annual Leimert Park Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks is produced by LA Commons and KAOS Network. The festival began eight years ago with the aim to create a multigenerational event for people to come together to honor ancestors, share information and culture from West Africa and the Diaspora. Initiated by the son of an Urhobo tribal chief, Najite Agindotan, the event is steeped in the West African tradition of Egungun or masked performance and implemented in collaboration with local master artists including “tall mas” performer Kehinde Otis Johnson, outstanding master percussionist Rene Fisher-Mimms, locally lauded choreographer Nzingha Camara, and legendary filmmaker Ben Caldwell of Kaos Network.
The festival features a libation ceremony, procession, and a lineup of dance and musical performances. The blessing and libation ceremony are designed to invoke a healing and reflection process in the community. The procession through the streets symbolizes the people’s power and capacity to take ownership over their community, address challenges, and create change. Our lineup of spirited performances offers the Angelenos an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the diversity of artistic and cultural expressions observed throughout the African Diaspora.