Things Fall Apart Chapter 10
The village gathered round as the sun went down to see the ceremony where the egwugwu, men of the village who masqueraded as the ancestral spirits of the village, came to settle disputes. The women of the village stood on the fringe of the crowd because the ceremony was for men, and when the egwugwu came out of their hut where no one but the egwugwu themselves were allowed to enter, the women instinctively fled from the nine masked spirits. Each egwugwu represented one of the villages in Umuofia. A different son of the first father of the clan had started each village. Okonkwo was the egwugwu from his village, but no one was supposed to acknowledge that because the egwugwu were addressed as the actual ancestral spirits whenever they were in costume. They passed judgment on the first trial and proceeded to the next one.