Origins of Lagos Carnival.
Carnival has been held on the streets of Lagos for over a hundred years. It was brought to Lagos by returnees (mostly former slaves or decendants of slaves) from Brazil and Cuba who returned to Lagos in the 1850s. These returnees are known as Popo Aguda.
Prominent members of the Cuban and Brazilian (Popo Aguda) group include G. Hilario Campos (Campos Square is named after him) and Placido Adeyemo Assumpçao who later changed his name to Adeyemo Alakija.
Other prominent members of the Popo Aguda group include Chief Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez, Mr Francisco Abosede, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, Sir Festus Marinho, Mr Toyin Pinheiro, Justice Bolaji Candido Johnson, Professor da Rocha-Afodu and Major Francisco Olumide Pereira.
Fanti Carnival (also known as Caretta) was brought to Lagos Island by these Brazilians who settled around Campos area in Lagos State and on Lagos Island to be specific. It was introduced by the Da Souza and Kanaku families. The masked rider and the horse are aspects of Brazillian ranch life. Some of the men dress like cowboys and they are known as FASUTINI and they ride bicycles while their leader rides a horse.
It is important to stress that, in the early days women did not partake in the dressing up in masks and different clothing, but they were allowed to go around with the different actors.
As time went on, the people living in Lafiaji area, also on Lagos Island, started participating in the carnival. Later still, other areas of Lagos, like Obalende, Surulere, Yaba, etc caught the carnival bug. Until recently, Lagos was the only part of Nigeria that hosted the carnival.
Locomotion's drum section (the Earthquake)
Gelede at the 2015 Lagos Carnival.
Man boobs from Lafiaji.